Author Topic: Pine Sap  (Read 2155 times)

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Offline jbasen

  • Posts: 738
Pine Sap
« on: August 29, 2018, 09:41 PM »
I very, very rarely use pine on a furniture project.  I just use the odd 2x4 when I need to do some sort of construction project in my home.  I just purchased some 1" x 12" pine that I'll be using in a rustic furniture project after I cover it with birch bark.  I noticed that there are a bunch of places on the lumber that have sap on them.  When I saw this on some 2x4's I used in my attic on a project a few years ago I found that the heat in the attic caused the sap to drip for several summers before it finally stopped.  So, I have 2 questions.

1) What is the best way to clean the sap from the boards?  I know I could sand it off but I expect it will quickly load up the sandpaper and I was curious if there was a better way.

2) Is there a good way to seal the wood so it can't ooze sap in warm weather; which might affect the birch bark I'll be gluing to it?

Thanks in advance for the help.

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Offline George Oliver

  • Posts: 17
Re: Pine Sap
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2018, 10:49 PM »
1) What is the best way to clean the sap from the boards?  I know I could sand it off but I expect it will quickly load up the sandpaper and I was curious if there was a better way.

When I've needed to do this (prior to priming knots in raw wood) I've used a heat gun until no more sap bubbled out (edit: removing the sap with a putty knife), and then cleaned the surface with turpentine.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2018, 11:00 PM by George Oliver »

Offline jbasen

  • Posts: 738
Re: Pine Sap
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2018, 11:16 PM »
Great Idea!  Thanks @George Oliver!!

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 5061
Re: Pine Sap
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2018, 11:20 PM »
I’ve used a sharp wide chisel...think 1.5” wide. That way it has less of a tendency to dig into the softer wood that surrounds the sap.

Offline jbasen

  • Posts: 738
Re: Pine Sap
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2018, 11:38 PM »
Thanks @Cheese

Offline jbasen

  • Posts: 738
Re: Pine Sap
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2018, 11:51 AM »
I just tried using a heat gun and the sap just pours out of the spot in the wood where it was visible. I just pulled the gun away, wiped it up with a paper towel, and repeated the process. It did slightly char the wood a bit but I could remove most of the discoloration with a little sanding. I also tried my wife’s blow dryer but that didn’t seem to produce enough heat.

Be aware that even though I didn’t see any visible smoke this set my smoke detector off almost immediately.

Great tip.  Thanks again

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2357
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Pine Sap
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2018, 09:08 PM »
Fascinating discussion. I use Spanish cedar inside my boxes as people love the smell. I find pockets of sap. I’ll try the heat gun trick.

The smoke detector issue reminded me my bachelor time in a job transition. I was in a condo in New Jersey while my wife remained in Connecticut to sell our house. I’d get home from work, start dinner, pour a cocktail, and call her. We both knew that when the smoke detector went off, my dinner was ready.

My neighbors understood I was a helpless bachelor so never complained.
Birdhunter