Wednesday, June 10, 2009

White Birch Tar - Do It Yourself

I made birch tar.

I was super surprised how much tar a little bit of birch bark produced.

I stuffed a coffee can full of birch bark. Put it in a fire for an hour and out came about third of a soup can of birch tar. Maybe I am leaving out a few small details about the process, since the entire process would be better described with an entire web page with many pictures. It will follow soon.

The tar was similar to the tar I would put on the bottom of my wooden cross-country skis. Smelled the same and felt the same.

I boiled down the tar until I ended up with more of solid when it cooled. A brittle solid.

Solid birch bark tar.

The huge amount of tar in the bark must be why the wood will rot before the bark. Often I find tubes of birch bark with the wood gone and the bark in good condition.

Look at other posts below and you will see many examples of birch tubes.

Want to have a birch tube of your own, check out this site.