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Berl Mendenhall

Cooking Colophony Down For Color, Low and Slow?

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Melvin, I thought Burgundy resin was from pica abies?

Hello Jacob

It is. But the stuff Kremer sells as burgundy resin is not from the Norway spruce but from a different European pine tree. I thought the same thing until a fellow MN'r recently informed me. This person had in depth conversations with Kremer. And that Kremer was unable to say which pine tree their burgundy resin comes from. I like it though regardless. It makes a nice yellow varnish.

It makes me want to collect some alpine spruce resin this summer to experiment with.

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Over the years I've gathered a considerable amount of white spruce (Picea glauca) which is quite common in our region. This is sap that has bled from broken branches and other wounds on the tree. Campsites and other public areas are good pickings because of people breaking the lower branches off.

 

This sap however is mixed with bits of tree bark, insects and other impurities. I was considering dissolving it in alcohol first so it may be filtered, but I was concerned that it may not dissolve some of the desired resin components.  Perhaps turpentine would be better for this.

Hi Bill

I've dissolved Abies Alba resin in everclear alcohol and it worked fine. The problem is that the AA resin is too soft to make a good varnish. Added with another harder resin as a plasticizer it may be useful. I don't understand how a good hard varnish can be made using Strassburg turp alone. Being that Abies Alba and Strassburg turp come from the same European Silver Fir tree.

Here is the AA resin before and after dissolving, filtering and cooking of the resin.

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Melvin, I thought Burgundy resin was from pica abies?

 

 

Hello Jacob

It is. But the stuff Kremer sells as burgundy resin is not from the Norway spruce but from a different European pine tree. I thought the same thing until a fellow MN'r recently informed me. This person had in depth conversations with Kremer. And that Kremer was unable to say which pine tree their burgundy resin comes from. I like it though regardless. It makes a nice yellow varnish.

It makes me want to collect some alpine spruce resin this summer to experiment with.

This is the resin from Picea Abies. It is a yellowish resin similar to Juniper Gum. It can be used in the production of musical instrument varnishes.

 

Wood Finishing Enterprises has it.

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Hi Bill

I've dissolved Abies Alba resin in everclear alcohol and it worked fine. The problem is that the AA resin is too soft to make a good varnish. Added with another harder resin as a plasticizer it may be useful. I don't understand how a good hard varnish can be made using Strassburg turp alone. Being that Abies Alba and Strassburg turp come from the same European Silver Fir tree.

Here is the AA resin before and after dissolving, filtering and cooking of the resin.

Thanks Ernie. I did find in the past it was a very soft resin; I considered adding copal to make a harder varnish.

 

Did you just boil off the alcohol and continue right into cooking the resin?

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Thanks Ernie. I did find in the past it was a very soft resin; I considered adding copal to make a harder varnish.

 

Did you just boil off the alcohol and continue right into cooking the resin?

Yes. I filtered first and then boiled off the alcohol and cooked the resin down.

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Over the years I've gathered a considerable amount of white spruce (Picea glauca) which is quite common in our region. This is sap that has bled from broken branches and other wounds on the tree. Campsites and other public areas are good pickings because of people breaking the lower branches off.

 

This sap however is mixed with bits of tree bark, insects and other impurities. I was considering dissolving it in alcohol first so it may be filtered, but I was concerned that it may not dissolve some of the desired resin components.  Perhaps turpentine would be better for this.

Bill, you might want to try them both and see if there is any difference.

The spruce resin I collected dissolved more completely in alcohol, the turps mostly dissolved it but left chunks of undissolved resin. However, the turps dissolved resin when cooked mixed with linseed oil while the alcohol dissolved stuff when cooked did not mix.

The latter case could have been because I didn't let the resin cool first. You wouldn't think it would matter , but it was disappointing.

I'm going to try again, partly because using turps as a solvent introduces another kind of turpene resin , though a small amount.

So I have this resin and I'm wondering what temperature to cook it at. I'm gonna start with my crockpot and see how hot it will get it. Stay tuned.

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The spruce resin I collected dissolved more completely in alcohol, the turps mostly dissolved it but left chunks of undissolved resin. However, the turps dissolved resin when cooked mixed with linseed oil while the alcohol dissolved stuff when cooked did not mix.

The latter case could have been because I didn't let the resin cool first. You wouldn't think it would matter , but it was disappointing.

I'm going to try again, partly because using turps as a solvent introduces another kind of turpene resin , though a small amount.

 

Don, your spruce resin possibly contained a mixture of spruce callus and oleoresin.

 

I have not been able to mix callus resin with linseed oil but have successfully combined oleoresin.

 

If you want to know more, this paper is well worth reading:

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/249925573_Composition_of_callus_resin_of_Norway_spruce_Scots_pine_European_larch_and_Douglas_fir

 

John

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Hello Jacob

It is. But the stuff Kremer sells as burgundy resin is not from the Norway spruce but from a different European pine tree. I thought the same thing until a fellow MN'r recently informed me. This person had in depth conversations with Kremer. And that Kremer was unable to say which pine tree their burgundy resin comes from. I like it though regardless. It makes a nice yellow varnish.

It makes me want to collect some alpine spruce resin this summer to experiment with.

Hi, Yes this was my experience too talking to Kremer about their Burgundy. In my quest to get PIcea Abies resin I bought some at quite large expense from a botanical supplier who was selling to herbalists. I am not sure if what I got was the real stuff or not but it made a varnish that would not dry well. Thanks MIke M in post 104 for pointing out that spruce resin is available from Wood Finishing Enterprises. I was unaware of that.

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Over the years I've gathered a considerable amount of white spruce (Picea glauca) which is quite common in our region. This is sap that has bled from broken branches and other wounds on the tree. Campsites and other public areas are good pickings because of people breaking the lower branches off.

 

This sap however is mixed with bits of tree bark, insects and other impurities. I was considering dissolving it in alcohol first so it may be filtered, but I was concerned that it may not dissolve some of the desired resin components.  Perhaps turpentine would be better for this.

If I have a small amount I have a blender reserved for sap collections.

add turp, sap insects and other impurities blend strain and serve.

 

Then I put it in glass and watch it settle.

Or a slight heat will help clarify it if you are in a hurry.

 

Yesterday in the wind i cooked 50 lbs of needles and bark and junk in an old turkey roaster,,

about 300f for a while and got 3gals of hard butterscotch brittle.

Strained it through tripple layer screen wire.

 

a bit of that will go into the crockpot for a few weeks,,,or not, just have to watch it and see what it has to tell me.

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 There have been plenty of people who have no business making varnish to begin with, or cooking in a oil fryer for that matter.

 

I was wondering how to determan who should or should not cook varnish.

 

And what is wrong with a deep fryer?

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There is nothing wrong with a deep fryer. Unless you trun it on and then go watch your favorite program on TV, that's a recipe to burn your house down. Same goes for varnish making.

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The spruce resin I collected dissolved more completely in alcohol, the turps mostly dissolved it but left chunks of undissolved resin. However, the turps dissolved resin when cooked mixed with linseed oil while the alcohol dissolved stuff when cooked did not mix.

The latter case could have been because I didn't let the resin cool first. You wouldn't think it would matter , but it was disappointing.

I'm going to try again, partly because using turps as a solvent introduces another kind of turpene resin , though a small amount.

 

I had exactly the same experience with spruce resin collected from trees, all the raw resin dissolves in alcohol, but only 70% was soluble in turpentine and 30% soluble in alcohol only.

 
Mrs. Brandmair, in a seminar here in Cremona, said that the method they used for tests related to their research on spruce resin was to just use turpentine to treat and purify the raw resin to avoid the issue with alcohol,
 of which she was not aware because he had never used it
for this purpose.

She also said that in ancient times the turpentine was more available and less expensive than the alcohol to the producers of resin.

 

Davide

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This is the only source for dark colophony that I've found though google..

 

http://www.somaluna.com/botanicals/resins-woods-c/pine-rosin/

Esoteric Associations: Sun, Fire
Incense Aroma: A heavy resin aroma with lots of smoke

Apparently it smells nice when you burn it.

 

Does that look like the right stuff?

 

Also, has anyone tried slow cooking in a wood stove as a containment/vented area?

It seems like it would be more ideal than a fireplace. 

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this "dark colophony" is not really that much darker than the usual colophony.

Cooking inside a wood stove could indeed be a (funny) way to cook rosin. But to honest, reading this thread makes me feel like people are dealing with atomic bombs. I mean when you melt 30g of rosin at 100-200C on a large container on top of a heating plate in your garden, what kind of cataclysm can you expect? We are not talking about kilos of rosin cooked at 500C inside a non ventilated area with tens of kids running around.

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post-5144-0-76501000-1399653595_thumb.jpg

I cooked this about 5 hrs yesterday, nice color developing but the cooled resin will not dissolve in turps like I was hoping. It does dissolve in alcohol very easily.

The collected spruce resin was cleaned and separated using alcohol, from now on I'm using turpentine.

I guess I will cook it some more, see how dark it will get, maybe it can be used as a coloring for a spirit varnish.

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Now that I know that the crockpot will stay at 300F I feel safe about leaving it on without too much attention. And the resin is noticeably darker than when I started so it seems that the temperature is sufficient to do the job.

Why the picture went sideways I don't know, mobile device to the web is kinda limited.

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Evan, what kind of resin did you cook? Does it dissolve in turps?

I have tried separating resin just by heat but I could never get it to filter without cooling too fast and ending up with everything stuck in the screen.

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Evan, what kind of resin did you cook? Does it dissolve in turps?

I have tried separating resin just by heat but I could never get it to filter without cooling too fast and ending up with everything stuck in the screen.

This was jeffery pine sap, it will disolve in turps.

it has no turpenes naturally it has n-heptane so it  gets hard real fast.

 

Sort of like trying to cook gasoline,,, the volitales come off quickly and disperse so it is safe enough but if you were to try to distill it

or consentrate the vapors it could go off like a bomb, a number of people have died thinking thet were going to make turpentine from it.

The tree looks exactly like a ponderosa to most,, but the sap smells like vannila and pineapple.

 

  I added a bout a quart of turps before I turned on the heat to keep it loose.

There will be a lot of mosture coming from the bark and needles so it can appear foggy upon the first cooling.

I let it stew awhile at about 300f or so then turn it up a bit and pour it without delay through the strainer,

you have to get the mass of sap in the strainer so it will stay hot enough to flow.

My strainer is the size of a five gallon bucket around and about 8" deep.

I try to pour it into the next vessel for cooking.

But if it is going to cool to brittle then I can pour it on a large cookie sheet covered in alum foil and cook it later.

 

But if you are having a problem pouring a smaller amount through a strainer,(add a few turps) or

you can place the recieving pan and the strainer on a heating element and get them hot enough (not too hot) then pour the sap into the hot strainer.

I use a propane tourch to melt the rememants of the sap from the pans.

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Hi Violinoalto, apologize for the delay in responding to your post 69- I add it from those tubes of pigments that are made into a paste with oil. I squeeze it out of the tube onto a stick and stir it in when the rosin has melted.  The artist pigment that seems to have the best potential is umber. Tube umber can be purchased as Raw Umber which contains the following: Fe2O3-50%, SiO2-13%, Al2O3-3%, MgO-2%, CaO-5%, MnO2-16%.  After raw umber is roasted, the composition is,Fe2O3-54%, SiO2-18%, Al2O3-6%,CaO-4%, MgO-2%, MnO2-10%. I use the roasted umber due to the reduction of the amount of manganese that I think produces brown in the varnish. If you use Sienna, which has no iron, the varnish seems to have a reddish tint, but when you spread it out there is not much difference compared to umber. Manganese is a better drier than iron, but if you have patience, it doesn't make much difference. I also use umber because the chemical literature indicates that it regulates iron in creating changes. Still working on this.  fred

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So if long cooking is all about the color, it brings up the question from the other thread - To antique or not (or if you want your violins to be really dark)

 

Then maybe it's all about finding the "right" colored Colophony!?

 

I mean old violins were much lighter when they were new.

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