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How to deal with pine sap

Outdoor projects built with pine tend to leach sap (pitch)through the knots. Pitch bleeding is common in pine that has been air-dried—even years after cutting. The process of “setting the pitch” in sap-soaked wood relies on heat rather than time. Heat the wood enough, and the pitch will “volatilize,” either evaporating or crystallizing. That’s why kiln operators often heat pine to around 160° F. Given time and enough seasonal temperature highs, pitch bleeding eventually runs its course. What to do in the meantime? Remove the sap with a scraper and sand away any hard residue. Apply a coat of a de-waxed shellac sealer, such as Zinsser SealCoat Sanding Sealer (, 800-323-3584), trapping the sap under the surface. If some pitch still bleeds through, remove the sap again, and apply another coat of sealer to the trouble spot. —from the WOOD® shop
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