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Butt welding 5/8" plate to make a griddle?

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  • #16
    Additives in the rod- that would be of greater concern to me too.

    I think the best 'cookplate' I've had was the non-stick one- an aluminum disk about 18 inches across with a slightly raised perimeter. That one has seen a few campfires. I have a similar one which is square and not as large, still with a slightly raised rim. Used that a lot too.

    You may have the option to coat yours with something. At one time I had a few cans of stuff that you could spray on, then bake at the highest setting the oven would go to. I did a whole camp pot set with that, and it sure made it easier to clean. You couldn't see the coating though, so you had no way of knowing if you were damaging it- and possibly eating it.

    Your thick plate might be ideal for minimizing local hot spots.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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    • #17
      You peeps are fuikn odd.

      It is a Plancha.

      a plancha is normally an old Disc blade (farm disc blade) that was givin to us... For cooking on...
      JR

      My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

      https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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      • #18
        Originally posted by BCRider View Post
        I'd clean up a single piece and try it first. 5/8 plate is really thick and heavy. I suspect that it'll take a lot of time to heat up and it won't be able to alter temperature very fast with all that "heat mass". I'm rather thinking that you'll find it's too thick.

        Consider that even the heavier cast iron fry pans are only around 3/16 thick as an example.

        Hey, if I'm wrong and the 5/8 turns out to do a great job then great. But either way it won't take much time to clean up and try a single piece first.
        My first thought is you are going to go through a lot of fuel. I suggest before investing any time to do a test. Try to heat that plate up to see just how long it takes. And when it gets too hot, how long it takes to cool back down to egg fry temp. You might be surprised.
        Last edited by flathead4; 11-13-2020, 07:30 AM.
        Tom - Spotsylvania, VA

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        • #19
          I should have specified I'm using a MIG welder. No worries about the additives in welding rod. Also it's a Blackstone POS grill/griddle and not a Blackwood.
          What I did was mill an angle on the edge of one plate about 3/8" deep. Then I milled the mating edge of both so they fit perfectly. I started welding and almost immediately ran out of welding gas which I'll pick up today. I'll grind out the horrible welds and start over again. This time I will preheat the plate which does make it much nicer to weld.
          Fwiw most commercial griddles are at least 1/2 and some are as much as 1" thick. The original "plate" on this griddle is a waste. The hot spots make it so. There are two strips that get hot and the rest of the griddle really never gets sizzling hot. This new plate will take a lot more fuel and time to heat up but the heat should spread evenly.

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          • #20
            I guess you are right about commercial grills. This one has 4 30,000 btu burners.
            https://www.katom.com/338-CG48.html
            So good luck and I look forward to seeing the finished product with bacon an eggs grilling!
            Tom - Spotsylvania, VA

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            • #21
              Originally posted by JRouche View Post
              It is a Plancha. A plancha is normally an old Disc blade (farm disc blade)... For cooking on...
              I have made a cooker analogous to a big thick steel wok from a disc blade per above. Where I come from they call such an implement a "discada". There is a forum entirely devoted to discada, although no one has apparently posted to it since 2017 and a lot of the pictures are dead links.

              metalmagpie

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              • #22
                First off that's a very thick plate to heat up when cooking, but if that's what you've got go for it. I would bevel each plate 1/4 "every 2 inches on each side. ( stich weld, a full weld would be over kill) and butt weld. Alternate between top and bottom when welding to reduce warping. That will give you a lot of strength. I don't believe you be cooking a heavy side of beef. Grind the welds flush . If you can mill a 1/2x1/2 groove around the perimeter to catch grease. If you can't mill a groove, stich weld a piece of flat bar on 3 sides to control any grease. Apply high temp silicone on the back side between the stiches to seal.

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                • #23
                  I had a friend that was in the catering business for about 30 years and helped him build a few griddles and flat tops and what Aliva mentions above about milling a groove around the perimeter is good advice, better yet if you can allow for a drain hole and collection point at one corner if possible.

                  Another point to consider is surface finish. This is as important as the plate being as flat as possible. We would spend hours on a big surface to make the plate as smooth as possible. The closer you can come to a mirror finish the better. This not only makes cleanup easier but it will make a huge difference to creating a non-stick cooking surface. I can not over stress the importance of this last step, the smoother the surface the happier your cooking experience will be.
                  Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                  Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                  Location: British Columbia

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Willy View Post
                    I had a friend that was in the catering business for about 30 years and helped him build a few griddles and flat tops and what Aliva mentions above about milling a groove around the perimeter is good advice, better yet if you can allow for a drain hole and collection point at one corner if possible.

                    Another point to consider is surface finish. This is as important as the plate being as flat as possible. We would spend hours on a big surface to make the plate as smooth as possible. The closer you can come to a mirror finish the better. This not only makes cleanup easier but it will make a huge difference to creating a non-stick cooking surface. I can not over stress the importance of this last step, the smoother the surface the happier your cooking experience will be.
                    I'll be removing the center from the original griddle and weld the 4 edges to this plate to give me a rim and a grease groove.
                    The mirror finish seems to be the deal but I think proper seasoning is perhaps the most important thing?

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                    • #25
                      The mirror finish and the seasoning steps are both equally important. High end commercial cook tops are often industrial chrome plated, much like the process used to plate hydraulic cylinder rods. Little over the top for what you or I would need but it does emphasize the importance of the smooth finish.

                      We used belt and random orbit sanders with increasingly finer grit abrasives in order to achieve a very smooth finish. My wife recently purchase a very nice large stainless steel skillet. It had the usual satin turned finish on the cooking surface and was always sticky in spite of seasoning. A bit of time with a 5" random orbit sander and you can see yourself, It is now a treat to use. so yes seasoning and a smooth finish will allow you to slide eggs across the surface easily.
                      Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                      Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                      Location: British Columbia

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                      • #26
                        Know any shops that have a Blanchard grinder? After initial cleanup, a ground finish would be nice. Might also be able to get it finished at a shop that can deck a large truck engine block.

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                        • #27
                          That plate is thick enough you could mill fins on the bottom to grab more heat from the flame.

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                          • #28
                            Perform all machining operations after welding and annealing. The surface finish required is determined by the product, a fly cut finish will perform well with french toast or grilled cheese sandwiches, pancakes may only be produced on a ground surface, single direction surface grinding is optimal yet a rotary grinding (Blanchard) finish may work fairly well as most customers will not notice the difference.

                            Welding shall be done as pictured below, anything less will lead to catastrophic skillet failure.


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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by challenger View Post
                              The mirror finish seems to be the deal but I think proper seasoning is perhaps the most important thing?
                              I agree. I dont know how a smooth surface will season?

                              I cook almost exclusively with cast iron pans and pots. My egg pan is CI and seasoned so well I fry eggs in it with no fat. Example photos attached.

                              My out side flat cooking surface is a 20" cast iron pan. Problem with it? Yes, grease removal. I would love to have a flat surface like what you are doing.
                              JR

                              20" cooktop

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                              Non-stick cook ware. Cast iron seasoned well.

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                              My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                              https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                              • #30
                                I recall from working at the Pancake House in my high school days that the cooks at the restaurant cleaned the hot griddle with a wet towel and a pumice stone. Then they seasoned it with, i think, melted butter. I recall that it was steel, not cast iron. A clean cook surface was paramount for the cooks.

                                Dan
                                At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                                Location: SF East Bay.

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