Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
posted 2 years ago
No first hand knowledge but I'm in fiddle country here and there are plenty of fiddlers who 'rosin the bow' with a rosin made from pine resin as in this article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosin I see many uses I didn't know of in the article once the pine resin is changed to rosin:
Rosin is an ingredient in printing inks, photocopying and laser printing paper, varnishes, adhesives (glues), soap, paper sizing, soda, soldering fluxes, and sealing wax.
Rosin can be used as a glazing agent in medicines and chewing gum. It is denoted by E number E915. A related glycerol ester (E445) can be used as an emulsifier in soft drinks. In pharmaceuticals, rosin forms an ingredient in several plasters and ointments.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
I'm a clinical and community herbalist and have harvested only the resin that is the easiest to remove, and only what I've find, I've never scarred a tree to extract more. What I do is heat a glass bowl in double boiler (a bowl who's use will forever be resin) and usually never bother to remove impurities; although I would put it through a strainer if it was used in salve or something. Mostly it is burned as an inhalant (which could be considered ironic) to help lungs recover from inhaling smoke or extremely hot air, above all it heals physical trauma. Liniments or salves work great for abrasions or deep wounds, if the "solids" are taken out.
I think for your average novice, the most likely place where you will find resin useful is in treating minor wounds on pets or livestock. It has disinfectant properties and is not highly palatable to most animals, so they won't lick it all off.
I'm sure that there are furniture finishes based on resin. The makers of these often keep their formulas secret.
pine resin has many uses including; sealant, glue, fire starter(fat wood), wood finish component(violin varnish ingredient), sticky powder(pitcher's rosin bag) or block (bow rosin) along with many more uses as an ingredient.
If you want to collect it as pure as you can get it, you have to scar the bark of the pine tree and place a clean piece of either metal or slate type rock at the bottom of the bark scar.
I use a heavy blade knife and mallet to make the scar through the cambium layer, the scar will be around 12 inches long, top to bottom.
I like to use aluminum sheeting for this purpose or even better is aluminum foil, it is easier to shape a bowl with a "run in" front piece, I then fasten this to the tree with twine.
The resin comes out of the tree wound and flows onto the aluminum run in and down into the connected bowl shape for easy gathering, I will do up to 4 scars on a tree that is larger than 8" diameter normally in the spring time (similar to collecting sugar maple sap).
Processing method is determined by the intended use, many times I dissolve the raw resin in moonshine then filter it before distilling or evaporating. (to make violin varnish or rosin blocks)
If I wanted to seal a birch bark canoe I would cook the raw resin in a stone bowl, adding ashes to it as it cooked, then put it on the seams while still hot enough to be liquid. (today there are better lasting products but a true, traditional canoe would be sealed this way)
To make a violin bow rosin block you dissolve, filter, pour into mold and evaporate. For this use I dissolve all the resin the moonshine will hold so it is a supersaturated solution then filter that into the molds.
This same method is used to make a baseball rosin bag except you crush the dried rosin to powder and pour that into a bag that you sew up after filling.
My violin/ guitar varnish formula is a secret but some of the components are dissolved pine resin, bee propolis and powdered copper along with a few other ingredients.