Techniques for Restoring an old Cast Iron Skillet
Warped or Cracked Cast Iron Pots
I just purchased a beautiful antique cast iron tea kettle from a thrift store. Once I returned home and started to clean it I realized there was a long crack around the bottom of the kettle. Do you know of any way I can repair it? Thank you for taking time out for my email. – Romel Washington (10/18/03)
I don’t believe that you can repair a cracked cast iron pan or kettle. I would just display it in your kitchen as the antique it is. I had my favorite cast iron frying pan crack and break. All I could do was throw it away.
Thank you so much for your reply, and I will do just that display it as the antique it is :-).
I have a cast iron pan that is a little warped, and also has some hot spots. Is it possible to “unwarp” the skillet? – Brenda (5/10/03)
I do not believe that you can repair this pan easily or cheaply. It would probably cost you more than just replacing the cast iron pan.
Peter Marino sent me the following information on electrolysis:
I saw your web site, very nice! Two bits of information for you. Cast Iron can be welded (MIG welder). Electrolysis works very well for rust removal. Check out the following pages: Electrolytic De-rusting
David G. Smith has a web page with his technique for cleaning old cast iron pans: Cleaning and Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware
Glenn Vaniman (12/03/03) sent information on welding broken cast iron skillets:
There is a method of welding Cast Iron that has worked for me. You be the judge if you want to share this. The first thing I welded was a broken cast iron hinge for a very nice wood burning stove that I got for $15 because the antique store owner thought it could not be fixed. My best friend taught industrial arts and told me how to fix it. The big problem with welding cast iron is cracking when weld cools.
Here’s how you avoid this. In a forge or other major heat source you heat the cast iron part to be welded to a dull red. Then while still very hot you arc weld the crack or broken pieces together with Stainless Steel welding rod, then let the whole welded part cool on its own at room temperature. Apparently this method avoids the uneven cooling that causes cracking. I did the hinge and a broken disc spacer by this method and they both remained intact with no cracking! I am not a welder, but did these projects in night school. Hope this is of interest.
Do you know of anyone that can repair a cast iron skillet. My best friend had a cast iron skillet that belonged to his Mother. The skillet is over 50 years old and has great sentimental value not to mention the fantastic food that has been prepared in it. Here is the problem, his 22 year old son took it camping and used it for a hammer. Ergo, he broke a hole in the bottom. Could you please let me know if I can send it somewhere to have it repaired for him. – David Moore (6/30/02)
I am sorry but I don’t believe you can repair this pan. It sounds beyond repair! If you search out garage sales, flea markets, and/or thrift stores, you probably can find a similar pan. I did this when my favorite cast iron skillet broke.