General discussion > Contemporary Accoutrements

Pine Tar Pitch??

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Brian Jordan:
How do you make/ harvest pine tar pitch. I want to make a small leather canteen, and have read that is what is used to seal the inside from leaking.

  I used the brewers pitch sold by Jas. Townsend & Son. It is my understanding that it not true brewers pitch, but it worked very well, and does not leave a turpentine taste in the water. I don't think you will like common pitch, and it may be slightly toxic from what some say. Many use beeswax rather than any kind of pitch. Some use a mix of both. There are pro's, and cons to about every way of doing it, also bear in mind that the use of leather vessels for canteens, and such was an earlier practice, fading out in the 17th c. Tin, gourds, and leather covered glass bottles are a better choice for 18th c. America.

rich pierce:
I have made "cutlers resin" using natural pitch mixed with other ingredients.  It's a lot of work but fun, the first time.  I collect pitch from trimmed pine trees and put it in a tin can and heat over a fire outside till it melts.  Then I strain it through a tin can with small holes punched in the bottom.  That gets the sticks, needles and bugs out.  The stuff from Townshend is a bargain.

Brian Jordan:
Thanks guys, I have a few pounds of beeswax. I guess I will just use that.

Clark Badgett:
One way to get tar is to build a charcoal retort, and vent the exhaust thru water.

You get tar and other "nasties".


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