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Copper Frying Pan

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Copper Frying Pan

Carson Sio

I've had the intention to make some copper cookware for a while but hadn't gotten around to it because I've been busy with other projects.  I had even purchased a bunch of heavy 14ga. copper to make it all out of.  

With some time between projects to mess around a little I decided to try to make a copper saute pan.  I started with a 9" disk of 14ga. copper.  I using my new heavy sinking hammers I first blocked it down into a tree stump, then raised it a bit for the final form.

I've been working on getting my planishing marks more even and regular, so on this piece I really focused on dropping the hammer in neat concentric rows moving up the sides.  Not perfect yet but it's getting there. 

Next I cut out a handle from a piece of mild steel, ground it to shape and riveted that to the body.  Handle is probably too long, but I liked the look and feel of the extra long handle.

After that it was time to tin the inside of the pan to make the cooking surface safe to cook on.  Raw copper will react with acids in your food to produce poisonous copper salts.  Tinning the surface provides a thin layer that acts as a buffer between the food and copper without interfering with the transfer of heat.  I've played around with tinning a couple of times without a ton of success,, for this piece I really wanted to get it down.  To start it bought a propane burner, the type you might use to deep fry a turkey, to get a larger area of lower heat that I get with my acetylene torch.  Then flux the piece to prevent oxides building up on the surface, and gently heat.  When the tin melts and flows on the surface wipe in around with a flux soaked rag to get a smooth even layer of tin.  

I won't say I got perfect results, but it's definitely an improvement and I believe it will serve.  After a couple of omelettes I can say this pan works great and I plan on making more pots and pans in the future.