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Restoring an old charcoal iron Answered

Hi guys!
I found a beautiful charcoal iron at a flea-market and grabbed it up without giving it much thought. Now I have no idea how to bring it back to it`s former glory. The base is iron, and pretty damn corroded iron at that. The good part is that it isn't chipping. The bad part is that the whole thing is orange... The handle is made of wood and there's no way that I can see to take it off. Any ideas?


You could give it a light wire-brushing and finish with stove-blacking.


See, this is why I ask you guys. I didn't even know there was such a thing as stove blacking. Thanks a bunch!

You're welcome. Stove-blacking is for iron, but hot-iron,so you might want to get it hot at some point(read instructions etc)


Nice find!

Do you want to leave some patina, so that it looks old? Or make it look like brand new? With a lot of antiques, patina=value.

I'd just give the handle a little lemon oil or other furniture oil.

I would use a commercial rust remover such as Naval Jelly (that's naval like Navy not navel like belly button) on the iron, let it dry fully, and then put a light coat of something to prevent more rust. What you use would depend on how the item will be displayed or used. If you go with clear spray paint or varnish, make sure it is meant to adhere to metal. Oil is used on cast-iron cookware, but would be a bit messy on a display piece.

Ok, so quick update. I tried to remove the handle to clean it. Turns out part of the wood is charred and falls apart...

It looked like charring in the picture - not unexpected with wood touching hot iron. Is it salvagable? If there is too much damage to repair the handle, the top of wooden cane might make a suitable replacement. If you have to go with fresh wood, I'd use a couple of stains to mimic the patina of use. You could even put a little surface char on the ends with a torch.

I thought it was just dirt... I tried to remove it with a toothbrush and the wood just fell off. Which is odd, since that doesn't happen if I touch it with my fingers... So much for impulsive shopping :) But, damnation, I'm not giving up... There's this kid in my town, does carpentry, maybe I'll work something out with him.

Well, I'd like for it to look a bit old, but not as old as it does now. Now it looks exactly like it is: forgotten.
I had a big attack of the lols for "navel jelly" :) I don't think we have that exact one here, but I'll look for something similar, thanks.

The nice thing about chemical rust removers is that they leave whatever pitting and wear is already there without adding modern toolmarks.

And yes, the heat vents look like creepy eyes. Can you imagine how they looked with hot coals inside? Creepy glowing red eyes!