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This is my first post, which I hate to make a series of questions but the deed is done.  I'll try to find a place to be helpful, but I am pretty knew to this so I don't know where that would be.  I also do not know if this is the correct place to pose a question, if it is not I apologize and ask I be told the correct place. 

I would absolutely love to make cast iron cook wear, but that seems to be very outside the realm of possibility for my self at the moment.  I really want a nice solid skillet that wasn't purchased from lodge.  So I was thinking about casting bronze cook wear.  I have seen videos and read stories of people doing it but they don't seem to get into the safety side of cooking with bronze.  So does anyone have any Idea how to make cooksafe bonze?  Or if that is even a thing?  Information on the subject is very limited.  The only safety tip I can find for cooking with bronze is don't cook acidic foods for the same reason you shouldn't do it with copper cook wear, not much more info than that though.  

I mainly need an idea for a source of leadfree tin, or just a source of tin. 

On a related note what about crucibles.  I found recipes for fireclay crucibles, which I know are cheap and will crack after a few heats, but will it work for this?  I would rather have to make a crucible over and over than buy an expensive one and always fear it will crack and Ill be out the money. 

As I said, cast iron is a long way off, but out of curiosity where does one find iron?  All I can ever find is mild or hard steel, I don't think I have ever seen purchasable iron, even if it was labeled as iron it turned out to be just very low carbon steel. 

I can post pictures of my forge set up if needed, it's pretty ugly though so Ill refrain unless it is needed. 

Totally unrelated to this post, as this is my first post I have no idea what the tag system is so I made some up that I figured might exist.  Is there a list somewhere?   I looked but did not see one, granted I didn't look very hard. 

Oh and if you don't know an answer to my question, but know of a resource that may contain the information I seek I would love to hear about it. 

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I can't help much in the casting field but you mention you want a good solid skillet not purchased from lodge. We'll have you looked at antique shops or fleamarkets and such? Old cast iron skillets are abundant and many are excellent quality. I find them often and inexpensive.  Probably be cheaper at "antique" prices then just the crucible and proper ppe you'll need to cast one let alone other expenses. 

Just my thoughts. 

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I see them at flea markets all the time, I have been tempted to snag one but I really just want to make it myself.  Could always recast an iron one if I really wanted to.  Honestly I just like the look of bronze, it is one of my favorite looking metals.  t is also that I want to make something that is functional and will bring attention to my kitchen.  Kinda a snobby reason but I would like a nice usable conversation piece hanging above the stove. 

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Funny but a lot of the older cast iron is *lighter* than modern cast iron cookware; that's why I look for the old stuff.

For tin I buy from rotometals.com to retin copper pots.

Cast iron is generally not crucible done but from things like a cupola.  There is a regular cupola pour at the university located over that-a-way; why not see if they will help you cast one?  Seriously casting stuff is a very dangerous activity and not a "one-off" activity; there is quite a learning curve to get good results and pretty much for every metal used.  Lots of strange stuff; like what you put in your crucible is not necessarily what you pour out due to burn off of certain elements or atmospheric contamination. You also need more that just the amount for the item cast to deal with risers, sprues, etc.

As to finding it:  broken cast iron pots might be a good starting material.  I have one hanging on my carport after some idjits came through and messed up my demo set up at Fort Bliss one time.  Large machine bases were traditionally cast iron---but they were traditionally painted with high lead paint too.  Old sash weights were generally cast iron but of the lowest grades.  Old radiators and bathtubs were made from high grade cast iron; but again lead contamination may be an issue.

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Thanks for the tips, I will have to look up a cupola, honestly no Idea what that is.  Iron may not be traditionally done in a crucible but I am not a traditional person. 

  I am in nh so I will try and see if I can find somewhere that can help with that.  I see a lot of broken cast iron tools and pots at flea markets but the lead paint you mention has worried me as well. 

I definitely would not just make the skillet, I was thinking bronze because the bronze age hammers, swords, axes, and other tools have always fascinated me, so if I am already planning on casting/forging things out of bronze, why not add a skillet to the list?  Like I said, casting iron is a long ways off, which is why I am currently looking to try making/casting bronze. 

Isaw rotometals when I was looking for suppliers, are they good?  I assume they would be if you are recommending them but just thought I would ask. 

and isn't life dangerous?  Nah I understand what you mean.  Splatter is a serious concern, any safety recommendations other than welding aprons and welding gloves?  I wear a full face shield and my prescription glasses when forging so probably would when casting as well.  Anything else you would recommend on that front?

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NH is North Hampshire, UK right?  I'll try to direct you to sources in the UK going forward... with over 100 different countries participating in these forums it's easy to go astray thinking everyone must be located where you are.  The university I know that does an annual pour is:  New Mexico Highlands University; there probably are others.

And yes working with cast iron is a whole nother level of PPE than low temp metal casting.  Burn right through welding safety equipment!

I took an "out of hours" brass casting class at a local university that taught me a whole lot and really helped my casting of copper, brass, bronze, silver.  We used petrobond oil-sand which would probably be a good choice for you too for bronze.

Are you aware of alloyavenue.com (it used to be backyardmetalcasting.com), and is a group of forums that focus on casting.

I had no issues with rotometals and neither has any of my friends.

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Nope sorry New Hampshire USA.

I had not heard of alloyavenue.com I will look at that soon as possible.  Thanks for the help.  Yeah I know iron casting is ridiculous, several thousand degree molten metal, recipie for disaster.

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Yeah I know iron casting is ridiculous, several thousand degree molton metal, recipie for disaster.

Think of the explosion you get when one drop of water falls in a pan full of frying bacon. Now imagine that instead of 300° bacon fat splattering on your face, you've got 2,400° molten iron. This is why I stay away from casting.

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but it is just such a tantalizing idea.  I have seen some vids of people dropping molten metal on concrete and it exploding everywhere, pretty terrifying. 

I don't know if I will try casting, as you say it could go very wrong, but if it does go wrong yes I will be in pain and probably horrifically maimed, but at the very least ill get a story out of it. 

I could always try forging a skillet but I see that as being a huge pain in the butt.  I also only have rr spikes and rebar and I def don't have the patience or the skill to forge weld that together to have enough stock to attempt creating that. 

and with thinking about what you were saying, this guy seems to have the right idea.    He gets to stay far, far, far away from the iron he is casting.  I thought it was a nice solution, I definitely didn't think of it.  I have no idea how the whole video is, I  skipped ahead to the crucible ring on a mount.

 

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Where here on this site forging a skillet from heavy sheet metal is a beginner's project. (as you doubtless know you can't forge cast iron)

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I did know you can not forge cast iron. I did not know forging a skillet from sheet metal was considered a beginner project. Ill look into that. Any idea where I can find info?

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Welcome aboard, glad to have you.

I'm not demeaning you when I say you do't know enough about casting to know how little you know. Thinking you can just cast an iron pan is like thinking you can take your first flying lesson in an F-16. A coffee mug size crucible of molten iron has the explosive equivalent of 1 CASE of 40% dynamite. All you need do to get to experience that kind of raw power is spill it on the wrong thing like damp soil, concrete, your foot. 

If possible take a casting class so you have an idea of what you need to learn to try casting the advanced stuff like bronze and iron. Solo casting aluminum isn't a beginner's project. Just yesterday or maybe the day before someone asked the question of why there was an explosion in  his/er home built metal melter and crucible. Didn't know about the color anodizing on aluminum cans in a melter.

Please, PLEASE get some REAL knowledge and experience before you attempt casting one of the HOT metals. Seriously, do you know how to make a mold? Know  the cope from the drag? 

If you have a steam explosion with bronze or heavens forbid iron you will be lucky if it kills you. No joke.

Frosty The Lucky.

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So I apparently left a sentence out I thought I had typed.  Or I misplaced it in the post.  What I meant by this was outside the realm of possibility for the moment, was that this is a long way off.  And what I mean by a long way off, is a long, long, long way off.  I'm talking years and years and years off.  I mean probably, like most things I want to do, I would research it too much, get scared xxxxxxxx, then never ever ever think about it again.  As much as I want to slap together a crucible, grab a piece of steel, and throw it in a fire, I know I would absolutely without a doubt kill myself.  I know nothing about casting and would never attempt that.  My friend tried to convince my to make my aso by taking a bunch of rr spikes melting them and pouring it into a tree trunk he was going to carve.   Which would obviously get everyone killed.  I had to talk him out of it and it took way longer than it should have to convince him it was a bad idea.   

The main question in this was about bronze.  Which I also know very little about which is why I asked a question here asking for any advice or references those here may have.  I would try aluminum but I don't drink much soda, and the beer I drink is usually bottles, so I don't just have oodles of it lying around making it around as expensive to go buy supplies. 

the bit about where to buy iron was just passing curiosity.  I have never seen iron just lying around or for sale anywhere even on industrial sites it is mostly steel and other raw materials.  .  No place Ive been sells true iron objects, so I was just curious where the crazy people who do this get it from. 

Sick name by the way

 

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for most metals buying it will be 100 times cheaper than making it

buying bronze $100

casting bronze $1000 for PPE before you buy a crucible or anything else

 

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you need to hire experienced people to make the pattern and mold and do the casting

you need somewhere inside with suitable industrial ventilation and a dry sand floor

you need the right type of bronze

altogether it would probably cost you more than a new car to make one skillet

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design it on a cad package and either have it turned from a solid piece or cast by a foundry, possibly for under $1000 if you are very lucky

or raise / dish it from sheet or even learn metal spinning ( someone on this thread knows quite a bit about that;)

 

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or I could hammer a meh one out of steel or the bronze sheet that one guy mentioned.  In all sincerity I thank you all for ruining this dream.  It was probably for the best where my wellbeing is concerned.

which actually brings me back to the whole point of this question, do we think the bronze sheet mentioned would be food safe?  My guess is yes if I look long enough. 

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I love cooking with cast iron skillets. They are usually superior to woks, kadeis, and other stir fry 'pots'. They are also great for slow cooking stews and other dishes.

They can be bought at estate auctions, yard sales, rummage sales etc. I frequently have bought them for 25 to 100 cents each.

They require a little knowledge, and a bit of skill to first season & then, treat them properly.

If so, search using the phrases 'I forge iron', 'cast iron skillet' and 'SLAG' using your favorite internet search engine. Those threads have further valuable suggestions, on the subject, from many other folks on this site.

I am too lazy to repeat the suggestions I posted in threads in the past.

Properly cared for, a cast iron skillet can last generations. (yes generations).

If you persist in making plans for casting molten metal, check out your insurance policy to make sure it covers suicide. You owe it to your beneficiaries and loved ones.

Seriously,

please do NOT cast metal without help, knowledge, and a lot of hands-on experience.

Good hunting.

SLAG.

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Don't worry already did a 180.  I know I can go buy one at fleamarkets and yard sales, I see them all the time.  I just would rather make one.  Going to see how one from a sheet or plate or whatever I can find goes.  It wont be the same as cast iron but I made it so I don't care. 

also, not to sound like a snob but I do know how to care for iron cook wear.  I love fire cooking and nothing is better than a big old iron fry pan, and nothing is worse than a rusty one.

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Thanks all for all the info, it was quite helpful.  You also probably saved my hands so I appreciate it quite a bit. I have a lot to think about and hopefully will have something in the next week or so.  Weather it will actually work as a pan or not is up in the air but it will at least be something.

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