How To Make Pine Resin Glue

The Pine Tree is an amazingly useful tree to any bushcrafter or survivalist.  First of all, the entire tree is edible…the bark, the needles, the pine cones, etc…  The roots can be used as cordage.  You can make pine needle tea which is rich in vitamins.  You can also use the limbs as building materials and the pine boughs as bedding.  Pine sap also makes excellent fuel for camp lamps and fire starting.  The subject of this post, however, is  how to use PINE SAP to make an all natural and very durable glue.

Pine resin glue can be used for all kinds of applications – at home or in the wild.  I’ve used Pine Resin Glue to make fish-hooks, frog gigs and all kinds of other useful tools.  I’ve also used Pine Resin Glue at home for every day projects.  In this post, we will use Pine Resin Glue to secure Ferrocerium Rod Fire Steel Blanks inside of pre-drilled deer antler handles.

Pine resin can be found on almost EVERY pine tree.  You can typically find it where the pine tree has been wounded by either insects or a broken limb.  The sap will seep from the wound.  You can sometimes find it dried in clumps and nodules all around the tree.

Pine Sap Leaking From Wound On Pine Tree

Pine Sap Leaking From Wound On Pine Tree

 The only other ingredient besides the Pine Sap that you need to make Pine Resin Glue is charcoal.  Just plain old charcoal right out of a campfire will work just fine.  Below is a photo if some pine resin nodules I collected along with a small amount of charcoal from a camp fire.

Charcoal Chunks & Dried Pine Resin Pieces

Charcoal Chunks & Dried Pine Resin Pieces

The first step to making Pine Sap Glue is to melt down the pine sap.  I placed the sap clusters in an Altoids Candy Tin and put it on my hot fireplace.

Melting Pine Resin Clusters on Fireplace

Melting Pine Resin Clusters on Fireplace

While the pine resin is melting down, crush up your charcoal pieces into a fine powder.  I am simply using a stick.  You could easily do this in the bush on a flat rock or on a piece of bark.

Crush Charcoal Into Fine Powder

Crush Charcoal Into Fine Powder

The formula I’ve always used for making this glue is 1 part charcoal to 3 parts pine resin.  You will have to experiment with what works best for you. Too much charcoal and your glue will be brittle, too little charcoal and your glue will not be durable enough.  After the pine sap has melted down, mix in the crushed charcoal.

Mix Crushed Charcoal Into Melted Pine Sap

Mix Crushed Charcoal Into Melted Pine Sap

As your sap cools, it will harden.  Thoroughly stir in the charcoal before it cools too much.

Mix In Charcoal Really Well Before The Melted Sap Cools

Mix In Charcoal Really Well Before The Melted Sap Cools

Your glue is complete and ready to use.  Once the glue has cooled, you will need to heat it back up in order to use it again.  At this point, you have a few options.  You can leave the glue in the tin or whatever container you mixed it in.  Or, as the sap cools, you can form it on the stick – which is the way I like to keep Pine Resin Glue.

Pine Resin Glue Hardened on Stick

Pine Resin Glue Hardened on Stick

To use the glue simply heat it up over a flame and apply it to whatever you need.  In this case, I am putting some on the end of the Ferro rods that I will be inserting into the pre-drilled deer antlers.

Carving Away Excess Pine Sap Glue

Carving Away Excess Pine Sap Glue

After carving away the excess glue, these Ferro Rods are ready to use in the field and will provide years of excellent service.  I love the idea of making and using Pine Sap Glue from scratch with all natural materials and then using it to build a tool that I will take out with me in the woods and use over and over and over again.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.

3 Completed Ferro Rods With Mora 840 MG and a "Glue Stick"

3 Completed Ferro Rods With Mora 840 MG and a "Glue Stick"

Ferro Rod on Coyote Fur

Ferro Rod on Coyote Fur

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.  I’ve also posted a video below of the entire process from harvesting the sap to building the ferro rods.  Enjoy!

Cheers-

Creek

Pine Resin also makes an excellent fire-starter.  For an informative post written by survivalist JJ Johnson about this subject visit http://www.realitysurvival.com/pine-pitch-firestarter/.

Comments

  1. Sonia H. says:

    Is There Any Other Ingridents You Can Use?

  2. Rus Clitter says:

    will this work okay for fletching?

  3. Jeremy Nacht says:

    Hi!

    Thanks so much for this great video on pine sap glue…

    I’m wondering if the glue stands up for marine environments…. like, let’s say you were going to build a crude boat… do you think or know if it would work for that?

    Thanks again!

    Jeremy

    • Creek says:

      It’s definitely waterproof once it dries. Never tested it in salty conditions, though, but I doubt it would matter. Good questions bro.

  4. Anonymous says:

    great post thanks! ive always wondered about this, how simple. though I have to correct you. SAP is what runs up and down the tree as a food/water within the cambium layer from the roots to the foliage. PITCH is what the tree produces in an attempt to heal itself (though trees are incapable of healing). so… maple syrup harvesters collect sap and you collected pitch. thanks man!

  5. Steve Mann says:

    what an interesting article. many thanks! Who knew about the uses for pine pitch. In all my 60 yrs of age, all I knew about pine pitch was that is was VERY hard to get off of you.

  6. Joshua Johns says:

    Cool. Thanks for the info.

  7. Mike Dubé says:

    Traditionally we add deer droppings to the pine resin, and charcoal mix.

  8. Mike Dubé says:

    Really liked your video. very practical and informative. Added it to my favorites. Thanks for the lesson(s)!

  9. Bob says:

    good to know –thank u

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  11. Martha Watt says:

    will cedar sap work just as well to make this homemade epoxy?