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Captain Crepe Pan has created the best CAST IRON PAN for making the world's BIGGEST AND BEST CREPES.
Captain Crepe Pan has created the best CAST IRON PAN for making the world's BIGGEST AND BEST CREPES.
229 backers pledged $30,052 to help bring this project to life.

I'm Back

I've returned to the city.  I'm sending out the last few crepe pans today for the first round.  It was a good trip to Wisconsin.  I was slowed quite a bit by the snow and cold.  I hit a massive blizzard near Minneapolis and got stuck for 2 days in a lodge at the bottom of a hill in a two wheel drive city truck.  I saw 7 bald eagles flying over our lodge the day the plows came.  I got up the hill and drove to my friend Broc Allen Ceramic Studio, where we pour iron, near the Manitou Falls.  I set up a mini processing and distribution center there with help from my friend Craig, who's been on disability and not working, so he was happy to help.  He helped me put a hitch on the truck so we could pick up the trailer to take to Washburn.  It was super cold and icy so we had to drive slow down Highway 2. I called Washburn to see if the castings were finished.  The last of the crepe pans were being sandblasted and the order should be finished by 3:00 pm, on a Tuesday (3 days after the blizzard).  Craig and I took the truck and trailer and made it to Washburn Iron Works by 3:45.  I got my bucket of crepe pans.  They looked good.  I went and talked to some of the ladle crew who just finished pouring some iron molds.  We bonded because we started talking about the Packers.  I'm a real Wisconsin boy.  With a trailer full of crepe pans.

Long story short, we brought the trailer back to Broc's where I spent the next 3 days, building/unbuilding/rebuilding an oven for seasoning, grinding/sanding/polishing 104 cast iron crepe pans, and packaged 100 crepes pans for December shipment.  It was rough, and the continuous snow and cold brought many challenges.  We built the seasoning oven out an old steel bed frame and kiln bricks.  At first, we burned through 1/2 cord of wood and tried to heat it with a bed of coals but we lost all our heat and it took almost 12 hours to partially season 8 pans in 7 degree weather.  And the next morning, 6 inches of snow covered everything.  So now I'm fighting rust.  Every flake of snow leaves a rust circle which I have to polish out with a wire brush.  The next day, we decided to build a real oven with more bricks, a fiber board roof, and PROPANE!  That worked slick, but the cold temperatures was causing the propane tank to freeze so I had to change it every hour.  We kept the stove top going in the house to finish off the pans that didn't get even heat.  The grinding was the biggest challenge and the next problem I need to solve with concerns to the workflow of processing raw castings.  I can grind and polish each casting for 3-5 minutes each, but not at a very high volume.  I suspect I'll have to have one my relatives that is a machinist build me a crepe pan grinding/sanding machine so I can crank them out without getting a sore neck covered in black iron and rusty sweat.

So we got everything processed and packaged and I've been going through my spreadsheets and set up shop at FedEx Office.  I'm a metal worker learning to use spreadsheets.  Please, please, let me know if there are any mistakes with your shipment as I will do everything in my power to correct them.  If I missed a spot in grinding, my apologies.   I made my list and checked it twice but I do have a mere human brain.  

Let me know how the packaging is.  I designed it and will need to tweak it a bit as well.  Any damages shall be replaced.  I used to be a box breaker for FedEx so I tried to visualize how well this would do going through their system.  So there it is.  I still haven't gotten an address from a few backers and I wanted to let the second group of April backers know that I am beginning to go through your order fulfillment, once I'm fully reassembled.  So shoot me an address if you haven't already.  And the April pre-order is still live on 

Happy Solstice.  Happy Holidays.  Happy Crepe Making.  Get together with you friends and family and share tasty food together.  

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    1. James Bailey
      on January 6, 2013

      Hey Josh, thanks for the pics/links, think I'm going to give this a go!

    2. Josh Larios on December 27, 2012

      Not sure if I can post links here or not, but if so, here's a photo of my pan about halfway through seasoning:

    3. Josh Larios on December 26, 2012

      My pan arrived on Christmas Eve morning, in time to get wrapped and under the tree; very exciting! It's a beautiful piece of metal, and even though I'm pretty sure it didn't need it, I spent half an hour with a 60 grit sanding wheel and smoothed the cooking surface down some more. I'll start seasoning it tonight, also with flax oil, and hopefully be making crepes this weekend. I can't wait!

    4. Missing avatar

      William Otte on December 25, 2012

      Hi Joe!

      Just got back and got my first good look at the pan. First off, it is beautiful - great work! The craftsmanship is impeccable and on par with my finest cast iron cookware. I'm putting a couple more layers on seasoning on it before I give it its trial run (it's in the oven right now coated with my favorite seasoning oil, flax).

      The only comment I have on the packaging is that I'd wrap the wooden utensils with a couple layers of bubble wrap; my spreader arrived with a crushed handle and the spatula a little scratched.

      I'll be putting my first crepes on it tomorrow or Thursday; if you'd like, I'll try to take a couple pretty pictures and send them your way.

      Can't wait for your next project!

    5. Missing avatar

      Ted Lemon on December 21, 2012

      Okay, I'll put a few layers of seasoning on it and see how it does. Thanks!

    6. Joe Sandor 3-time creator on December 21, 2012

      Ted, once you season it, and the more you use it, the surface will smooth out with that layer of non-stick coating. All sand castings in metal have that rough surface. Anybody is more than welcome to experiment with surface finishes and grinding but use caution that you don't dig into the edge or the surface and do it at your own risk. Keep your tool flat. I used a random orbital sander with 60 grit sand paper. My main goal in finishing these was to take off the flashing (the tiny jagged bits of cast metal that leak through the sand). This grinding/finishing process is one of my main challenges as I move forward.

      But like I said, the seasoning will smooth out the surface.

    7. Missing avatar

      Ted Lemon on December 21, 2012

      Joe, is the cooking surface supposed to be smooth and flat, or more nubbly and rough? I just got mine in the mail, and it's nubbly and rough, hence the question. The casting is really beautiful, and the pan is actually a lot less bulky and heavy than I'd imagined, so I'm quite happy with it in general—just trying to figure out if I should get it ground flat at the local machine shop or whether it's supposed to be this way.

    8. Missing avatar

      Greg Mitchell on December 20, 2012

      Never mind Joe, I looked and saw that I sent you my address via a message on here... I can hardly wait for it to arrive!

    9. Missing avatar

      Greg Mitchell on December 20, 2012

      Looking great Joe... I don't remember if I filled out the survey with my address, and I don't see anywhere that I can check - can you confirm if you have my address? Thanks!

    10. James Bailey
      on December 19, 2012

      Wow, you went through all that and you're still shipping on time! Like William, this is one of the few Kickstarter projects I've backed that has done that, congratulations! Of course if you had your foundry here in Australia, you could be enjoying our summer while seasoning and grinding, perhaps that's even worse!

    11. Missing avatar

      William Otte on December 19, 2012

      Mine arrived today - unfortunately as I was running out the door for the airport. Christmas morning, however, we will be back and making crepes! I can't wait. Thanks Joe - this has been the first kickstarter that I've ever backed that shipped on time - I'll let you know what I think of the pan next week!

    12. Euan Walker on December 19, 2012

      Great up date and photos Joe.

      We're on holiday in Ireland, and went to Newgrange earlier in the week - its a 5,000 year old tomb which has the tri-spiral pattern on its front doors. My first reaction as my wife marvelled at the ancient building was "I'm getting a crepe pan with that on it". My wife hit me, then asked about ten minutes later how big the crepes would be :-). Can't wait to get back from holidays and start making crepes.