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Old 12-28-2011, 04:15 PM
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Default Sanding inside cast iron skillet?



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My cast iron skillet is from the early 70's. The bottom is rougher than anything and you can not fry eggs. It tears them apart.

My friend has one from the early 1900's and is very smooth. Try as I might, I could not get it away from him!!! He suggested sanding mine.

Thoughts?

Thanks....7.62
Old 12-28-2011, 04:21 PM
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try a griddle stone, also known as pumice. Just rub it all over the bottom til it is smooth. might take a long time if your skillet has been abused and used hard.
Sanding or using a wire brush would probably work so long as you started out medium and went to fine or ex fine.Better finer than coarser. after you get it smooth, then you have to start the seasoning all over again.
How well seasoned is your skillet? If it is not well seasoned that might be the problem right there. By the 1970's the quality of iron skillets (as well as steel etc) was not a good as the earlier ones. If all else fails, look for another skillet at antique stores, flea markets, gun shows... you'll find one. there are tons of 'em out there. The best usually carry higher price tags.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:26 PM
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IMO, it's cast iron, it should be ok to grind and sand smooth and then reseason it. When they make them, they grind them and sand them.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:26 PM
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Cast iron skillets are great. Just need to take proper care of them. They can be smoothed out with sanding. After you clean it, sand it, then go through the process of (re)seasoning it.


http://www.ehow.com/how_7682783_clea...iron-pans.html

Last edited by Precise_Disarray; 12-28-2011 at 04:28 PM.. Reason: added a link
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:30 PM
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Reseasoning it, really just means coat it with vegetable oil and bake it for 40 minutes, or untill it stops smoking. I throw mine on the grate in the fire place and burn some char coal under them so I don't smoke out the house.
Old 12-28-2011, 04:31 PM
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There are special cast iron pans called omelet pans. The angles of the side are good for flipping them for sunny side down or whatever. You never wash them. You never cook anything but eggs in them. Over time the metal becomes seasoned form the butter/lard you use to cook the eggs. If you where to lets say... Throw a cheese burger in there you just ruined the pan for omelets. If said pan has eggs stick to it, let it cool, pour salt in there and use that to loosen up the eggs. Wipe out the pan and hang it on the hook. It takes several months to make a good seasoned pan and only 1 minute to ruin it.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:33 PM
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Sand away, that's how they initially smooth them. Then, as others have said, re-season that bad boy. Cook you up some bacon and eggs. In the name of seasoning that pan, of course.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannon Fodder View Post
Sand away, that's how they initially smooth them. Then, as others have said, re-season that bad boy. Cook you up some bacon and eggs. In the name of seasoning that pan, of course.
Mmmhmm. I second this. Bacon and eggs are regularly cooked up---for the purpose of reseasoning. What a chore!
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:40 PM
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No soap ever in cast iron. Use more oil/butter for eggs then blot off excess on paper towels etc. Reseason the iron several times after sanding and before using. Crisco works ok. I have a few of those tiwan crappy cast iron that are not worth the effort.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:51 PM
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Is it metal that is rough? Or is it built up seasoning?

If it is metal sanding is the way to go. I'd use a random orbit sander. Better to use a finer grade sandpaper and take your time than to use too rough and make scratches you have to sand out.

I've seen seasoning, actually years of built up grease, get rough. The cure for that is to set it in a camp fire and fill it with hot coals. The seasoning will burn off and you have a brand new pan.

But be careful, too hot and the pan will get soft and warp or droop. I ruined a god skillet once doing this.

OTH, if it is rough metal, I'd just hit some second hand stores or flea markets and find a nice used one. So long as it isn't one the collectable brands you may buy it for less that you would pay for the sand paper. You might find one as old as your friend's that has been carefully cared for by someone's Grandmother.
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:12 PM
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Best thing to do is to sand blast the thing then re season.
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:22 PM
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I sanded mine. Used a sanding disc in the hand drill. It was a pain because it kept wanting to jump around but I got it done using only about 6 coarse sanding discs. I re-seasoned it, and been using it this way for a couple years and my only complaint is I think I got it too smooth. It just doesn't seem to hold the seasoning, meaning it doesn't have the black coating the rest of the pan has built up. I think if I was to do it again I would not go quite as smooth. Maybe sand it down to almost smooth and try it a while and see what you think. Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:26 PM
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If its that bad and can get or have a die grinder put a scotch brite 2 inch will bust it out quick!
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:33 PM
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Whenever something sticks a bit in mine, I throw in a handful of coarse salt and a bit of oil and scrub it until clean. Then put a bit of shortening in, put it in a medium oven for a couple of hours then turn the oven off. I keep both my cast iron fry pans in the oven, and only remove them when I need the oven, or need the pans...
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:04 PM
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I use a BBQ Grill to season mine on works great abt 45 mins. on high
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:11 PM
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Cast iron can be pretty rough sometimes. But if it's tearing up the eggs, it sounds more like a seasoning issue than a roughness one. Try reseasoning it. If you still have problems, then sanding might help. But don't try to make it slick and smooth. Just take off the roughness some, then reseason it and try again.
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:15 PM
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shellback has good advice. I'd start with 36-40 grit then 60 then 80. don't overdo the coarser grit. you may even want to finish out to 120 which is really slick. then wipe down well and re-season - fry some bacon and 'taters (as said tough job but it's got to be done)
if you don't have the right sander - an orbital or a small air powered body grinder/drill stop by a body shop or maybe you have a handyman friend it will save you a lot of elbow grease (and sweat but sweat makes for good beer drinking)
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rascals View Post
Best thing to do is to sand blast the thing then re season.
Cast iron is very porous that is why it has to be seasoned before use.
Do not sand blast it if you do you will never get the sand out of the metal. The same goes for sandblasting or glass bead blasting pistons. The best thing to use is salt, salt dissolves in water and will wash out of the pores.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinthelast1 View Post
If its that bad and can get or have a die grinder put a scotch brite 2 inch will bust it out quick!
I use them for metal polishing and they work very well.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:53 PM
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Use a battery charger and a bucket with water and baking soda. It will remove 200 years of build up and look brand new. Then just season it and start the next 200 years. You Tube has many videos on that process. I have bought several pieces at auctions and cleaned them up.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:10 PM
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I was cooking bacon once over an open fire, fire jumped into the pan! It burned all of the seasoning out. To keep ours nice and seasoned I put olive oil in it after I wash it with hot water only. Sometimes I just wipe it out with a paper towl and don't even put any water to it.

I have trained my wife to do the olive oil trick because sometimes she lets it sit in the kitchen sink to "soak" and the water just sitting in it for awhile usually has adverse effects on the pan. So it needs the olive oil treatment.

By the way, I also us olive oil on my black powder guns after I clean them. It is great stuff!
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