Processing spruce / hemlock / pitch for making pitch glue

Discussion in 'DIY (Do It Yourself)' started by Bushman5, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    Harvested a bunch of spruce and hemlock pitch globs on Sunday.........

    start by putting them all into a stainless pot or bowl and put them on the stove on MED heat. Its going to take awhile to heat up and melt and for all the impurities (bark, sand, bugs) etc to settle to the bottom)

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    stir often, and KEEP AN EYE ON IT.......for safety sakes (FIRE). I actually had to up the temps to MED-HIGH for this batch....its some of the thickest and strongest pitch i have melted ever.

    [​IMG]

    Once melted, simmer it for about 20 minutes, stir often and then let it sit on the heat for a bit so all the impurities settle..

    then .......SLOWLY and carefully POUR OFF the liquid, leaving the bark and residues behind. (they make excellent firestarters! KEEP THEM!

    pure pitch

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    the next stage is grind up charcoal and dried rabbit droppings or deer dropping......think of the grass fibers in the droppings as "short strand fiberglass strands" - adds STRENGTH to the pitch glue.

    This will be ongoing when i have time and resources.

    stay tuned.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  2. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Very cool, if you ever need dropping’s let me know lol lots of deer on my property.
     
  3. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

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    Ive ruined more pitch than created glue. Its an art for sure.
     
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  4. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    Trick is to not boil the crap out it. Sometimes though the pitch is so tough you have to keep it hot longer
     
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  5. The Marsh Gorilla

    The Marsh Gorilla Member

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    Definitely going to keep an eye on this thread! I've got quite a few loblolly pines at the deercamp that ooze pitchballs like you collected.

    Finally getting to make a 2-3 day trip there next week while my son's down for spring break to meet his little sister. Also will be the baby girl's first trip to the woods.
     
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  6. Kaw-liga

    Kaw-liga Member

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    I've been wanting to do this for a while. I've got a basic recipe for it somewhere, I think it came out of one of Canterbury's books. I've never gotten around to trying it though. How's it looking?
     
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  7. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    Brittle......very brittle....still need to mix in some charcoal dust and plant fibers.

    At this stage I could also grind it into a fine powder , mix with turpentine and allow it to dissolve and become a brushable varnish.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  8. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    so this latest batch is a BUST! I over-boiled it and its unusable as pitch glue......HOWEVER........still has potential for varnish and other uses......
     
  9. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    That’s how you adapt and overcome lol
     
  10. Willow

    Willow Member

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    Bushy is correct. The older, drier pitch is much harder to work with. Easier to collect but a PITA to melt. Best bet is to find a good sized tree and knock a small section of bark off. Wait a few days and then go back for some fresh sap. Then take that fresh gooey sap and collect it the best you can. I'd recommend a green stick from nearby.

    You can also combine the sap with olive oil, and other herbs if you like, over low heat to make a highly effective medicinal salve for any kind of skin problems. No boiling if you're making a medicinal salve.
     
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