Nov 30 2006


Published by at 3:02 pm under Plant Materials

I thought I’d post a tutorial on how to pitch stuff. Not rocket science, but there are a few handy tricks. Sorry for the poor quality on the pictures. I shouldn’t have used the flash.

First you need pitch. Old dry, crumbly stuff is not very good. Use as soft and fresh pitch as possible. Here are some small lumps on a Norway spruce.

Have a flat rock by the fire, finely crush some charcoal and melt the pitch ontop of it. Mix it together when properly melted.

Though the name is pitch glue, my most frequent use is as a sealant. On fishing hooks to avoid knots and lashings loosening in water. Smear the glue over the binding you want sealed and quickly run over the pitch with your moistened fingres to smooth it over. Repeat the process until all is covered.

If the results aren’t satisfyingly smooth and/or the layer is too thick, pull the rock out of the fire and use one of the hotter sides to gently roll it against so the pitch will even out and the excess run off. While it is still hot, quench it on your moist fingers to achieve an even smoother finish.

The rest of the pitch can be rolled up around a stick and be stored for later. Here is an image of the pitched hooks. The pitch stick is on the right.


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5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Pitching”

  1. Pabloon 30 Nov 2006 at 8:26 pm


    Interesting post about pitch glue. How do you get the pitch in the first place? Is it bought or do you get it naturally?


  2. torjusgaarenon 30 Nov 2006 at 9:43 pm

    I do have the picture of the tree I gathered it from. I will edit the post and include the photo. The lumps are found found on damaged conifers. Over here you find the greatest quantities on Norway spruce.

  3. sam_acwon 01 Dec 2006 at 12:20 am

    I found a similar idea – you couldn’t use it as a contact glue more as a filler or sealer after you put things together.
    I managed to brun my fingers quite a lot too!

  4. Mungoon 01 Dec 2006 at 2:03 am

    The last picture in this post:
    shows a resin candle I made. But I was looking for a way to bind my fish hook with the pointy bit (that’s what I’ll call it). Will use pitch. What do you use as the pointy bit?

  5. torjusgaarenon 01 Dec 2006 at 10:04 am


    There are two reasons why I wet my fingres with saliva before handeling hot pitch:
    – To avoid it sticking on the fingers. And thereby preventing a smooth finish.
    – To avoid burns. 😉


    Thanks. I bind the barbs on with sinew or other fibres. The way I do it is hard to explain, but it is pretty much just wrapping. The barb is halibut bone and is extremely sharp, but hawthorn thorns are very good too.

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