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Old 02-24-2019, 09:23 PM
HParker HParker is offline
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 3
Default My First Gatemarked Antique is Cracked and Needs Cleaning.


New here and never restored any cast iron. I asked for a cast iron skillet for Christmas one year and then it (Lodge 12 inch) sat in the cabinet for a couple of years as I didn't really know what to do with it. I finally figure it out one day when I found a recipe online which was made in a cast iron skillet. That was last fall. Since then, I picked up a 10 inch Texsport skillet at a thrift store. It had a little rust on it and a slight wobble which I figured out later after watching a little YouTube, but I use it almost every day and nearly every meal. I have a gas stove so the wobble isn't a problem and it has built up some really super nice seasoning. I think of it as my test pan. I'd rather mess it up than any of the Lodge.

With Christmas money, I purchased a some other Lodge skillets and three dutch ovens (2 qt, 5 qt and a camp 12 inch deep). We camp and I thought we'd use the Texsport and 12 inch dutch oven on our trips.

I've been back to the thrift store a couple of times and picked up two older, modern Lodge corn stick pans and avoided buying a huge dutch oven that I didn't know what I'd do with. It was super nice. I was back there again last week and to my excitement found a small 3-legged caldron with a wire handle and a gatemark and some other markings. I looked it over, but once I got it home in the daylight found that it is cracked parallel to the bottom. I've also found nearly identical caldrons online in near perfect condition and selling for not a lot of money. So my big find isn't really that valuable as far as I can tell and with the crack probably not worth much at all. The gatemark and age make it super cool though.

I still want to clean it up to be used for decoration. Do you think that I can do anything to it to make the situation worse? Or are there more preferred cleaning methods for more delicate items. Should I avoid heating it up? I really don't want to invest in a cleaning tank as I don't plan on restoring a lot of pans.

The piece is really rusted in a couple of places, but other places are not bad at all. I really like to clean up the rust and re-season it or whatever I need to do to keep it from rusting again. I like the seasoned cast iron look, but I guess I could spray paint it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you,
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