Making Pine Tar - My Results

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Hypnagog

Full Member
Nov 12, 2012
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Essex
hotchpotchblog.wordpress.com
Tell us about the process? Woodash lye or caustic? Did it trace fast when you added the tar (or did you add the tar to the fat base before the alkali?

Looks good regardless!

This one was caustic soda based. I wanted to get an idea of how it should work before going onto using woodash lye.

I really like Olive Oil soaps, so I based this one around that and kept it simple with only one oil. I was also curious as to what would happen with the colour.

The ingredients: Caustic Soda, water, pine tar and olive oil...
DSCF5709.jpg



I gently warmed the olive oil (thinking that it would help the pine tar to blend with it), removed it from the heat and slowly added the pine tar.
Then added the lye water (caustic soda + water which had been mixed previously and allowed to cool)...
DSCF5715.jpg



I stirred it manually, expecting it to go from a light trace and then sieze, but it actually took about ten minutes of stirring to get a light trace. It also looked a little like it had curdled, but I supposed that this is just the pine tar in a suspension (maybe???)
DSCF5725.jpg



I wanted to get a photo of the trace, so I stirred for a bit longer and then it got very thick, very quickly...
DSCF5727 copy.jpg



By the time I had poured the last bar it had become very thick, and didn't settle when I tried to smooth the surface.
DSCF5739.jpg


Cleaning up was surprisingly easy.
DSCF5730.jpg


Looking at it now, I reckon that I'll be able to remove it from the moulds tomorrow.

Now the hard part of waiting several weeks before giving it a try.
 
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British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
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402
Mercia
Ahhh that explains things - I add the pine tar after barely tracing the base fat (so that the smells and essential oils don't saponify). For some reason adding the pine tar at the point of trace massively accelerates setting - I get about 30 seconds to get it in the mould! I do use a cheap stick blender to mix - gets me to trace far faster :)
 

Hypnagog

Full Member
Nov 12, 2012
136
1
Essex
hotchpotchblog.wordpress.com
Ahhh that explains things - I add the pine tar after barely tracing the base fat (so that the smells and essential oils don't saponify). For some reason adding the pine tar at the point of trace massively accelerates setting - I get about 30 seconds to get it in the mould! I do use a cheap stick blender to mix - gets me to trace far faster :)
I'll give that a go next time. I wasn't sure how hard it would be to get the tar to mix, so I added it first.
Is it easy to mix after trace?

This is the first soap that I've made without a stick blender. I did have a go manually a while ago with a lard based soap but I gave up and whizzed it with the blender.

This one was much easier that that to get to a trace, so the pine tar could well have accelerated it I guess.

What base do you use for your pine tar soap? Do you add any essential oils to it?
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
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I usually use a mix of coconut oil and veg suet. I find the lather on pure olive oil a bit slimy - but it is amazingly mild.

If you mix at trace it sets like bleeding lightning..... Doesn't need any perfume though - It reeks of pine tar!
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
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SE Wales
Fascinating, I've just caught up with this thread, some great information here..................I'm glad you're having success with your efforts and look forward to hearing how the soap works for you. Soap making is something I've wanted to do for a long time, but there's quite a queue of projects to get through!.atb mac
 

TurboGirl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2011
2,326
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Leicestershire
www.king4wd.co.uk
I usually use a mix of coconut oil and veg suet. I find the lather on pure olive oil a bit slimy - but it is amazingly mild.

If you mix at trace it sets like bleeding lightning..... Doesn't need any perfume though - It reeks of pine tar!
BR, I have Eric Meths recipe but understand you had a pine tar soap recipe tute up somewhere... I can't find it though! Is it practically the same as the standard recipe tute please?

Thank you very much for this wonderfully interesting thread, OP :)
 

TurboGirl

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Sep 8, 2011
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You can add the pine tar as an additive at the point of trace (about 10% total batch weight) but it accelerates the trace, or include it in the original fat base (but risk the pine tar being subsumed in saponification) - your choice!
That's brilliant confirmation, quantities etc! thank you so much! Point of trace it is then ;) Should it be heated to help it amalgramate into the mix? Does it split or curdle it? I'm afraid I have to rely on beating by hand but I guess I could try half and half to hit trace easily while still ensuring a good bit of the good stuff essence and scent is preserved :)
 

Lister

Settler
Apr 3, 2012
991
0
33
Runcorn, Cheshire
With regards to tins, look at catering size pots of trecle/golden syrup, they're most likely the sort you are looking for i think? failing that, paint cans (the empty ones you can buy obviously)
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
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mmmmmmm cake :cool:

Its just getting the damn stuff in the moulds that's hard - next time I'm going to mix it in one large mould and then slice it into bars - it goes rock hard in 30 seconds I kid you not!
 

TurboGirl

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Sep 8, 2011
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Its just getting the damn stuff in the moulds that's hard - next time I'm going to mix it in one large mould and then slice it into bars - it goes rock hard in 30 seconds I kid you not!
I hope I've not made a muddy puddle then- I used my old faithful castille recipe, omitted the essential oils and added 2tsp citonella, 2 tsp tea tree and 2 tabs of stockholm tar at trace. It seems to be setting ok but I suspect I've made 'Big-Brown-Melting-Pot' soap ;)


The base recipe used (with adaptions as above) was....
30oz Vegetable oil (i.e. Rapeseed)
2oz Beeswax
6oz Milk
6oz Water
4oz Caustic soda (I use B&Qs which is labeled ‘concentrated’)
2tsp Ylang Ylang essential oil
1tsp Lavender essential oil
1 tsp Patchouli essential oil

The waiting is the hard part, eh?! As long as its not at A&E, I count it as a success ;)
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
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402
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Looks great! I use a lot more pine tar than two tbs which probably explains why mine goes nuts!

You have a lovely even blend and colour there - I'm impressed! I think that will go off just fine
 

TurboGirl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2011
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So come on TG - did it fully set?
Kinda :) Its got a good leathery surface but if I press down, it gives some... I'd say like testing a steak for medium to well done if that makes sense?! But it usually takes 4 days for this recipe to set enough to cut so I'm not panicking yet... unless I should be, of course.... should I?!!!!

:aargh4:Everythings always better after a quick panic ;)