Instructables
Picture of Rosin
This instructable shows how to make rosin out of pine sap / pitch. Rosin can be used for the following:

Electronic Soldering Flux:

Much like burningsuntech's instructable Make your own Eco-friendly soldering flux, you can dissolve the rosin in denatured alcohol for use as a flux.

Alternatively, you can melt the rosin directly with a soldering iron to liquify and then dip in the solder, a lead, or wire.

You can soften the rosin by adding something like vaseline / petroleum jelly to it when molten for rub-on application.

Lastly, you can take an alcohol based mixture of rosin, add water, and evaporate at room temperature to make a water-based emulsion.
 
Stringed Instruments:

Stringed instruments like violins use rosin to create grip between the bow fibers and the instrument strings. You can remelt the solder using a deep fryer and then pour it a c-shaped wooden mold.

Varnish Component:

Rosin can be used as a component in varnish, for example when added to linseed oil.

Grip Enhancement:

Athletes (baseball, gymnastics) use rosin in the form of 'rosin bags' to enhance grip on sports equipment. If available, rosin bags provide the no-fuss source for raw rosin.

Step 1: Collect

Picture of Collect
00A - Sap Tools.jpg
00B - Pine Tree.jpg
00C - Tree Wound.jpg
In this step, collect pine sap / pitch.

Locate a pine tree with 'wounds' from tree trimming. These contain the pine sap / pitch mixed with wood chips, pollen, bugs, and dirt. Use a butter knife to scoop the sap / pitch into an appropriate container. An appropriate container should be made of glass or of high density polyethylene plastic (HDPE). This type of plastic can withstand strong solvents like acetone and is generally marked with a '2' in the recycling symbol.
 
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Tod.Rickey5 days ago

I dissolved the resin from an Austrian White Pine (tar) into pure soybean oil, using slight heating. (This is reminiscent of the fact mentioned in the article that vegetable oil may be used in the cleanup process.) Specifically, 6.0 grams tar was mixed with 100 mL soy oil into a small iron cauldron, heated by a tea lite to approx. 100 degrees C. With a little stirring, it dissolved within just a few minutes. Afterwards, the solution was poured into five (5) amber-glass, 20 mL containers with rubber stoppers. After several weeks, there remains no precipitate. I plan further trials, to ascertain the maximum tar solute load for soy oil. If interested, please email to todd.rickey@gmx.com

vreinkymov (author)  Tod.Rickey4 days ago
Are you doing this to assay the rosin or is it for varnish?
casey.harris.12 made it!1 month ago

Ignore that stray cat hairs and fingerprints. The cat can't be escaped in our house, and it was fingerprint free and glossy until I was so exited with my success that I couldn't quick poking it. Thanks for the instructable!

Changes to my procedures:
I didn't have a collection container with a lid, so I just stirred it every 20 minutes. I had more sap (almost all Sitka Spruce) than was ideal for my container, so once I reached the apparent carrying capacity of the acetone, I poured it into the strainer (a paper towel) and added more acetone to the remaining sap-sludge.

I also didn't have a deep fryer, so I added oil to a small sauce pan, put my pitch in a used diced-tomato can, and cooked it that way on the stove. I didn't have any problems with it, but be sure to turn on your kitchen fan and keep the heat low until the acetone is out! Also, waft the fumes to see if they're pitch or acetone - don't sniff them.

If possible, for the final boiling round to get rid of the stickiness, do it outside or with windows open. The smell isn't bad, but it's a thick, heavy scent and can be unpleasant to breathe.

I poured the liquid rosin from the can into a lined (as suggested above) aluminum measuring cup and and let it cool in the fridge. Since this is rosin for a cello bow, I heated a spoon in boiling water and used it to reheat the back of the rosin the next morning to stick it to my cloth. It takes several applications of heat to get enough rosin melted to properly stick to the cloth. Also, I used a knife to carefully trip off the edges of the rosin, as they had crept slightly up the cup while cooling and were possibly sharp enough to cut bow hairs.

Finally, during this production, I learned that lard (not sure about vegetable shortening) is FANTASTIC for removing sap! WAY better than peanut butter or hand sanitizer! The rosin is superb; I got a new bow in playing shape in no time.
Great job, vreinkymov!

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sugarworm2 years ago
I used to do the same thing with alcohol as the solvent! Except I always set the rosin/ solvent solution on fire to get the rosin, and I only used it as a binder for incense. Never knew that there were so many uses :D
dreamberry2 years ago
Great instructable! I love the idea of making my own rosin!
westfw2 years ago
be careful with that acetone near heating elements like a deep fryer (you do mention this, but I think it need emphasized more!) And DON'T substitute some kind of gas stove for the electric fryer! Acetone fumes are infamous for pooling and flowing along the ground to find open flames (ie when stored in a garage near a gas water heater.) At which point you get a fume "explosion" and the source of vapors catches fire...
vreinkymov (author)  westfw2 years ago
Definitely good information, thanks for providing it!
rimar20002 years ago
This is very interesting, thanks for sharing.

A question: can I use regular pine sawdust to obtain rosin?
vreinkymov (author)  rimar20002 years ago
You could try, but I don't think it would make a very strong solution of rosin.
vreinkymov (author) 2 years ago
I forgot to mention, this step is very messy. If it does get on your hands, vegetable oil + alcohol + soap acts as a good sap remover.