Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
May 9, 2005 12:17 PM

Tinning copper?

  • w

I have a set of copper gratin pans that need to be retinned. Does anyone know where this can be done nowadays? I'm in Pasadena, CA.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I don't know any places on the west coast, but there are at least two places in the New York area that can take care of it for you: Bridge Kitchenware in NYC ( and Jamie Gibbons in Newark ( It's not cheap - to get an idea, measure down one side of your pan, across the longest dimension, and up the other side and multiply the distance in inches by about $3.50 to $4..

    1 Reply
    1. re: FlyFish

      Jamie does beautiful work. When I sent him two pans it took FFE and drove me nuts. But they are perfect.

    2. along the lines of your subject, i recently saw a do-it-yourself retinning kit at sur la table in santa monica (about $16 or so). it's designed to repair scratches with pieces of tin & acid, heated on the stovetop.

      has anyone tried this & does it work well?

      1. This is the answer to your question if you are not going the DIY route. Call ahead as the owner may be at his house doing something, (which is close by evidently) and then go back to the shop, or he might even be making a delivery to one of his customers.

        F. Nicholas Retinning
        4641 Telegraph Road
        Los Angeles, CA

        3 Replies
        1. re: WLA

          Thank you very much for that, and thanks to everyone who responded. Yes, I expect it will be expensive, but I got all three pans, tarnished but otherwise very nice, for sixty bucks at an antiques show in Nashville seven years ago, so I feel like I have some leeway!

          1. re: WLA
            John Howison

            Forty years ago, in Iran, coppersmiths tinned and retinned cookware with a tin compound in powder form. They would put about two or three tablespoons of the powder in the pan to be plated and hold it over a charcoal fire, shaking the pan so that the powder reached every part of the inside surface. The heat apparently precipitated the tin and bonded it to the the copper surface. Such a plating had to be repeated every two or three years. What was the compound?

            1. re: WLA

              I have had copper pots retinned a number of times and have always called Nicholas Retinning for a quote because I am in Los Angeles. I always wind up sending my pots and pans elsewhere because Nicholas has consistently given me estimates that are at least twice the price of others. I can highly recommend Metal Coating Company:
              Rocky Mountain Retinning:
              and finally, L.J. Gonzales in New Orleans, who can be reached at (504)595-5074.

            2. m
              Melanie Wong

              Look in the phone book for companies that do industrial plating, then check to see which ones work with kitchen equipment and flatware. If you provide the dimensions of your pieces, they can give you a rough quote on the phone. Might as well go directly to the source and cut out the middlemen.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Have you actually had any high-quality copper cookware retinned by doing that? I don't profess to be an expert on industrial plating, but my understanding is that it's an electro-chemical process. Retinning cookware is done by hand over relatively high heat (not all that high, actually, as any of us who have melted the tin lining of our copper know all too well). One sign of a good retinning job is the marks left behind when the excess tin is wiped out by hand with cotton cloth. I don't think there are necessarily any "middlemen" involved - I know, for example, that Jamie Gibbons does his own work and I suspect that's the norm.

                1. re: FlyFish
                  Melanie Wong

                  Sorry to have alarmed you, didn't mean to suggest that flash plating methods should be used, only giving a pointer of where to start looking for a shop. Yes, retinning is a craft. When I was looking into having some work done, I contacted an ex-SO who is an antique silver collector and a rocket scientist. He referred me to two places that did this kind of work. One was Peninsula Plating (more info below) and the other was another firm in Palo Alto that had done an outstanding job applying 24 kt gold by hand in clean room conditions to aerospace specs on a piece of instrumentation he'd designed for a satellite. Wish I could remember the name of the other firm, as it also did jewelry and cookware jobs. If I had gone through with the project, both would have been good candidates for the work, I'm sure. Since the OP is in Pasadena and defense work is a major industry there, I thought he might find a similar type of metal shop locally. By middlemen, I was referring to the kitchenware shops or antique stores who earn commissions for orders they job out to plating companies.


              2. A few years ago there was a place on the west side of Rosemead Blvd, south of Colorado and north of Huntington.

                I don't know if it is still there.