1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Sap Tapping Tutorial

Discussion in 'Lovely Grub' started by g4ghb, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. g4ghb

    g4ghb Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    4,139
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Wiltshire
    G4's Birch Tapping Tutorial - otherwise titled 'how I do it.....;)'

    I managed to get a couple of hours to relax in the woods today so after a walk I stopped to set some taps up and took some photos to create a little tutorial of how I do it – Not necessarily the best way but it is my way and it suits me fine. Hopefully it will all make sense as I was on my own and it is hard to take pic’s of tasks that require two hands!

    Before starting it is worth checking that the sap is indeed rising
    To do this I cut a small nick in the tree

    [​IMG]

    And check to see that it is weeping sap – if so push the cut closed to minimize loss

    [​IMG]


    So - assuming the Sap is rising we can get on with the job in hand.....

    To start with this is the ‘set’ I use (bar the tube which I forgot to add but is shown later in the tutorial)
    You could perform the whole task with just the drill bit and a knife but the saw makes life easier. To start with I cut 3 lengths of hazel length isn’t of importance but the short piece will be my handle, the long bit my baton and the middle bit my ‘vice’

    [​IMG]

    Step 1 – Baton through the ‘vice’ far enough to allow the end of the bit to fit but not so far it splits in two

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 2 – Insert the tapered part of the bit in the split and using the ‘vice’ you have just made to help you grip the bit tightly enough drill a hole through your handle

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 3 – Hammer the bit into the handle – it will be firm and solid now and ready to work

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 4 – Drill a hole about 3/4” deep in your tree

    [​IMG]

    Step 5 – Clean out the hole to remove ‘sawdust’ (you can see the sap in the pic)

    [​IMG]

    Step 6 – Push tube into the hole (here I used tape on the end to give a better seal) you can see the sap already flowing….

    [​IMG]

    Step 7 – Set up your collection container – here I have used a pop bottle

    [​IMG]

    Step 8 – Leave to collect sap :D

    In the meantime whittle down a green stick (I used half of the ‘vice’ – waste not want not) to create your plug to fill the hole when you are finished.

    [​IMG]

    While waiting I also knocked out a quick spoon from the other half - it is still a bit rough but it was so green it needs a little drying out till I can finish it

    [​IMG]

    In about 30 minutes I had collected this much so you can see it wouldn’t take long to get a good harvest.

    [​IMG]

    Step 9 – plug the hole, knock in well with your baton and cut flush to the tree

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All neat and now the tree won't bleed to death and live to provide for you another day ;)

    Step 10 - Enjoy! :D
     
    #1 g4ghb, Mar 24, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  2. g4ghb

    g4ghb Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    4,139
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Wiltshire
    Strewth! - I'm glad that it worked..... it's taken me longer to write the tutorial than it did to actually do it! :eek:
     
  3. AJB

    AJB Native

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Brilliant, thank you for doing that - I wish I had access to some birch! What diameter drill is that?
     
  4. g4ghb

    g4ghb Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    4,139
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Wiltshire
    it is 8mm 5/16" mate
     
  5. AJB

    AJB Native

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Ta very much :)
     
  6. bushcraft_lad

    bushcraft_lad New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    U.K
    excellent mate

    Can we makes this a sticky ?

    regards,Jordan
     
  7. maddave

    maddave Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,177
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    Yes ! Excellent tutorial Graham
     
  8. Biker

    Biker Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,786
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Normandy, France. Originally Kent, UK.
    At the risk of sounding like a total numpty what do you do with the sap now that you have it?

    Rub it into your boots to water proof them. clean acid stains from knife blades, lubricate door hinges ... I suppose now you're gonna tell me to drink it

    Ahahahahahahaaaa aa ahhaaha .. ahem :eek:

    Oh c'mon? You cannot be serious!
     
  9. g4ghb

    g4ghb Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    4,139
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Wiltshire
    lol - oh yes i'm serious! - get it down you boy, it will put hairs on your chest! ;)

    I'm sure Betty wouldn't have needed to ask! :p
     
  10. g4ghb

    g4ghb Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    4,139
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Wiltshire
    not that size really matters - I just think it kinder to the tree an less obtrusive than a huge 1" hole ;)
     
  11. Man of Tanith

    Mod

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    10,790
    Likes Received:
    179
    Location:
    Potton, Bedfordshire or alternatively my own happy
    Nice tutorial Graham
     
  12. shogun

    shogun Need to contact Admin...

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    U.K
    i no nothing about sap tapping!! but i do now thanx for that it is a great thread..atb Alza
     
  13. Tony

    Tony White bear (Admin)
    Admin

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Messages:
    21,648
    Likes Received:
    408
    Location:
    Wales
    Thanks for taking the time Graham goodjob
     
  14. gsfgaz

    gsfgaz Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hamilton... scotland
    Excellent tutorial , cheers m8
     
  15. Shewie

    Shewie Mod
    Mod

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Messages:
    24,255
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Excellent post Graham goodjob

    Do you think you get much more sap by using the pipe rather than a carved stick ?
     
  16. Sherwood

    Sherwood Nomad

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Derbyshire/Notts border
    Excellent tutorial goodjob, going to try it myself tomorrow for the first time, now I have the knowledge....
     
  17. AJB

    AJB Native

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Lancashire
    I’ve been thinking about this, and even though I don’t have access to any birch, I feel the acquisition of a drill bit coming on! Silly question, is there anything special about the tube, food grade etc, I assume bog standard B&Q plastic pipe wont taint the sap?

    I was also thinking, if I could get hold of an appropriately sized metal bolt up pipe nipple, it could go through the lid of my Zebra billy, it would be a nice sealed system, meaning no bits in the sap and it would act as a little steam vent when it’s being used on a fire.
     
  18. g4ghb

    g4ghb Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    4,139
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Wiltshire
    I shouldn't think it makes much difference - it just means it is easy and controllable. Plus a clear tube is less noticeable than a billy hanging on a tree ;)
     
  19. g4ghb

    g4ghb Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    4,139
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Wiltshire
    I don't think it will make much difference as long as it is clean - to be safe you could use tube from a home brewing kit

    Neat idea - I just use pop bottles - if you want to seal it better you can punch a hole through the lid;)
     
  20. forestwalker

    forestwalker Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Jämtland, Sweden
    My SO claims that drinking a bit each day during spring stops her birch pollen allergies. She freezes some from spring to spring, so that she can start early.
     

Share This Page