Pine Resin Pieces
Pine Resin (Pinus sp.), also called Gum Rosin, Colophony or Greek pitch, is a solid form of resin obtained from various species of Pine trees and some other conifers. The resin is usually produced by heating fresh liquid resin to vaporize the volatile liquid terpene components. It is often semi-transparent and ranges in color from yellow to black. At room temperature Pine resin is brittle, but it easily melts at slightly higher temperatures. Gum Rosin chiefly consists of various resin acids, especially abietic acid.
The name “Colophony” comes from “Colophonia resina”, Latin for “resin from Colophon,” an ancient city in Ionia and likely one of the oldest of the twelve cities of the Ionian League.
Natural Reusable Food Wraps
Pine tree resin is a popular ingredient for making reusable Beeswax food-wraps (combined with Beeswax and Jojoba oil).
Rosin is often used in printing inks, photocopying and laser printing paper, varnishes, glues (adhesives), soap, paper sizing, soda, soldering fluxes, and sealing wax.
Rosin can be used as a glazing agent for pills and chewing gum. Pine resin is an ingredient in several plasters and ointments.
In industry, Pine resin is a flux used in soldering. The lead-tin solder commonly used in electronics has about 1% rosin as a flux core helping the molten metal flow and making a better connection by reducing the refractory solid oxide layer formed at the surface back to metal. It is frequently seen as the burnt or clear residue around new soldering.
A mixture of pitch and Pine tree resin is used to make a surface against which glass is polished when making optical components such as lenses.
Pine resin is added in small quantities to traditional linseed oil/sand gap fillers, used in construction work.
When mixed with waxes and oils, this resin is the main ingredient of “mystic smoke”, a gum mixture which, when rubbed and suddenly stretched, appears to produce puffs of smoke from the fingertips.
Pine tree resin is frequently used for its friction increasing capacity in various fields:
Players of bowed string instruments rub cakes or blocks of the resin on their bow hair so it can grip the strings and make them speak, or vibrate clearly. Extra substances such as beeswax, gold, silver, tin, or meteoric iron are sometimes added to Pine resin to modify its stiction/friction properties, and (arguably) the tone it produces.
Violin rosin can be applied to the bridges in other musical instruments, such as the banjo and banjolele, in order to prevent the bridge from moving during playing.
Ballet, flamenco, and Irish dancers are known to rub the tips and heels of their shoes in the powdered tree resin to help avoid slipping on clean wooden dance floors or performance stages. It was at one time used in the same way in fencing and is still used by boxers, gymnasts, aerial acrobatics, bull riders, handball players, baseball pitchers, ten-pin bowlers and Olympic weightlifters to improve traction and/or grip.
Other uses are not based on friction:
Fine art uses Gum Rosin for tempera emulsions and as a painting medium component for oil paintings. It is soluble in turpentine when warmed.
Dog groomers use powdered rosin to aid in removal of excess hair from deep in the ear canal.
Flypaper can be made with Pine resin as an ingredient.
Rosin was sometimes used as an ingredient in dubbing wax used in fly tying.