Bushlore Topics > Bushlore and Outdoor Skills

BIRCH TAR WATERPROOFING

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wolfy:
I wasn't real sure where to put this, but I guess this is as good as any. :shrug:

I was reminded of this by Hunter63's thread on wet-moulding leather.  I knew a cordwainer on the rendezvous-circuit some years ago who did some exceptional work in moulding, stitching, and waterproofing all manner of leather bottles and containers.  He was steeped in the knowledge and history of his craft, so I have no reason to doubt the veracity of some of the methods he employed.  He said he used "birch tar" which he made himself, to waterproof the insides of his leather vessels.  He wouldn't tell me how he made it, but it looked glossy and black from what I could see of it, inside the necks of the leather bottles.

Since we don't have any birch trees around here, I never pursued the process of making any.  I always used beeswax because it's easily obtainable and it smells good. 8).  It does have it's limitations, though, as I have discovered through my own experiments.

Today, I ran across this webpage and thought that some of you, that have access to birch trees, might want to give this stuff a try.  Are ya' listenin', MnSportsman? ;D.   Anyway, here it is....

http://www.practicalprimitive.com/skillofthemonth/birchtar.html

Old Philosopher:
Excellent, Wolfy! Thanks!  Lots of birch around here.
RM strikes again, huh?  ;)

Barbarossa Bushman:
Great site and thanks for sharing wolfy. Birch tar is supposed to be great at waterproofing almost anything I hear but have never used it myself. Here's a good vid of Lonnie doing some. I enjoy this guys channel.

wolfy:
Thanks for adding the video to the mix, BB! :thumbsup:

upthecreek:
That is cool. Wish we had some birches around here. Great reason to start a fire if nothing else. Very good info.

Creek

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