NOTE: Due to the weather this week, and general time consumption that comes with self-processing duck and deer meat, as well as with raising a rambunctious 15 month old that has already pretty much figured out how to run, I do not have pictures for this How-To, yet. I will eventually add pictures that better explain the things below, but I am confident you don’t actually need the pictures. I do know they make the experience that much better, though, so they will be added in the future.
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I am using the term pitch to keep it simple, but in reality sap, pitch and resin are basically all the same thing, just different states of the same substance. Sap is runny kind of like honey, resin is the crystalized form of the sap, and pitch is the sticky soft in-between of the two.
The turpentine, which aids in flammability, has evaporated out of the hard resin, so it won’t burn as well as the softer forms. It is still very useful for other things though.
You can find pine pitch online with the help of a simple web search, but if you are surrounded by Pine trees as I am, collecting it may not be as easy as buying it, but it’s free!
There will be two later posts in this series on identifying Pine Trees and the actual process of collecting pine pitch. I want to try and keep this post on making the actual candle. I know it’s a little out of order, but bear with me. This is what my life looks like, haha.
There are a few ways to make a Pine Pitch Candle. The very simplest form can be a twig, with the end split and stuffed with a wad of pine pitch. The pitch is flammable, so you don’t need a wick to make it burn, although you can easily make an actual candle with it.
To do this, melt your pitch in a heat/fire proof tin or pot over a campfire or on your stove. I recommend something you won’t use for anything else. Keep an eye on it. It can catch fire if it gets too hot.
Next, dip a piece of cotton string in melted pitch, and let it dry straight. Stick it to the bottom of your chosen container with a little more melted pitch, and let that harden.
Then fill your container with the remaining melted pitch, and hold your wick in place with two sticks laid across the top of your container on either side of the wick. Allow to cool and harden.
Light and enjoy!
It is really that simple, if you so wish it.
I came across someone using an orange peel as the candle container, so get creative.
If you try this for yourself, let us know how it went in the comments!
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This post is part of a series on Pine Trees. The other posts can be found below:
Pine Needle Tea & Medicine
Pining For You
Pine Tar Salve DIY
Pine Needle Oxymel
Infused Cleaning Vinegar
Identifying Pine Trees
All About That Pine Bark
Collecting Pine Pitch