News / Updates

1/13/2018 - Production Update

  • The next batch of 8”, 10” and 12” skillets haven’t arrived yet, but we are expecting them soon!

  • Handle covers are done with production and will be shipping soon. We have even started production on our new handle cover to fit the Michigan made handle design.

  • As I mentioned before, I wanted to have a batch of the 10.5” skillets run before taking the tooling out of service to cut the gates in, however we found that manually attaching the gates to the bottom of the template was causing some minor indentations. Rather than have these show up in the finished product we decided it was time to just cut in the gates. We are working on the tooling right now and hope to resume production soon
  • Tooling for the 13” skillet will be done by the end of next week. This was a monumental task completed in record time. This includes tooling for a rather extraordinary custom tree as well. We are working on the packaging right now as we will be in production with the 13” by the END OF THE MONTH! If you can’t tell, I’m excited about this.
  • Our new oven arrived! Still a fair amount of wiring / plumbing to get it installed. This is how all our Michigan made products are going to be seasoned.
  • We are expecting the rivet machine next Tuesday.

More updates coming soon!

Eric

 

 

12/26/2017 - 10.5” and 13” Cast Iron and 10.75 Carbon Steel Update

10.5" Skillet

After removing the shells off last week’s pour of the 10.5” skillets everything looked really good. The surface finish has been improved from our earlier tests by cleaning the excess oil off of the wax patterns before shell building. We used a much more compact sprue bar and the scrap rate was acceptable with this run. The shorter and thinner bar uses less extra iron per pour, which makes the process a little more efficient. We had no issues with no-fill or other pouring related problems. We still need to do the final cleanup, remove the remaining shell (visible in the pictures below) and grind off the gates. After that we will check for any deflection or warping. I will be stopping by the foundry this week to pick up and inspect these pans. The plan is to start production in January! We are very happy to finally be ready for bigger runs. It has been a long process and we greatly appreciate your patience. Our final step is cutting the gates into the tooling so we can remove the extra step in the production process of manually attaching the gates. My hope is to get enough skillets produced prior to this step to cover all of our backers and pre-orders as we will need to take the tooling out of production for a few weeks while it gets adjusted. Leaving the gates off of the tooling for the prototype phase was helpful, as it allowed us to test several attachment methods to see what would work best for production.

13” Skillet

Last week we were able to see the results from our latest prototype run for the 13” skillet. Given its size and thin wall sections, this is a piece that is very challenging to cast. Our partner, Jim, came up with a genius way to arrange these skillets, successfully pouring 6 at a time. We were very happy with how they came out and now that we have successfully proven the method, we will be moving forward with tooling, hopefully starting in January.

10.75” carbon steel skillet

We are very close to starting final assembly on the first run of the carbon steel skillet. We are expecting to get our rivet machine the first week in January. We have a short run of handles that are cast and polished and ready to go. We are finished with the first (1,000) pans that are formed and engraved. The only steps left are seasoning the pans and final rivet assembly. We are also starting on another production run of the carbon steel skillets that we will enamel. We have a supplier in the USA that is able to enamel our iron products. The finish is a semi-gloss and it is extremely functional – non-stick and easy to clean.

Follow us on Instagram to see the latest pictures.

Happy New Year!

Eric

 

3/21/2017 Production Update

To our Kickstarter and Indiegogo backers,

We have had a few questions come in about a few items we didn’t address in the update. Here’s all the details! We are getting rolling again on the 10.5” skillet after a few delays. Our first prototype had a few problems with the casting that prompted us to make some adjustments to the design. These included thickening the profile on the handle connection, making the filet between the pan bottom and walls bigger, and removing material from the underside of the handle. These changes were made were to improve the casting quality, not for aesthetic reasons – the look and feel remained almost exactly the same. To test our revised model we had a pattern created from a 3d print. In this process we can send out a 3d model for printing and get a print that will replicate the wax pattern that the mold will create – this is a really cool way to test-cast designs before the tooling is created. It is much better to have all these details worked out before tooling is created rather than try to adjust the tooling after production has started. Our partner factory was backed up and we got a little delayed during this process. To make matters worse, the ceramic shell created from the latest 3d print fell over in the de-waxing oven and completely ruined the mold. The 2nd try on this pattern should be arriving at the factory today. I am hopeful that we won’t need any adjustments to the design once we can see this test-cast. With any luck we can get started on making the tooling for the wax patterns some time next week. This process will take a little while. These molds are created from 2 blocks of aluminum that are a little bigger than the skillet and about 4 inches thick. Both sides are milled creating a cavity that is the exact replica of our design. Our rough estimate for mold development is 4-6 weeks. As soon as that is ready we will be able to start cranking out the world’s best cast iron skillet – just a reminder that no one has ever made a cast iron skillet with this method before. Thank you for your pre-orders – without them we wouldn’t be able to create the tooling for this skillet.

Cheers,

Eric

 

To our Kickstarter and Indiegogo backers,

We have had a few questions come in about a few items we didn’t address in the update. Here’s all the details! We are getting rolling again on the 10.5” skillet after a few delays. Our first prototype had a few problems with the casting that prompted us to make some adjustments to the design. These included thickening the profile on the handle connection, making the filet between the pan bottom and walls bigger, and removing material from the underside of the handle. These changes were made were to improve the casting quality, not for aesthetic reasons – the look and feel remained almost exactly the same. To test our revised model we had a pattern created from a 3d print. In this process we can send out a 3d model for printing and get a print that will replicate the wax pattern that the mold will create – this is a really cool way to test-cast designs before the tooling is created. It is much better to have all these details worked out before tooling is created rather than try to adjust the tooling after production has started. Our partner factory was backed up and we got a little delayed during this process. To make matters worse, the ceramic shell created from the latest 3d print fell over in the de-waxing oven and completely ruined the mold. The 2nd try on this pattern should be arriving at the factory today. I am hopeful that we won’t need any adjustments to the design once we can see this test-cast. With any luck we can get started on making the tooling for the wax patterns some time next week. This process will take a little while. These molds are created from 2 blocks of aluminum that are a little bigger than the skillet and about 4 inches thick. Both sides are milled creating a cavity that is the exact replica of our design. Our rough estimate for mold development is 4-6 weeks. As soon as that is ready we will be able to start cranking out the world’s best cast iron skillet – just a reminder that no one has ever made a cast iron skillet with this method before. Thank you for your pre-orders – without them we wouldn’t be able to create the tooling for this skillet.

Cheers,

Eric