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Making Effective Pine Pitch Glue
by George Hedgepeth
I wish to thank Mr. Eric Vosteen and Kevin Finney for the refinements they taught me about pitch glue. Their input has allowed me to create a better product than the typically cited methods of mixing char and pitch into a tacky slurry that is often more messy and much more brittle than this version.
Making pitch glue...
Take chunks of pine or other conifer resin and place in a bag of loose weave, mesh like material or fine wire screening. I use a drain screen. Place in a large tin can, fill with water, and boil. PURE (or nearly so) resin will come to the top, leaving the trash in the screen or bag. Collect with an improvised spatula made from wood. It will leave a messy, hard to remove residue on good kitchen utensils.
Place the collected blobs of resin on a surface that you do not care about and can be discardes- wax paper or the lid to a plastic food container is a good choice. Again, this is a sticky mess! It should be about the color of honey or peanut brittle. It is not nearly as tasty however...
Take short plant fibers and mix into the goo- a piece of hemp cord minced into 1/4 inch long sections works well. So does a bit of old, weathered deer poop. Use a disposable tool to mix the materials, much will adhere to this and it may be used as a great fire starter. This will turn the resin into a thick blob that is reinforced with strong fibers.
Apply thickly- it works as much like caulk as it does glue- kinda like Gorilla Glue. The fact that the resin was never heated past 212F means it will not become nearly as brittle as stuff processed by heating with an open flame.
This can be saved for later use by dipping clean sticks into it multiple times- much like making a candle. These pitch sticks are then allowed to cool, and they can be carried for field repairs or other projects, like mounting stone blades or points, waterproofing containers, or even securing lashings. Portable and practical are good features!
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Send an email to georgehedgepeth(at)hotmail(dot)com
Briar Patch Outdoors
219 Holmes Street
Durand MI 48429
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