Pitch is tar. Normal, everyday tar. You can buy a clump of it most anywhere, and actually you have to ask for it in a clump because I think that is the internationally accepted unit of measurement for pitch. Or you can go out to the road with a pocket knife and scrape some out of a patch or seam in the pavement. And do be careful and aware of traffic!
What the pitch does is make the hemp nice and gummy where it makes contact with the pipe. Hemp that isn't pitched will spin after a time as the hemp bunches all up and begins to move as one. Think of pitch as an anchor. Take your newly purchase clump of pitch and hold it over a lighter until you see a portion of it melt, then pull about a foot of your hemp through it so you see it come out "dirty." The hemp is nice and gummy after this. Then, what I like to do is run the pitch over the lighter again, and then dab it onto the pipe section. I mean DAB it, don't rub it, don't smear it, just get a tiny little dot of pitch on there.
Now, you're ready to wrap. Take your lighter and run a few passes over your dot of pitch on the pipe section till it melts...it'll happen quickly. Then smear that dot with a small piece of paper or anything that can be used as a small straight edge. With that now-smeared dot of pitch still warm (reheat it if you have to)begin wrapping your "dirty" section of hemp in the area where your smeared pitch is. Then continue to wrap your section like normal. If pitched and wrapped properly, that hemp job could last you a couple of years. Take your time and make it perfect once so you don't have to keep wrapping it every other month. Also, rub some bee's wax over the hemp when you're done wrapping. Just helps to seal the wrap better.
I hope this helps, and I apologize if this seems a wee bit long, but there's only one way to explain it. After adopting this practice I have never had pitch spin again. I hear they miss me down at the support group. :) Good luck.
P.S. It's better to use less pitch than more. You do not want to see it poking through your finished wrap. It will gum the inside of your drones or stocks. When in doubt...use half of what you were going to use.
>I had the marvelous experience of the hemp on one of
>my drones, where it meets the stock, spin after
>practice this week. It took quite a while to get the
>stock free because everything bunched up and locked,
>basically, it wasn't my day. My PM told me very
>briefly to use pitch on my hemp and on the drone to
>secure the hemp so it won't spin. Fair enough, great
>advice. One problem, what is pitch? Where can I get
>it? How do I "pitch my hemp"? The problem with
>advice sometimes is that no one sticks around to see
>if you have any questions. Oh well, can you guys
>help? I used yellow waxed hemp, in case that makes a
>difference in the answer.
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Date Posted:21:32:33 12/02/01 Sun
You beat me to it Bruce! :) I recommend, if the joint is really locked, to use a very narrow cake icing knife. Very flexible, thin and no edge to cut into the wood. But still be careful, some things that aren't designed to cut can still cut you pretty good.
>You can also obtain this at most Highland vendors
>under the name "black wax." Pine tar is often used.
>If it happens to you, you may find it useful to try to
>run a thin blade between the stock and the lower joint
>and move the blade around the joint to work it open.
>If you ever notice that any of your hemp is starting
>to spin, replace it NOW!! Otherwise you're risking it
>locking up the next time you put your pipes together
>(as you found out).