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Weld cast iron fry pan

Jerald MI.

Hot Rolled
Oct 21, 2003
Clio MI.,USA
I know, this pan should be scrapped, but the 6" long crack is in a pan that belonged to my grandmother and I'm 60 years old. So, it's been around a long time.

Despite my coaching about washing cast iron, my wife washed it while still hot and it cracked in the bottom. I used it for a couple of years while cracked and a couple weeks ago it cracked up the side. The resulting noise was loud enough to startle everyone around.

When heated, the crack opens up to about 1/16th inch and when cool it closes back down.

Anything I can do to salvage this? BTW, we share names, Ware, so it's more treasured.-Jerald
Being something you eat from makes this a little more "delicate" in terms of how you go about a fix. In general, I would spray a solvent and let soak for awhile in order to get all the 60+yrs of grease out. Then flush with hot soapy water, repeatedly. Once you are satisfied with the cleanliness, I would get that puppy blazing hot and gas weld with or without filler depending on what the crack looks like when getting ready to weld. As for letting it cool, I would suggest a hot sand "bath" and let it cool from there. You might put a tray of sand in the oven and heat it up hot and use that by throwing the "fixed" pan into for cooling.
I have not welded a frying pan before so someone else may want to jump in here with different suggestions. My biggest concern would be the "solvent" used to clean the crack.
biggest problem welding cast iron is going to be avoiding 'inspiring' more cracks into it.
for this reason cast iron is generally better suited to brazing than it is to welding. and brazing would make the strongest and smoothest job of it, although I am not sure it will ever make as nice of a food prep surface as well seasoned cast iron.
make a deep feathered bevel , leaving just barely enough of the original crack for precise alignment. grind all areas where you need filler to flow, leave no burrs or projections. a nice hot and even preheat will help alot.
it is possible that you could do all the work on the outside and keep just a tight hairline seam on the inside surfaces.

good luck
Welding cast iron is never easy - I would suggest; however, that it is more important to consider what happens after the weld is completed.

We do quite a lot of engine blocks and castings that have broken or cracked.

We never braze weld cast iron - only cast iron weld using the conventional filler and flux - once you braze weld cast iron, it is practically impossible to cast iron weld the surface again.

We would first drill a 1/16" --> 1/8" hole at the end of the crack to halt its progress.

Then grind a vee prep down the crack - on a thin job like this, about 3/4 the thickness.

Then build your furnace right around the job from bricks and sit the job on bricks as horizontally as possible.

Commence preheat with oxy torch - on a circular job like this and assuming a radial crack, the whole job will need heating. Temperature achieved should cause a pine stick to char and smoke, even flame. This will take a long time.

Then approach the weld - the technique resembles oxy acetylene welding - a carburising flame is required. Heat rod and dip in flux or throw flux onto the heated job. Progress the filler so that the new metal advances past the weld pool and wets the base metal, building up a seam as you go.

This is why I never use braze welding as the filler can advance but often just casts onto rather than melts into the surface, hence zero strength.

The melt pool is usually viscous and can be worked with the filler rod and flame. If a section of the weld pool will not close over, some dirt is indicated - dip the rod in flux and stab it into the weld pool to dislodge and float the dirt out.

Try to build a weld with no undercuts and not too much proud metal.

The important part starts now - the job must be post heat treated by reheating the work as for preheating and then closing off your brickwork to prevent all cool air ingress. Post heat and slow cool is as important as preheat.

This method is often succesful and has allowed the repair of many single thickness objects.

Where complex engine blocks and heavier sections are to be welded, we adopt an entirely different technique using minimal preheat and nickel electrodes - arc welding and peening - small weld deposits only - takes ages!

I don't know anyone who's successfully welded an old, used cast iron frying pan, myself included. I gave up trying years ago. It's impossible to get all the grease out.
I'm with Gary E....
Hang it on the wall....

Go buy a new one to cook with..
Dont take my word for it (I did not believe him) but I was talking to an Amish man who had the same problem and he brazed it but I don’t think he cared about the health issue.

P.S please excuse me for any Miss spellings I am German but I like reading in English for practice.
Do you have access to a forge?If so heat the whole thing in the forge.Heat it until it's cherry red and hold at that color for 15 minutes or more.This will drive out/burn out all the accumulated grease.Have your brazing setup ready to go and braze it while still red hot.This may or may not work over the long run sense the pan would be subjected to repeated heating and cooling cycles and even if it held there's alway that thought that it might crack again when it's full of pork chops and create a grease fire.Ohter than that............hang it on the wall.Nothing was meant to last forever and nothing can be made to do so.
This may or may not work over the long run sense the pan would be subjected to repeated heating and cooling cycles
Exactly what happened to pans I've brazed. I came to the conclusion that the effort wasn't worth a $20 frying pan.
If you decided to braze in spite of the advice against it, you might want to consider a silver brazing (soldering) alloy designed for the food industry...no cadminum, no other potentially toxic alloying agents. Charles
As mensioned before ide try silver soldering, i repaired a cracked lard press, that i tried everything on, and the only way i got it mend was really preheating the weld area to burn out all the greese and junk,(red hot) then used silver soldier. its expensive, but it worked for me.