Removing wooden handles from cast iron cookware

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decorum

Full Member
May 2, 2007
5,064
10
Warwickshire
Lots of sub-forums I could ask this in, from The Homestead, DIY and Traditional crafts ... through Camp and Carry and into Lovely Grub.

But as this pertains to seasoning of cast iron for (mainly) use at home and because I thought it more likely to be of use in homesteading I've stuck it in here :D



Right ... does anyone have any kind of clue* as to how to remove the wooden handles from capped handled cast iron cookware?


* Where 'any kind of clue' means keeping the handle in the same, or better, condition as it is prior to removal! :p :rofl:


I already have a couple of wooden handled cast iron pans, but their handles are attached via a metal screw hook. I've tried to unscrew the handles from the main body, to no joy. Seasoning (or re seasoning) would damage the handle so there must be some kind of trick to removing the handle but my google-fu has failed to find it :eek: .



A couple of pics ...

Handle showing the metal end cap.




How the handle connects at the body of the square griddle.




Attribution blurb on the base. The markings in this pic is embossed. If it seems proud, it's an optical illusion ;) . I've done a search on both R. Welch Design and also Victor and this type of handle doesn't seem to be current for either, but I think that the pans I have are no more than a few years old (they were free and I want them for personal/family use, so any intrinsic value is of no consideration :D ).




So, anyone know how to remove the handles?


Thanks for taking the time to look and read through.
 
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Fraxinus

Settler
Oct 26, 2008
935
30
Canterbury
Might be a starlock press on cap type thing which means it will probably not go back on nicely, you generally have to work them off with a small screwdriver.

If all else fails you could just get someone to turn up a new handle with a paper joint so the two halves can be glued around the post when seasoned.

Rob.
 

mountainm

Bushcrafter through and through
Jan 12, 2011
9,990
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Selby
www.mikemountain.co.uk

decorum

Full Member
May 2, 2007
5,064
10
Warwickshire
I'm guessing it's banged onto a ridge on the handle post, like a rivet...
Might be a starlock press on cap type thing which means it will probably not go back on nicely, you generally have to work them off with a small screwdriver.

It being a load pressed cap is my concern :( . I can't see that prising the cap off wouldn't damage the handle ~ I could be wrong, certainly wouldn't be the first time :eek: . In my searchings it seems that R. Welch Design are known for being pretty good on common sense design :approve: and a non removable handle on CI doesn't make much sense to me :dunno: . That's not to say that these pans aren't actually what they claim to be ~ could easily be fakes, indeed my image searches failed to find any CI cookware with this method of capping the handle ;) ~ most have metal handles and all the wooden handles I've seen have had metal eye hooks.


If all else fails you could just get someone to turn up a new handle with a paper joint so the two halves can be glued around the post when seasoned.
If all else fails then making a new handle's a possibility ~ one which I have reasonably easy access to :D .


No idea if it would work, but you could try freezing the pan, which might be enough to contract the metal to loosen it
Could ease the passage. I hadn't considered cooling it ~ thanks.
 

decorum

Full Member
May 2, 2007
5,064
10
Warwickshire
A lot of the handles screw into the pan so try twisting the handle.
On my wooden handled cast iron pans, it is possible to grip the wooden bit and twist it anti clockwise to unscrew it. I expect you have already tried this.....!!

I can confirm that I have indeed tried to unscrew the handles from the cookware. The handles also staunchly refuse to be pulled off ;)

The handles turn in both directions but don't come away when twisted ~ even after some considerable time.

I have also tried twisting (in both directions) whilst pulling the handles away from the main bodies.

Having just tried I can now confirm that gently prising with a screwdriver does nothing to the cap; it will only crush the wood.




Who, given the nature of cast iron and how easily it will rust if not maintained, would make such a bone design fault? I must be missing an easy way to shift this handle!
 
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Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
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70
SE Wales
I always thought that the idea of these ridged griddles was to hold the food off the pan on the thin ridges, thus seasoning the channels as the pan is used; I have a good Scan Pan one which I paid quite a bit for some years ago and it seemed to season itself very quickly indeed without anything other than cooking in it.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,703
981
63
Florida
Outside on a fire or gas stove?
.... I have a good Scan Pan one which I paid quite a bit for some years ago and it seemed to season itself very quickly indeed without anything other than cooking in it.
Again, Plus 1 to both these ideas. TBH back in the day almost nobody deliberately seasones a CI pan. they just cooked lots of fatty meat on it.
 

decorum

Full Member
May 2, 2007
5,064
10
Warwickshire
Outside on a fire or gas stove?
A possibility. Though I prefer to force the season in an oven where I can almost ignore it over coddling and keeping an eye on it ~ lazy, I know :eek: .

Plus my neighbours tend to dry their clothes on washing lines and I might not be flavour of the month ...


I always thought that the idea of these ridged griddles was to hold the food off the pan on the thin ridges, thus seasoning the channels as the pan is used; I have a good Scan Pan one which I paid quite a bit for some years ago and it seemed to season itself very quickly indeed without anything other than cooking in it.
I need to follow a low fat diet. So although the griddle would season quite quickly under normal use I wouldn't be able to eat most of the fayre. Well not until it has seasoned :D .


TBH back in the day almost nobody deliberately seasones a CI pan. they just cooked lots of fatty meat on it.
As above, my body doesn't tolerate fats too well so, in this instance, old school isn't the best solution for me :eek: