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Re-tinning copper pans

Does anyone know how to re-tin copper pans?

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  1. I suspect the Mods will move this over to cookware, but as it's here now . . .

    There are several professional retinners across the country, many of whom have been discussed here at various times, so you may want to see if a Search will bring up some of those threads. Two retinners that come to mind are Atlantic Retinning in Newark and Rocky Mountain Retinning in Denver. Also, some shops that deal in copper cookware can arrange retinning (likely by sending them to one of the retinners mentioned) - two well-known ones are Bridge in NYC and Fantes in Philly. Google will find links to all of the above.

    As I recall, there was at one time - and maybe still - a home retinning kit on the market. I haven't tried it, but did see some comments that it didn't produce particularly good or long-lasting results. As you probably already know, retinning isn't cheap - as a ballpark, measure down the side, across the bottom, and up the other side of the pan in question and multiply the result (in inches) by $4 or so, with shipping extra. Ouch!

    6 Replies
    1. re: FlyFish

      Thanks for that; it is precisely the high cost of professional re-tinning that made me want to try it myself.

      1. re: FlyFish

        bridge doesn't do it anymore; they recommend one of the mail-in places.

        1. re: FlyFish

          Check out East Coast Tinning in Rhode Island too. I've had two of my copper pans done by them recently. Beautiful work! The cost is still in the $4 range tho. http://www.eastcoasttinning.com

            1. re: FlyFish

              you can buy the food grade tin online or if you live in San Francisco you can buy in person at www.rotometals.com

              it's messy and it takes a couple of hours and there is a learning curve involved - but you can do it and it costs about $13 in materials per pan including flux.

              In both methods, you have to clean pot and apply Flux to surface to be tinned.

              I have tried it two ways and I am not promoting either - like I said, it's messy.

              First way is to heat the pot too 260 plus degrees over a propane burner and apply tin rod which melts like solder into the pot and spread it around. Take a cloth soaked in Flux and wipe down the inside for finished look.

              Second method is to heat tin in seperate container and apply at once to heated copper pan with the flux inside. Afterwards, you need to polish the pans and lining.
              Tin drys fast. Best of luck. If you watch the Mauviel Video at the Williams Sonoma Website you can briefly see a tin smith applying the tin stick to the hot copper pan!

              If you live in San Francisco, www.monsenplating.com in Berkeley re-tins pots but I have no experience with them.

              1. re: FlyFish

                Just had a few old copper gratin pans re-tinned by Jim at http://www.eastcoasttinning.com after discovering him via web search and reading a few reviews here...he knocked them out in less than a week and they look fantastic. Hadn't expected to see them cleaned up and polished in addition to the new tinning. Wow they look good in the kitchen.

              2. I've sent many pans and pots to Atlantic Retinning, and they do a fine job at what I think is a reasonable price. You can go to their website to determine the cost at www.retinning.com. They put on a thick layer of tin, and if you take care of your cookware by not overheating it and not using metal utensils it lasts for many years.

                1. I echo the sentiment about the job Atlantic does, truly impeccable, but a year or so ago he got quite backed up. Do you know if things are moving along at a reasonable pace now (say less than a two months)?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: tim irvine

                    It's been a while since I've sent him anything, so I couldn't say. He does get backed up, because there aren't so many people offering this service, and I don't know how many people he has working for him. When they were in Manhattan, I visited the shop a couple of times, and there were piles and piles of copperware everywhere, and I got the impression it was just the owner and one assistant working there, and the assistant was doing much of the tinning, while the owner dealt with the business end of things.

                    It may be that at a certain time of year (I suspect before the Thanksgiving to Christmas holidays) he has a bigger backlog, so I'd ask if there's a particularly good time to send things for a quicker turnaround.

                    In any case, what they do is a full restoration. The pans come back tinned, cleaned and polished like new.

                    1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                      Atlantic retinning kept my pots for almost a year!!! They were very nice but,disorganized idiots! One of my pans is a little streaky and thin.
                      I would NEVER NEVER use them again.

                    2. i got some korean copper cookware at a yard sale. some tin is worn. is it worth re-tinning? is it dangerous to use worn tinned copper?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: alkapal

                        If you can see a fair amount of copper (like about the area of a 1" circle or more), then the copper could interact with the food.

                        As to whether it's worth retinning--it depends on whether you like the cookware. Generally heavier copperware is worth retinning (2mm or thicker). This is the good stuff.

                        Lighter copper pans and pots (usually around 1.2-1.5mm) don't distribute heat as evenly as heavy copperware, but they still can be useful for dishes that don't require, say, a long saute at a very even temperature, and they can make nice serving pieces. So if you plan to use them and the lining is very worn, then they are worth retinning.

                        1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                          thank you! they are thin, but are nice cause the copper is so fast cf. with other cookware. have to price new copper cookware before i fork out the 4 bucks per inch! ;-) any brand of copper cookware you recommend?

                          1. re: alkapal

                            Mauviel and Bourgeat pro lines are generally the best and easiest to find of the heavier types. Mauviel also makes a lighter "tableware" line. The main thing is the thickness--2-3 mm is ideal.

                            I generally like tin lined copper, which reacts faster to changes in temperature than stainless clad copper, but it requires more maintenance and care (occasional retinning, wood and plastic utensils, and no temperatures over about 375 deg. F). Stainless is easy to clean, works with metal utensils, and can take high temperatures. I have a stainless pot with sloped sides, for instance, that's nice for frying at higher temperatures. There are also heavy duty non-stick pans, and there are companies that resurface them, if you're concerned about spending that much on a non-stick pan.

                            The best prices online are usually at--


                            But you can often find better deals at local shops, particularly if you like tin lined copper, because it's not as popular as stainless these days, at least in the U.S., and the stock doesn't move as quickly. I've gotten good deals on some nice pieces this way.

                            If heavy copperware is out of your budget, look at Sitram stainless with the copper disk on the bottom. This is really nice no-nonsense French commercial cookware, easy to maintain, and cooks very evenly.

                            1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                              david, thank you so much for all your information.

                            2. re: alkapal

                              If you are looking at buying new pans checkout Lara copper cookware, all hand made in australia and sold online at very good prices. Just google the name and u will find their web address.

                          2. re: alkapal

                            Hi, my experience with Korean copper cookware is that it is lined with nickel, not tin, so not sure how you go fixing it.

                          3. I have used both Atlantic and Rocky Mountain. Both did first class work, but Atlantic took almost 3 months to get my pots back to me, and gave me a line (we'll have them ready to ship in a couple of days) every time I called. Rocky Mountain gets my business now.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Zeldog

                              fantes in Philly does it too. You send them your copper pots and they re-tin them and send them back. There is info on their website about it:


                              1. re: Zeldog

                                try Hammersmith for both retinning and purchasing tin lined heavy pans. they do quality work and are great to deal with.

                                1. re: jackie57

                                  Here's what my search has yielded, though I have never used any of them personally.

                                  Oregon Retinners in Hubbard, OR (www.retinners.com); $4.25 /diagonal inch

                                  Rocky Mountain Retinning in Denver, CO (www.rockymountainretinning.com) $5 /inch (diameter+height


                                  Metal Coating Company in Lima, OH (http://www.metalcoatingcompany.com); $3 /inch (diameter+height+height


                                  East Coast Tinning in Greenwich, RI (http://www.eastcoasttinning.com); $4 /inch (diameter+height+height


                                  Hammersmith in Brooklyn, NY (http://brooklyncoppercookware.com); $5.50 /inch (diameter+height+height


                                  Atlantic Retinning in Oakhurst, NJ (http://www.retinning.com); $4 /inch (diameter+height+height)

                              2. A couple of years ago I tried Atlantic Retinning and they held my antique stock pot for 8 months, during which I phoned 14 times and begged for updates with 2 responses and finally I contacted the better business bureau...then, my pot came back. It looked great, but they'd lost the original knob so put something else onto it. The interior tin was too thin and after making only two pots of stock, there are several patches of exposed copper in the bottom.
                                After that problem I read blogs extensively and decided to try a place I read about called Metal Coating Company in Lima Ohio. I just sent them three different pieces which I had really abused over the last ten years and today after about two weeks I received them back. I am so pleased with them I can't believe it. The tin is very cleanly applied and mirror smooth and they look even better than new and the exteriors are perfectly polished...my other pots are jealous....they want to go to Ohio for spa week. I have to say their pricing is also better than others I see listed below too.

                                1 Reply
                                  1. re: Demented

                                    Hi, I live in Germany and am wondering if anyone knows of a company in Europe that retins?

                                    1. re: Ruthsclan

                                      Rameria Mazzetti in Montepulciano, Italy

                                  2. I am posting an update on this topic, because I think everyone should stay farfar away from
                                    Atlantic Retinning. There have been posts to this effect on other sites, but I think it is worthwhile to reiterate due to a recent experience. I sent them a pan and a check in April of
                                    this year; I called, usually I just got a machine, they never started the work. Three months
                                    later I put a stop payment on the check and told them I wanted the pan back. They ignored me.
                                    The pan has sentimental as well as actual value, it is a fine quality copper saute pan. I filed a complaint with the BBB of NJ; they did not respond. I now must take some kind of legal action. I think this is unconscionable --- I am already out Fedex charges and stop payment
                                    bank charges, and they have my copper pan. It is THEFT.

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: KayMae

                                      Why anyone would use anybody other than Peter at Rocky Mountain Retinning is beyond me--he's fast friendly ad reasonable. There's also Hammersmith in Brooklyn.

                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                        He was the one some of the stores used.. DeLucca.

                                      2. re: KayMae

                                        Does anyone have any experience with East Coast Tinning in Rhode Island? As a birthday present I am having my mother's copper sauce pans re-tinned. They are very dear to her and I don't want them out for months. I will probably begin with just one small piece to try them out but wondered id there were any reviews out there. Thanks!

                                        1. re: katebechet

                                          Absolutely the best. I can recommend them without reservation. I picked up a massive old hotel-sized copper saute pan (14-16") at a tag sale and they brought it back to life beautifully. The tin was smooth and clean and the copper was sparkling. Their turnaround time was under two weeks (once they got it) and their prices are reasonable. You must prepay. They are totally reliable, experienced, and trustworthy.

                                          1. re: Chipped Ham

                                            Do not trust this recommendation.

                                            1. re: Mikecq

                                              Something bad happened when you tried East Coast Tinning?

                                              1. re: Mikecq

                                                Mikecg- Atlantic Tinning and East Coast Tinning are two very different companies. Your post above refers to Atlantic Re-Tinning. My experiences with East Coast Tinning has been impeccable in every way.

                                              2. re: Chipped Ham

                                                Hi Chipped Ham,

                                                How about posting a photo of that beautiful hotel-sized saute?

                                                What are the markings? What does she weigh?

                                                Thanks in advance!


                                            2. re: KayMae

                                              It took a year for my pots to come back (february 2010-february 20110 I remained polite over countless phonecalls as I was worried that they held my pots "hostage" They did come back and They are beautiful, but will NEVER go near Atlantic retinning again. I don't know how they stay in business.

                                              1. re: jdea

                                                jdea and The World:

                                                Will you never learn? I buy you books, and buy you books!

                                                ROCKY MOUNTAIN RETINNING, Denver Colorado.
                                                HAMMERSMITH, Brooklyn New York.

                                                Seriously, I'm sorry you had to go through that. Someone should take their car away from them for a year, see how they like it.

                                              2. re: KayMae

                                                Note that BBB of NJ gives Atlantic Retinning a grade of "F" on a scale of A-F.

                                              3. My wife sent seven items to Atlantic Retinning in January. They didn't open the box until March, and didn't return the items until mid-September -- after 40-50 phone calls. The work is good, but Jamie Gibbons is not professional in the way he interacts with clients. The Martha Stewart recommendation on the Web site is highly misleading.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: huntw3

                                                  Peter at ROCKY MOUNTAIN RETINNING. The best. Fast. Polite. Inexpensive. Why use anyone else?

                                                2. Atlantic Retinning and Metal Refinishing in Oakhurst, NJ.
                                                  Let me tell a tale about a pot that needed retinning.
                                                  I sent my stew pot to these guys just about a year ago. They cashed the check and still no pot. I spoke to the owner numerous times and just got tall tales but no pot. I got bad family takes, I got roof tales but no pot. Over a month ago he said he located the pot and it was cleaned and ready to be tinned. This should not take long and he would ship it out.
                                                  Hell I'm still waiting and left a message on his phone just about every other day.
                                                  You want to use him after reading my tail? Go ahead, but good luck in seeing your pot again.

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: Mikecq

                                                    Mikecq -
                                                    East Coast Tinning and Atlantic Retinning are two different companies. East Coast TInning is in Rhode Island and Atlantic Retinning is in New Jersey. Your comment above on July 7th is misleading. I am sure your do not mean this. East Coast Tinning is courteous, professional and fast! .

                                                    1. re: ltroia

                                                      East Coast Tinning is absolutely beyond reproach. Someone screwed thin, apparently,gs up above by calling them Atlantic Retinning, apparently a much different company.

                                                      1. re: Chipped Ham

                                                        I completely agree with Chipped Ham--East Coast Tinning is the way to go. I have 8 copper pots and pans, made in Montreal and the UK. I had them retinned by a guy in Sherbrooke, Quebec, about 10 years ago, and 5 of them needed retinning. I couldn't get in touch with him again, so I agonized about where to send them. It's true that when you use copper, you never go back! I saw an ad in the last Gastronomica for a business selling antique copper, retinning by East Coast. I contacted Jim there, to see if he deals with Canadian orders. He said send them down! So I did. Less than 4 weeks later, my pans arrived (yesterday, as a matter of fact). Jim advised me about what to do for customs because I was worried about shipping them over the border and he was very patient with all my questions. The pans look beautiful! Really stunning (see photo attached). For those 5 items, the cost was $475, including shipping both ways. And this is to Canada! Contact Jim at www.eastcoasttinning.com. I'm definitely going to send my 3 other items when they need retinning.

                                                    2. re: Mikecq

                                                      Atlantic Retinning - I rarely post on sites like this but given my one-of-a-kind experience with Atlantic, I feel so strongly compelled that I can't avoid sharing. Just today I received my one 8" pot - a pot I sent them exactly 10 months to the day of shipping it to them. When I first called them, they said there was a 3-month backlog - OK with me since I didn't need it in a hurry. Shipped it at the beginning of January 2011 (stating the year is an absolute requirement with Atlantic). After 2 months of phone calls, they finally acknowledged receiving it - and when they did, the 3-month backlog rudely turned into 6 months by someone named Frank, as if I were trying to rush them. The reason I know the phone count is that I keep notes on things like this. Come July and 6-months and 28 phone calls after they received the pot (the vast majority of which were unanswered with no voicemail option), I finally was able to speak with someone named Jamie (at 10:15PM) who identified himself as the owner. Very amiable fellow actually, with hour-long tall tales (replete with intrigue, devastating illnesses, severe weather, personal 'issues' that normally only intimate partners share, pretty much everything short of murder) of the misfortunes that had befallen him, preventing him from even beginning work on my one pot. He personally promised to complete the work and send it back to me by week's end. Come August, 4-weeks and 22 additional phone calls later, through a miraculous act of serendipity, I get Jamie on the phone again (again at 9:25PM). And again, fresh fables of misery, destruction cataclysmic mechanical failures and life threatening sicknesses - all preventing him from even starting on the pot. At this point, my goal was not to have the work done but simply to retrieve my pot and sent it somewhere else for retinning. After the inevitable empty promise to complete and ship by week's end, I tried for another month with phone call attempts, all met with no answer and no voicemail option. Since there are no email addresses on the website (nor fax number), I resorted to another option: the mail. After two letters, each simply requesting that my pot be returned whether any work was done or not (the second letter had " . . please return my pot . . . " in the text 17 times), I received my pot today, with an invoice (since my original check had long since gone stale). Grand total: 58 phone calls, two phone conversations with alleged owner, two letters. My opinion, for what it's worth: It's difficult to believe, to the point of being almost humorous,that Jamie considers Atlantic a "business". It seems like just some guy in his basement who does this as a hobby now and then when he finds some free time. If Atlantic were the only "company" doing retinning, I would sell my copper pots for scrap and buy new ones when they need retinning.

                                                      1. re: jmljr66

                                                        I claim only negligence in not looking for this thread before I engaged with Atlantic. Unlike jmljr66, I only needed 41 phone calls and no letters and 6.5 months to get back my inexpertly retinned pot.

                                                        If Atlantic Retinning were the only retinning place on the planet, I'd toss all my copper pots and pans and go with some other metal rather than having to use them again.

                                                        1. re: jmljr66

                                                          Now that you have your pots in your physical possession, you can look back a little less nervous; for the sake of a laugh, I wonder what creative excuses you heard from the purported owner "Jamie" . . . civil unrest, revolution and earthquakes in central NJ? multiple organ transplant? prostate attack? . . . please do share . . .

                                                        2. re: Mikecq

                                                          OMG!! That's almost word for word what they told me! It's almost 2 years now and I still don't have my pot - but they cashed the check. I wrote a negative review in Yelp, filed a complaint with the BBB and sent a complaint with documentation to the New Jersey Attorney General Consumer Affairs Office. I am considering filing a police report. After all, if I brought my car to a mechanic and (stupidly) paid for the repair work up front and the mechanic cashed my check and never gave back my car - wouldn't that be considered theft?

                                                        3. The Maillard reaction starts in earnest around 310* F. Tin melts at 450* F (449.7 to be exact), just to set the record straight and so you'll know what sort of "cushion" you have before you start bubbling the tin. Put your oil in the pan and heat the pan with a low flame - it doesn't take long! The beauty of tin-lined copper is how well you can cook on home stoves with weak burners. You don't need a 30,000 BTU HOB to saute like a pro.

                                                          Stainless steel lined copper is a pale imitation of the 'real' thing - tin lined. Stainless steel anything inevitably has hot spots or cool spots at the perimeter. It's a bitch to have a 14" saute pan or skillet and still have to saute everything in the middle one third of the pan because you can't get browning out at the edge at the same rate as the middle. Tin-lined copper no thicker than say 2.0 to 2.5mm eliminates these problems.

                                                          You may feel like you're getting your money's worth with a thickish re-tin job. Well, only to a point. It certainly needs to be thick enough to provide some durability but in actual fact all you really need is an even enough of a layer to prevent cooking on bare copper (which would be ideal except for the toxicity). A not-too-thick layer of tin allows you to enjoy all of the benefits of cooking with copper in the first place, namely, heat conduction evenly across the bottom and up the sides. Copper doesn't hold heat worth a damn and that's why it's so good. Heat continually moves through the pan just like electricity does through copper wire.

                                                          11 Replies
                                                          1. re: CharlieTheCook

                                                            CharlieTheCook knows his stuff ! A beautiful explication of what's going on.

                                                            1. re: CharlieTheCook

                                                              Hi, Charley:

                                                              Sorry, but I have to take clarifying issue with some of your pithy pronouncements here.

                                                              "Stainless steel lined copper is a pale imitation of the 'real' thing - tin lined. Stainless steel anything inevitably has hot spots or cool spots at the perimeter."

                                                              I'm a known hater of SS (and prefer tin lined myself), but IMO a pan comprised of a 0.2 mm lining layer of SS bonded to 2.3 mm of copper in a pan isn't going to show much more--if anything--in the way of hotspots than would the same pan in tinned at 2.5 mm total thickness. Responsiveness maybe, hotspots no.

                                                              "Copper doesn't hold heat worth a damn"

                                                              This is only partly true. When pan thicknesses are equal, copper's effective specific heat is very close to cast iron's. True, Cu gives *up* the heat faster by virtue of its tremendously greater conductivity. But copper stores heat mm-for-mm about as well as CI, and still warm air in the kitchen isn't going to immediately suck the heat out of a copper pan (put it into an ice bath, onthe other hand...)

                                                              "...in actual fact all you really need is an even enough of a layer to prevent cooking on bare copper"

                                                              Well, I suppose if a $500 copper pan is a single use thing, or you don't mind retinning every year (or you love to do it yourself), you're correct. But practically speaking, you put the tin on thick to let the pan live past infancy, and very little is lost in terms of the thermal properties of a thicker layer of tin. A thick wipe isn't all that thick, anyway, just thicker than the electroplate method.

                                                              Another advantage of a thicker wiped layer is resistance to heat degradation. I have messed up and boiled the same 3mm saucepan dry on 3 occasions. We're talking VERY hot. The first two times there was merely some darkening; the third time there was a little flaking, but no bubbling (except at the 3mm rim surface). There is still no copper exposed on any of the cooking surface of this pan. I believe that the thick wipe job put on the pan is responsible for this pan still being in service, and seriously doubt if a very thin layer would have survived.

                                                              Finally, you are correct about the specific melting point of elemental tin, yet the above example and my experience oven roasting in tinned copper convince me that a 450 oven is not an especially big threat to a pan, at least with cooking food in it. I have yet to fool with a gun thermometer to try to verify and quantify my theories on this, but I'm pretty sure it's attributable to the contents moderating the heat (Imagine trying to deliver tin-melting heat through a hob under a tinned copper panful of water--I'm not sure any available hob could melt the tin while any water remains in the pan) 3500F on the down side, 212F on the up side = no melt. The same thing must be happening to some degree in an oven at 450-500F.



                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                It's not really possible to heat the tin to the melting point in the oven if the pan has food in it - virtually impossible if the ingredients have any moisture in them at all. You could melt the tin in a 465 degree oven if you were roasting nuts. I'm sure you get my drift.

                                                                I have seen some really lousy re-tinning jobs (I do my own and some for friends now) where the tin was gooped on way too thick and bumpy.

                                                                I agree with you - a well done manual wipe with a flux soaked cloth will put on a not-too-thick layer. With regard to accidentally overheating the pan - I wouldn't defensively re-tin a pan to allow for this.

                                                                Copper won't hold heat like cast iron. We may be speaking past each other about the physics, but it just doesn't and that's its advantage.

                                                                I had a Mauviel SS lined saute pan and it was just not great. The Mauviel tin-lined unit I replaced it with is far better, so much so as to be an apples to oranges comparison. At the end of the day, we do the cooking not the cookware. If you're having good luck with your cookware then don't change a thing. I think the difference between the two is startling, but I haven't revisited SS lined copper by making another purchase. Maybe it's better now. Otherwise, I frankly don't see the point, this is just my opinion I suppose,in marrying a lousy heat conductor to a great heat conductor. I think average is the result. But I'm not afraid of tin, don't mind the care it takes to use it, and can re-tin it myself when it needs it (rare these days since I no longer cook with it professionally).

                                                                1. re: CharlieTheCook

                                                                  Hi, Charley:

                                                                  Thanks for validating my theory about not melting tin linings in a pan with food in it.

                                                                  Don't get me wrong, I dislike SS-lined copper. The only pieces of it I have are some small individual-sized gratins. I just think that there aren't going to be any hot-spot issues with a 0.2mm thickness of SS sitting on top of 2.3mm of copper. Like you, tin does everything I need it to do, and I don't mind taking care of it. Where I think the SS-lined doesn't quite measure up is in responsiveness, but the linings are SO thin, it can't be a huge difference (contrast the "best" of the clad, Demeyer Atlantis, which all but wastes 2mm of copper by putting it between 1mm-thick linings and exteriors--this stuff must make wide turns).

                                                                  Speaking of tinning, what do you use for whiting?


                                                                  1. re: CharlieTheCook

                                                                    Hi Charlie,

                                                                    I am interested in trying to re-tin some copper pots (I have a half dozen pots that need relining).

                                                                    I have most of the tools already, and I have read a lot about it online, but I would like to speak with someone who has personal experience to ask some questions. Would you be willing to speak by phone to clarify some steps for me so I do a decent job and so I can avoid hurting myself?



                                                                    1. re: CharlieTheCook

                                                                      Hi Charlie (and others),

                                                                      I'm thinking of re-tinning a pan myself and have a couple of questions if you don't mind.

                                                                      1.) Do you remove all the remaining old tin before re-tinning? If so, how?
                                                                      2.) What do you use for whiting?

                                                                      Would appreciate the perspective who's actually done it!

                                                                      1. re: fallkniven

                                                                        A few guys on www.iforgeiron.com make, and tin their own copper pans, and have given tutorials on doing so.

                                                                    2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                      Thermal Conductivity

                                                                      The speed at which a metal conducts heat, given an applied temperature difference, is its thermal conductivity. Copper is very conductive, having a room-temperature conductivity of 223 Btu/(hr-deg.F-ft). Iron, while still a good conductor, is lower at 42 Btu/(hr-deg.F-ft).

                                                                      1. re: CharlieTheCook

                                                                        Hi, Charley:

                                                                        Right you are, but heat holding is closely related to specific heat, not conductivity. Pound-for-pound, aluminum is the champ by a wide margin, but no one has 3/4-inch thick aluminum pans.


                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                          I think you're on the wrong track. Copper's heat conductitvy, it's suppleness in heat exchange, is what allows you to rescue a sauce you are about to overcook simply by lifting the pot off the burner, this amongst dozens of other positive attributes that result from this physical fact.

                                                                          Other than for dutch oven cooking in a bank of coals overnight in the middle of a bad winter, why do you think pots and pans need to "hold" heat? Do your burners go out on you a lot? You seem to think this is a sine qua non of cookware. It isn't. And copper does not exhibit it. Thick cast iron, yep. Copper no.

                                                                          I haven't "validated your theory" as much as I've pointed out the obvious that you can't burn water or the vessel in which it is being heated. I hope it won't come as a disapointment that we already knew this.

                                                                          Whiting - gesso or chalk paint or just run a piece of fresh masking tape around the outside edge.

                                                                    3. re: CharlieTheCook

                                                                      "Copper doesn't hold heat worth a damn and that's why it's so good."

                                                                      Copper holds plenty of heat. Apparently you have been making this false statement in several posts already. Please read up "specific heat capacity". Copper is as good as cast iron in term of heat storage.


                                                                      "Copper's heat conductitvy, it's suppleness in heat exchange, is what allows you to rescue a sauce you are about to overcook simply by lifting the pot off the burner,...."

                                                                      No, not really the way you explained it. That's wrong.

                                                                    4. Has anyone dealt with Oregon Retinners? Their prices are substantially cheaper than everywhere else, but after some of the horror stories about other places, I am nervous. Or is it really just Atlantic tinning that is the problem? I am located in Brooklyn, so the shipping would be expensive, but Hammersmith and others have not returned phone calls -- which does nothing to instill confidence. The pot I am having redone is a medium size stew pan that is old and very heavy, possibly even 3mm thick. Any input would be greatly appreciated!!

                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                      1. re: oceanhillbk

                                                                        I would persist in contacting Mac Kohler at Hammersmith. He's got a good reputation, and you'll save a bundle on shipping.

                                                                        If you do choose to try Oregon, please post a review. I'd love to know about your experience with them.

                                                                        1. re: oceanhillbk

                                                                          I have to say that I think Rocky Mountain Retinning is the absolute best. Peter is amazing; he does fantastic work; and his turn-around has always been lightening fast for me. He often says "a couple of weeks," but my last pan to him was back out the door is less than 24 hours. And, he's the kind of guy that would re-tin it again for you if there was any kind of issue. He cares about making sure you are happy.

                                                                          Pack your pot in newspaper or peanuts in a 12"x12"x12" box and send it parcel with delivery confirmation, and it shouldn't cost any more than about $15-18 dollars to ship. I know the post office quotes crazy long ties for parcel, but, apart from Christmas time, I usually find it takes 3-5 days, max, for a pot to get from Boston to Colorado.

                                                                          Heck, if you get it out to Peter this week, you'll probably have it back before your otherwise make a decision on some other place!

                                                                          Best of luck, whatever you decide to do!

                                                                          1. re: jljohn

                                                                            Have you (or has anyone else reading) ever used East Coast Tinning? He is in Rhode Island, and appears to do great work at a reasonable price and is much more responsive to inquiries and with a much faster turnaround than Hammersmith/Brooklyn Copper Cookware. [BCC is doing manufacture and retinning, where ECT is only doing retinning and occasional repairs].

                                                                            I'm judging not from personal experience, but from both testimonials on his site and from tweets to and from him (I follow him on Twitter for the occasional photos he posts of beautiful old pots he's working on).

                                                                            1. re: ellabee

                                                                              Jim at ECT has re-tinned a couple of items for me. He does excellent work, and his communication was excellent. It may have been the time of year I sent my last pan down, but it did take between 3 and 4 weeks to get done. I suppose that his backlog indicates the quality of his work. I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone!

                                                                              1. re: jljohn

                                                                                Thanks, Jeremy, that's good to know.

                                                                            2. re: jljohn

                                                                              Does RMR require payment in advance? Seems like I read that somewhere....

                                                                              Just curious.

                                                                              1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                                You'd have to check the website on that one. The several times I've sent pans their way, I just put a check in with the pan for the re-tinning and return postage. I'm not aware of any place that will re-tin without payment enclosed.

                                                                                1. re: jljohn

                                                                                  Thanks - I cruised the website and it's pretty obvious that, yes, you send payment with the pan. I don't know why I even asked - just being lazy I guess. Anyhow, I'm really excited to send them my beautiful old saute pan.

                                                                              2. re: jljohn

                                                                                Hi, Jeremy:

                                                                                Another plus of using Peter is that he is equally skilled at plating. If you have a vessel (e.g., a teapot, chocolate pot, etc.) that is not amenable to a wiped lining, Peter can do that, too.


                                                                              3. re: oceanhillbk

                                                                                Any luck getting in touch with Mac at Hammersmith? I am trying to finalize an order and haven't been able to make contact.

                                                                                1. re: mandymoo

                                                                                  Hi Mandymoo

                                                                                  No luck getting through to Hammersmith, yet. Two calls and two emails so far. Let me know if you have any success!

                                                                                  1. re: oceanhillbk

                                                                                    I just got word from Mac a few minutes ago. He apologized for the delay and said that he was on the road (Colorado I believe) and he will be back on premises next week. I bet you'll hear from him then!

                                                                                    1. re: mandymoo

                                                                                      He emailed me, too. He said that retinning is just a side business for them, that they charge $6 per inch (side+diameter+side), and that it takes 2-3 months to complete.

                                                                                      Despite the high shipping cost, I think I am going to try Oregon Retinners. Will report back.

                                                                                      1. re: oceanhillbk

                                                                                        Good luck! Would love to hear how it goes for you.

                                                                              4. I just received back my refinished copper cookware from Rocky Mountain Re-tinning. They did an absolutely astounding job, the pots are looking as good as new, inside out.
                                                                                A previous experience with a re- tinner in Oregon, where I live,
                                                                                was pretty much a disaster and the pots had to be redone, Expensive mistake!
                                                                                Turn around time was quite short. Communication was excellent.
                                                                                Re tinning is not cheep, but I could not be any happier with the service received by Rocky Mountain.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: andreadoria36

                                                                                  Hi andreadoria36,

                                                                                  Tell us more about your experience with the other company. Was it Oregon Retinners (www.retinners.com)? Many of us are eager for a detailed review of their work, especially since they are the least expensive, and are relatively close for us west coasters.

                                                                                  How recent was your experience?
                                                                                  What did they re-tin for you?
                                                                                  How did the interior of the pot look after they fixed it?
                                                                                  How did the exterior look after they returned it?
                                                                                  How was the turnaround time?
                                                                                  Were they responsive by email/phone to your concerns?
                                                                                  Did they offer to do anything to make it right?

                                                                                  The more information you can offer, the better.

                                                                                  Thanks so much.


                                                                                  1. re: alarash

                                                                                    Hi Alarash

                                                                                    I used Oregon Re-Tinners very recently. Here are the answers to your questions in relation to this company.

                                                                                    How recent was your experience?
                                                                                    Very recent. Within the last month.

                                                                                    What did they re-tin for you?
                                                                                    A 7 quart stock pot and lid. Lid was only polished, at my request, because re-tinning was not necessary

                                                                                    How did the interior of the pot look after they fixed it?
                                                                                    The interior of the pot was decent. Not great or terrible. It was vastly improved from the condition in which it was sent to them. It seemed like the old tin had not thoroughly been removed before the new tin was applied.

                                                                                    How did the exterior look after they returned it?
                                                                                    Very good.

                                                                                    How was the turnaround time?
                                                                                    They shipped the pot back to me about 2 1/2 weeks after they received it, which is what they had estimated.

                                                                                    Were they responsive by email/phone to your concerns?
                                                                                    They did not respond to emails at all. However, they were easy to reach by phone during business hours.

                                                                                    Overall I would say that they may be worth trying if you are local or have a minimal shipping distance. I am located on the east coast, so shipping a heavy pot back and forth across the country ate up most of the savings. The final pricing did not exactly work out to what their website says. It was a fair bit higher than what I had calculated from their stated specs. The work was decent, but not amazing. Taking all factors into account, I would say that Oregon Re-Tinners are just OK. If you can get your pans to them for little or nothing, they may be worth trying. I have two more pieces I need to have re-tinned and, after my experience I am going to try Rocky Mountain Re-Tinners. The consensus seems to be that their work is exceptional and their prices are not that much higher.

                                                                                    Hope this helps!!


                                                                                    1. re: oceanhillbk

                                                                                      Dear Aaron,

                                                                                      Thank you so much for your help. I truly appreciate your lengthy review. I wonder if others can chime in to let us all know their experience at Oregon Retinners.

                                                                                      I have about a dozen pots and pans that need retinning, and a few might benefit from tightening of rivets, too. I tried to learn how to do it myself, and I even tried once with my good friend Kaleo one day. We struggled, and did about a C+ job. It was lots of fun, but I'm not sure I'll try it again until I can get a lesson from a pro.

                                                                                      Regarding the dozen or so pans that need refurbishing, I was considering sending one to OR, and another to RMR. I was planning on comparing the two products upon return, and sending the remainder of the pans in one or two large boxes to the victor. In the interim, I'm saving money for the job.

                                                                                      The other alternative I was considering is LJ Gonzales down in NOLA, who I've spoken with by phone. Kaleo has trained with him for a day and learned quite a lot. Also, last year when I was trying to learn the art for myself, I tried phoning all the professionals for advice before starting the project (RMR, OR, Atlantic, East Coast Retinning, Metal Coating Company). None of them helped me, and several were rude to me and offended that I was asking about their trade. Not so with LJ Gonzales. LJ called me back after I left a message, and spent about half hour with me on the phone answering all of my questions. He was selfless. I was impressed with him. I wish I could have been there when Kaleo met up with him.


                                                                                    2. re: alarash

                                                                                      Yes, it was Oregon Retinners. The item was a 4qt soup pot
                                                                                      The old tin was not properly removed and the new was unevenly applied. After a single use the copper shined through. The exterior had more marks then when I sent it.
                                                                                      Turnaround was about 6 weeks. I could communicate only by Phone.
                                                                                      I did not ask for a redress since I doubt that they can do any better.
                                                                                      For the future I will stick with Rocky Mountain Retinning. The additional cost for shipping and higher prices are well worth.
                                                                                      Good luck with your copper

                                                                                  2. I've had excellent experiences with Rocky Mountain Retinning. Their mail-order service is fast and reliable.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: BernieMSY

                                                                                      I have also had good results with Rocky Mountain Retinning.

                                                                                    2. I have used East Coast Tinning and Jim did a fine job and was very responsive.

                                                                                      1. Yes, you send them out to a shop that specializes in tinning copper cookware.

                                                                                        1. Rocky Mountain re tinning continues to do an outstanding job, They are still my choice. Quick turn around time and corteus comunication.

                                                                                          1. East Coast Tinning is simply the best !

                                                                                            Jim is very friendly and knowledgeable. He has done several pieces for me including many Gaillard pans and the work just keeps getting better and better. He is a throwback to a bygone era, a skilled master craftsman of the old order who truly loves his trade.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Islandwaves

                                                                                              Hi Islandwaves;

                                                                                              Tell us more about the many Gaillard pans he's retinned for you. I'm curious to see some photos. To quote my friend Joe Anderson from the 2nd grade, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours."

                                                                                              I can be reached at quddus at g mail dot com.

                                                                                            2. East Coast tinning does a remarkable job.
                                                                                              I've had wonderful experiences with Jim who seems to have mastered the job. Well worth the $.

                                                                                              1. there is now a guy in virginia that has been doing this for 30 years. i discovered him 1 day because i was searching again for the 100th time for someone in the south. i live in north carolina. i did not want to send all my copper up north it was just way to much. so i finally found gary at virginia tinning because he had just recently opened a web page. or site whatever you call it. gary is a master coppersmith who can also make old world copper upon request if you have a design and a blacksmith. he also makes lids which i was in desperate need of to match my antique french pots and pans that didn't have lids. i buy a ton of copper from thierry who has been on this site before from france. he has the most beautiful copper and this is who i have received some of my rarest pots and pans gaillard dehillerin the antique dehillerin, chomettes, the list goes on. i have a beautiful 200 year old stock pot or marmite as the french say that is belgium made by a peter burn he is holding for me i have paid for but i said hold till i have at least a box for you to send. gary at virginia tinning just did the tinning for the historic governors mansion in virginia. he also tins his tea pots. he tinned mine. he does not electroplate. he has a ton of antique french and english copper and vintage copper he is getting ready to put on his site to sell a lot of it from thierry. i looked thru some of it. he has done the best tinning i have ever had. and i have a lot of antique and vintage copper. and his lids are beautiful. but when he gets his site revised and puts all the copper on it he has coming from europe not counting what he already has it will be well over 350 to 400 pieces. i don't know how he is going to do it all the cleaning and tinning of all this copper not counting the orders he has. and gary has a very quick considering others turn around. but i loved that he had copper from thierry who has the most beautiful copper and very reasonable prices i think for the pieces he has. and thierry has tons of copper he does not have listed so ask him if there is something special you want and if he does not have it he will get it for you. he has for me.holly heres grays number if you need it i think you will be very happy with him 757-724-5801 and when his site is revised with all the changes and all the copper too. i think they are doing a tv special on him and his work shop his process of tinning in the old ways and his copper shop with all the copper. i can't wait to see it all. i have seen a lot of it and i am very excited.but now we have someone in the south and someone who can make copper the old fashion way and make lids which are impossible to find.

                                                                                                1. This is really fairly simple, but you need to be outside. I have done a couple pans using Harris Stay-Brite solder (4% silver in tin) because it's considerably harder than pure tin and is food grade.

                                                                                                  Wipe the pan with acid paste flux, put soen tin or silver/tin solder in it, and slowly heat until the solder melts.

                                                                                                  wipe it onto the copper with some folded cotton cloth saturated with more flux, or some glass fiber cloth which won't burn like the cotton will with acid flux. Acid flux works much better to clean oxides off and get the tin to stick.

                                                                                                  I use a turkey fryer burner, on low. easy to get it way too hot.

                                                                                                  My first attempts are a bit rough and lumpy, I put too much material in, but the whole inside is now tinned rather than being raw copper where the previous owner appears to have scoured the pans every use.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: psfred

                                                                                                    Hi, Fred:

                                                                                                    A few questions:

                                                                                                    1. What brand of flux do you use?
                                                                                                    2. "Glass cloth"... As in a fiberglass fabric remnant?
                                                                                                    3. Do you use any whiting to prevent drips?


                                                                                                  2. Sorry it's been so long before I replied, my account has not be verified because I never got an email, so I'm setting up a new one.

                                                                                                    I use Oatey #5 paste soldering flux. Vaseline with zinc chloride and ammonium chloride in it. Makes hydrochloric acid when heated which makes very corrosive white smoke. DO NOT use this inside, it corrodes everything, including your lungs. Outside with a breeze only.

                                                                                                    I've used tin surplussed from work and Harris 4% silver in tin solder. The latter melts a few degrees cooler than pure tin, but is harder when solid and food safe. I don't know if any other silver bearing tin solder is, but Harris is NSF 51/61 certified for food use.

                                                                                                    So far I've not been able to get a really nice shine, although I'm getting pretty good coverage. I'll re-do that last one, a 1.5 qt saucepan tomorrow. I didn't use enough tin and have some thin spots and a couple places where the pan got too hot without enough flux and the copper turned black. Have to scour that off and add more tin.

                                                                                                    I think the trick to the shine is to wipe very lightly, and I've been using too much pressure. I'm also getting streaks and lumps of tin under the rag, and I'm sure that is from having molten tin in the rag (or what's left of it, it's pretty charred by now) that hit the side of the pot below the melting point.

                                                                                                    I've not used any whiting, just keep the flux away from the outside of the pot. I do have some tin on the top edge and some tiny bits on the outside, but have not had any "drools" over th edge yet, probably because I'm not using enough.

                                                                                                    The Harris produces a "whiter" lining, distinctly more "sliver" than the mirror color of the tin, but I suspect it will turn just as black in use.

                                                                                                    I've noticed quite a few copper pieces on eBay with the tin scoured completely away. Funny, so far I've not had anything stick in either my Tramontina Tri-ply or tinned copper. However, I'm usually quite careful not to burn anything. I don't care for grinding burnt stuff off the bottome of pots. I'm replacing all the large aluminum kettles my Mother got for canning and making jelly for that reason. Thin aluminum and cooking down tomatoes or stewing grapes to make jelly is gonna result in a burnt spot nearly every time.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: psfred2

                                                                                                      Thanks, psfred! Oatey #5 and Harris solder on order.

                                                                                                      If you don't mind another question: Are you stripping these pans' interiors down to bare copper, or are you proceeding as-is?


                                                                                                    2. Of the three I've done so far, only one had any significant amount of tinning left, the rest had been scoured down to the bare copper. Have one more of those left, an old Revere solid copper skillet that is way to thin to cook with unless you have a wood or coal fired cookstove -- 1mm at best.

                                                                                                      Those I just used some barkeeper's friend on to brighten the copper and went at it.

                                                                                                      The last one I did had badly worn but mostly intact tinning with lots of scratches and none at the flaired lip, and since I was using pure tin I just used the barkeeper's friend and a scotchbrite pad to get it mostly shiny and the used flux. Seems to have stuck nicely, although I'm going to add some more tin.

                                                                                                      I think the secret to getting it nicely shiny is to have enough tin or solder in there to get it to "pool" by surface tension and then to wipe very very lightly with cotton cloth and flux. Too much pressure and you wipe too much tin or solder off and get texture.

                                                                                                      I'll try some fiberglass insulation wrapped around something wooden next time, the tongs I was using with the cotton got too hot. I think I have some glass fiber cloth left over from an auto body repair fiberglass kit form the 90's, but it's buried somewhere in the auto repair section of the garage and I don't have time to look right now, I'm STILL canning garden produce. Way late this year.

                                                                                                      Be very careful with the liquid tin or solder, it will give you serious third degree burns if it drops bare skin -- I have a nice scar on the back of my hand from helping my dad 45 years ago when some solder dropped off a pipe onto the back of my hand. Not fun.

                                                                                                      And watch that your wiping rag with flux does not catch fire.


                                                                                                      1. Quick update: I used a wad of fiberglass insulation today to re-tin a small saucepan I got the other day. Brand new, but stored poorly so liquid sat in the "corner" of the pan, and corroded it. Scrubbed down to pretty much bare copper with Barkeeper's Friend and a green Scotchbrite.

                                                                                                        The fiberglass worked much better than the cotton cloth. Still fills up with hardened charred flux, but it stays softer and wipes better since it doesn't carbonized. I'm still using too much tin so I don't get a really smooth interior, and I forget all the time and wipe from hot to cool, getting streaks of tin, but I do have a nice shiny interior now, no copper showing,

                                                                                                        I'll need to do some more on a very inexpensive stock pot I got of eBay -- it was so cheap I thought is was copper clad aluminum when I got it out of the box, but after cooking down some Concord grapes for jelly some copper was showing in the bottom. More than when I'd started, and the rest of the bottom was darkened, so I suspect it's fairly thin copper with electroplate tin. I fixed the bottom, but ran out of time and sunlight to do the sides, it's 8" deep and I can't reach inside without serious danger of burns. I'll make some tools this week and try again when the wind isn't roaring at 30 mph.


                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: psfred2

                                                                                                          Thanks for the updates, psfred2. Keep them coming. I haven't tinned much this summer, but I have a propane burner outside from my turkey frying kit, and a couple of times a year, I try and re-tin a couple of my most used pans.