Many of the items I purchase are in need of some sort of restoration. Sometimes it is just a matter of disassembly, cleaning and reassembly. Other times parts may have to be found or remanufactured. I have a shop set up in my garage where most of these operations take place. We often have to decide weather the tool or antique needs to be restored so it is useful or it is to left alone to preserve the antique value. Often we sell things as is and let the end collection restore to their liking.
Sometimes the cast iron I purchase is rusty or has years of food build-up on it. If I decide to clean / restore it; they are dipped in a lye solution for up to 72 hours, cleaned, let dry, cleaned again, warmed up slightly, and then they are coated with a tin coat of Crisco then baked in the oven at 400 degrees. The oven is then turned off and the pan left in to cool. This process ads a nice sheen and seasons the iron. Note: the lye will not remove the rust. If the rust is more than just light surface rust that can be remove with cleaning and steel wool, I have been soaking the pans in a solution of 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water for 3-4 hours. No longer or you may damage the cast iron. Do this before the lye dip.
If you do not want a 3 dollar an hour job than the restoration process is not for you. But if bringing an old item back to its original glory brings you great joy, as it does me, than it is time well spent. In my opinion, better than watching TV or exercising your thumbs on a smart phone.
Photos below will illustrate some of what we do.
Thank you and I hope to meet you at MANTIQUES.
MANTIQUES Chandler and Mesa Arizona 602-291-1200