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Old 02-13-2003, 12:06 PM
Jamey Saunders's Avatar
Jamey Saunders Jamey Saunders is offline
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I think that the rosin is used in other things, like glues, but I'm not sure. The scarcity of rosin may also have to do with the fact that it's not exactly a household necessity. Not many people use it or even know what it is, so it could be that a lot of it is simply discarded.

As for the old still, it has a large brick base (round) with a huge boiler on top. This base is probably 25 feet in diameter. There is a platform on the top where the distillers work. It is wood fired, and the turpentine that boils off is piped through a copper coil in a 15ft. diameter cooling barrel. The pure turpentine drips out of the end of the coil. Kinda like making moonshine.

I don't know what kind of trees they use, just that they're pine. They call the festival they have the "Catface Country Turpentine Festival". This comes from the way they tap the trees. They don't so much tap them as they scar them. They have a pan (kinda like a bread loaf pan) that they nail to the tree. They then have a sheet metal ramp that nails just above the pan. This ramp follows the contour of the tree and guides the sap into the pan. Then, they take a concave-faced ax and cut the bark off the tree. The way they cut the trees looks like a bunch of "V"'s stacked on top of each other. (Kinda like this, <<<<<<<<, only rotated 90*.) The sap runs out of the tree and into the pan. The scar that's left looks like a cat's whiskers, thus the name "Catface".

I don't know how they get the sap now. That's the way they did it many moons ago. As far as how much they process during the one weekend a year that the still operates, I don't know.


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