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John Setzler

Vintage Cast Iron

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So, with my fetish for cast iron (new shiny stuff) I have decided to dip my toe in the waters of vintage cast iron just a little to see what it's like.  I found this BSR (Birmingham Stove & Range) #7 pan listed on Facebook marketplace near me the other day for $22.  I figured it could not be GREAT for that price but I grabbed it anyway.  

 

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(This is the seller's photo)

 

I made a few photos of it after I got it............

 

bsr-7-01.jpg

 

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This pan was made sometime between the mid 1930s and 1963.  Whoever restored it before I got it did a horrible job.  This seasonign would scratch off with my fingernail so I have stripped the pan and I'm in the process of reseasoning it now....

 

The only flaw I can find in this pan is that it has a super MINOR wobble.  It's so minor that I would not even consider it as an issue.  I'll post a few more photos of it after my restoration is complete...

 

 

 

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My hubby got me a vintage cast iron for an anniversary, and then a few years later my grandmother downsized and gave me her old cast iron pan.  It was in pretty bad shape but I stripped it down and meticulously seasoned it.  Mine is much better than the "professionally restored" one.  It's easily my favorite. 

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wow! thats really pretty...

 

What is your process for restoring cast iron?

 

and how did you go about getting the manufacturer and cast date range?

 

i have a couple of pans from my mom and great-grandmother and would love to be able to use them... theres just something about CI that lends itself to cornbread...

 

maybe its the grandma love that goes into it...

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20 hours ago, TexasBlues said:

 

What is your process for restoring cast iron?

 

I don't know what method(s) John used, but I have restored a number of cast iron pans. 

 

If you just need to strip the old seasoning, all it takes is a can of Easy Off Heavy Duty oven cleaner (the heavy duty kind has a yellow cap), some latex gloves, and a couple of black plastic garbage bags. 

 

In a well-ventilated area, put the gloves on --VERY important-- and spray the pan all over with a good thick coating of the oven cleaner. Place it in a garbage bag, tie it closed, and place it where it will be undisturbed, and where you won't be disturbed by any fumes that may escape the bag. Let it sit for at least 3 days, then remove the pan from the bag and rinse it clean under hot water. (Again, be sure to wear the gloves and don't get the cleaner on your skin.) After thoroughly rinsing, dry the pan and see where you stand. Depending on the condition of the pan when you started, you may or may not need to repeat the process another time or two to get it cleaned completely down to the bare metal. When you do get to that point, then obviously you're ready to start your seasoning process.

 

Some pans need more than just simple stripping and re-seasoning, of course. For rust, use steel wool or sandpaper to get it off, before you do the stripping process. Sometimes just one of those plastic scratchy pads with some soap and water and a little elbow grease will do the trick. For really badly damaged pans, people use sandblasters and/or grinding tools. I personally won't get into all that, because the truth is you can buy perfectly good CI right off the shelf for only a few dollars. But of course if you're a person who just enjoys the project, then have at it.

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I used the process described by @Brick Pig above with the easy-off.  This pan was not rusted and gunky so i lonly let my stay in the bag for 24 hours.  I pulled it out and scoured it lightly with a steel wool to get any remaining residue loose.  I then washed with soap and water and a non abrasive scouring pad.. then rinsed with 50/50 water and vinegar... then a cold water rinse.. towel dry... then into a 200 degree oven where I then started the reasoning with a Crisbee Puck.

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21 hours ago, TexasBlues said:

wow! thats really pretty...

 

What is your process for restoring cast iron?

 

and how did you go about getting the manufacturer and cast date range?

 

i have a couple of pans from my mom and great-grandmother and would love to be able to use them... theres just something about CI that lends itself to cornbread...

 

maybe its the grandma love that goes into it...

 

I asked in a cast iron forum on facebook.. in 1963 they started putting made in the usa on these pans i think so all we know is that it was made before that.

 

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Nice restoration John. If you want to get that little wobble out and know anyone with a large belt sander,  just a quick pass and it will be flat again. I could do it for you but the shipping cost would be terrible.

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