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Grinding and Sanding and Reseasoning New Lodge Cast Iron Pieces

Here I am, yet again, grinding the mold marks away and sanding (with non-aluminum-oxide sandpaper) the entirety of a new Lodge cast iron piece. Then I'll have to reseason with Crisco at 430F for 1.5 hrs, cool in oven, and season again a second time. Ugh. Such a long job.

I just don't like how Lodge's pieces are when bought. Very rough, in my opinion, being an ex grinder and machinist. But I am willing to do all this work for the price and quality they are sold for, especially for American made. I realize Lodge would have to up the selling price if they were to machine or sand them, etc. Although I do believe the grinder person could get the mold marks smoother and unnoticeable. Just my opinion.

Am I obsessive compulsive (I already know that answer, lol) or do any others do this?

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  1. i stopped using my lodge CI skillet for this reason. very rough texture. i don't like it.

    i don't have the skill or will to smooth them out, but it's cool that you are doing it.

    i went back to using t-fal non-stick for eggs and all-clad stainless for just about everything else. very happy with that.

    1. I did the same. Was it worth it? Honestly, I'm not sure. According to many reports, the pan eventually gets just about as smooth once it's seasoned enough. It might take longer for the rougher surface to get there, but I don't have an un-sanded Lodge CI pan to compare.

      1. Hmm... I've recently been thinking that I want to get a new Lodge skillet. I'm not a machinist, but this would be work I am willing to do if necessary. What's needed - angle grinder with sanding disk? Something else? Starting and ending with what grits? Why the non-aluminum-oxide sandpaper?

        6 Replies
        1. re: Cheez62

          I just use a Dremel and a Dremel cone bit to remove the mold line. Then I sand by hand with 60 grit automotive wet/dry sandpaper, then 100, then 150. I don't get too carried away with the sanding. Just enough to knock down the surface some inside and out, and smooth out the Dremeling of the mold line. A little sanding goes a long way. About 2-3 hours worth on an average fry pan. The combo cooker was bad, and took about 8 hours. I don't use aluminum oxide sandpaper for fear that the aluminum will leach into the iron... Not good, after reading what aluminum can do to one's health.

          1. re: Cheez62

            I used a handheld orbital floor sander, and a little extra elbow grease with wet-dry automotive sandpaper to get the corners of the pan. I suspect there are better tools for the job, but that's what I had on hand. Probably took me half an hour, though my pan wasn't quite marble-smooth afterwards.

            1. re: cowboyardee

              That's how the Dude did it for me, cowboyardee. I've no idea what kind or grit sandpaper he used, but it took about 30 minutes.

              He only worked on the inside of the pan, since that's the part I wanted to cook on. :)

            2. re: Cheez62

              Considering that aluminum is the most common metal in the earth's crust, humans have been exposed to aluminum oxide forever. There is no good reason not to use aluminum oxide to sand a pan.

              1. re: Cheez62

                I don't think you're OC, but I wouldn't go to that trouble. I've seen new Lodge pans and don't understand why people want them. I'm waiting to get my mother's Griswold, which is a fine piece of craftsmanship.

                1. re: GH1618

                  The quality is decent, the price is right, and they're widely available. Also heavier/thicker than Griswolds. Not that there's anything wrong with a Griswold or other vintage CI.

                  I sanded mine, but many other people didn't bother and still seemed to like lodge pans.

              2. I haven't found the need. At first I thought the rough texture was causing sticking, but it turns out it was my inexperience cooking in CI. I can cook an egg with very little butter on newly seasoned (stripped then re-seasoned) lodge CI with no sticking.

                1. This may be your first time working with cast iron cookware. In time, you will find out that this is not necessary. The pan will eventually even out anyway.

                  Regardless, whatever works for you is fine.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    It has been a couple years since I started using cast iron. My 10" and 12" skillets are still bone stock with original Lodge seasoning under all my seasoning. There's still one or two tiny high spots on the cooking surfaces that aren't knocked down or filled over yet, and the Lodge seasoning keeps flaking away. And I just find it easier to get gunk off the entirety of the pan when smoothed out. And I don't get any paper towel or lint flakes as much when wiping down the reworked pieces as I do the 10" and 12" skillets. Plus, the reworked ones look way better :)

                    I think the least that a new owner could do is sand with 60 grit for 15 minutes the whole piece and reseason (I prefer Crisco vegetable shortening... Works like a darn charm).

                    1. re: Muddirtt

                      <And I just find it easier to get gunk off the entirety of the pan when smoothed out.>

                      Ah. It makes sense. Sometime there are instead a couple really high spot. it seems everything is working out for you which is great.