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Old 04/07/05, 07:02 AM
 
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Q:Harvesting Pine Tar/Pitch/Resin?

Hi, How do you harvest pine tar. I'd like to use this in my soap making. Is it found in the heart wood or from scarred trees? I'm not even sure if it is called 'tar' 'pitch' or 'resin'. Anyone have any experience with this? Thank you in advance!! Feather

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Old 04/07/05, 07:21 AM
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Years back, the resin was harvested by removeing a section of bark, in a downward chevron shape and installing a metal catch funnel with a drip bucket. Do not remove more than 1/4 of the bark or you risk killing the pine tree, and do know it scars the tree for life.

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Old 04/07/05, 08:50 AM
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There are several methods. The easiest one for me was to walk around looking for trees that were damaged by porkies and scrape the tar into a plastic cup that was lined with a clean cotton rag. Tie up the top and simmer slowly in barely hot oil/fat that you will use for the soap. The cloth retains the trash that you always get and keeps it out of the oil. Save some of the oil/pine tar for pine salve. It is a wonderful topical antimicrobial ointment. Weigh the rest of the oil and use as you normally do for soap. The spent rag will be the best firestarter for days when the wood just won't burn.

You can also tap pine trees like maples. Another method is to process the wood in a still. I've not tried these.

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Old 04/09/05, 08:35 PM
 
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Moo and Cyn, thanks so much for your responses! I have researched a ton of things on the internet and this one really has very few bits of information out there! I have a source of pine trees so that is not a problem, I will give it all a try! I have no idea on the proportions of pine tar to oil/fat. Any one? Thank you again! Feather

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Old 04/09/05, 10:42 PM
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Location: Carthage, Texas
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Hey Feather....

I'd been 'looking' for a scarred pine too, to get some tar for soap. Love grandpa's pine tar soap, but it's hard to find, and when you do, shipping is added...

library book, Soapmakers Companion, has 4 ounces pine tar to pound olive, pound coconut, and 14 ounces palm oil.....so right at 4 ounces to three pounds of fat/oil

recently found some nice granitewear kettles for my soapmaking adventures...

good luck
Phil

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Old 04/12/05, 06:04 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: OKC (formerly W. IL, C.TN, & LV,NV)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feather In The Breeze
Hi, How do you harvest pine tar. I'd like to use this in my soap making. Is it found in the heart wood or from scarred trees? I'm not even sure if it is called 'tar' 'pitch' or 'resin'. Anyone have any experience with this? Thank you in advance!! Feather

There was a write-up in Foxfire #3, I think, which gave details on harvesting pine tar. Roughly, they stuffed a cauldren/large pot full of fatwood,flipped it over on a large rock with a channel grooved in it, sealed the pot to the rock with mud, then built a bonfire over the cauldren. The heat from the fire made the tar run out, and it drained out via the channel in the rock to collection vessels below. It was one of the "useful" articles in Foxfire (as opposed to the entertaining biographies). I don't know how practical it is though...
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Old 04/12/05, 06:35 PM
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pine sap or pitch is the raw material , tar is after it has been heated and purified

scar the bark and collecti n a cup , you wont get much from each tree, but if its early spring , you can collect about 2 cups or so from a 6 inch tree

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