What Happens At The Retinning Works
Adapted From Martha Stewart Living
- For some, dents, dings and scratches on their copper cookware confer a sense of usefulness and graceful
aging. Others value the faultless gleam of "well cared for" copper. At Atlantic Retinning and Metal Refinishing, Inc. the
scratches can be removed and dents hammered out for a "perfect" look, but only at the customer's request
since many people prefer their copper cookware to show those signs of loving use.
- On the other hand, when significant scratches and medium size wear holes (about the size of a quarter or
larger) appear in the tin lining of any copper pot, that means that pot is badly in need of a new tin lining.
First, the surfaces to be tinned are brushed with flux, an acid that helps the tin fuse to the copper when
heated. Such a lining prevents the copper from oxidizing and leaching copper salts into food during
cooking, which can occur when copper is exposed to acidic foods.
- The remaining surfaces are covered with whiting, a chalky coating that repels the hot tin and keeps it from
bonding with the surface.
- The tinsmith holds a pot over the forge until it reaches a temperature of about 450 degrees, tin's melting
point. The tin is applied by stroking the surface of the heated object with a tin ingot, which melts like a stick
of butter. Larger pots and cookware have the tin ladled in from a large vat of molten tin into the preheated
vessel. The tinsmith then quickly swirls the tin around the inside and wipes out the excess with a wad of
- Finally, the newly tinned piece is plunged into a cooling bath, where the tin coating will set.
- Once cooled, the pots and molds are washed in hot water, polished, and then sent back to their respective