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How Cast Iron Pans Are Made

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 02, 2021

For his video series for Eater, Daniel Geneen took a tour of the Lodge Cast Iron factory in South Pittsburg, Tennessee to see how cast iron skillets are made.

While all of this is happening, molds for pans are being made out of fine, pliable sand that’s compressed in massive machines. The ladles pour the molten metal into these molds. Once the metal is poured and cooled, the sand molds get placed into a shake-out machine that shakes the sand away from the pan, and then into an enormous drum to shake off the rest. The pans are finally put on a giant conveyor belt to be sorted and inspected. Any pans that are not up to muster get thrown back into the original scrap heap to be melted down again and remade into another pan.

In comparison, here’s how Borough Furnace makes their cast iron pans by hand in their much smaller workshop:

Very similar process, down to the sand molds, just on a much smaller and more hands-on scale.