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Making pine/conifer oil  RSS feed

 
Ben Johansen
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Location: Door County, WI
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By what process did earlier peoples extract oils from conifer trees to use as a sealant? There's a lot of pine, fir, spruce, and cedar around here, and I frequently collect sap deposits to burn as incense, but if there's a way of extracting oils that i could pull off in an old boiling pot or somethin, it could be put to better use.
 
Michael Newby
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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Some form of distillation is probably going to be your best bet.

Check out this site for a good run-down on the process. This page here shows you how to make your own steam distillation set up. Let us know if you try it!
 
Ben Johansen
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Yeah, that's more of an essential oil setup, I should have been more specific- I'm looking for pine tar, like the maritime sealant. Did find this though: http://www.maritime.org/conf/conf-kaye-tar.htm
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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I will listen to others views on this, however in my experience of use, and academic study..."tar oils" for finishes from botanicals is too complex for DIYers...If one has the "alchemy skills" to process flax oil..or tung oil...then perhaps that is a different matter...as then the skills and equipment is on hand to move into more complex distillation processes...I have "played a part" in historic interpretation presentation with many of these processes (mainly flax, as I was a "beater" for the fiber while others did more.) Fun, but not really a "cottage industry" task for the most part...though growing flax and benefiting from the fibers are, as is making certain things from conifer resins...
 
Ben Johansen
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Ok, so. Preliminary research has led me here: http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=106746
Which then led me here: http://his.library.nenu.edu.cn/upload/soft/haoli/114/343.pdf
I like your thoughts, Jay, but I'm a quarter Scottish- the best way to get me to solve a problem is to tell me that it can't be solved ehehee
I'm seeing an old steel fuel oil tank as my kiln, and cedar fat wood as my raw material. My backyard is a cedar marsh. And winter is coming. I'm thinking, collect fat wood til the snow starts, drag a tank over here, set up an earth berm around it before the ground freezes, and chust go for it. I'm about to start a barn restoration, and if nothing else, I'd like to have enough to treat and singe the upright beams by March. It's good to have plenty of indoor work in March. Ecch.
Also- if I were, purely hypothetically, able to produce anything resembling a substance of worth, what proportions should I mix it with linseed oil before the singe?
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Sounds like a plan Ben...go for it and report your findings and results back here!!

Pine Tar Oils are typically store and used "pure" and only augmented for specific tasks or desires in a finish type.

It will be interesting to discover how much wood you needed to make the proportion you finally get. Traditional Pine Tar Oils are not inexpensive...Much goes into it creating them. With the system you have share you may be able to generate 1000 ml? or maybe more?

Good Luck,

j
 
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