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Replacing the pitch in a pitch bowl

I have a pitch bowl with very hard pitch; to hard to use for
chasing. Is there some way to remove the top portion and replace it
with new pitch?


I have a pitch bowl with very hard pitch; to hard to use for
chasing. Is there some way to remove the top portion and replace it
with new pitch? 

Put it in your oven on the lowest heat. When liquid, pour out.

Katherine Palochak

I have removed pitch from an iron chasing bowl by hitting it with
the ball end of a ball pein hammer. It came out in chunks. It took a
little time and was messy but not really all that big of a job.

Marilyn Smith

David, Just out of curiosity, is a pitch bowl very expensive? Because
otherwise I’d just toss it if it won’t melt out.

I was surprised to learn that there are lots of different
formulations of chasing pitch, with very different working
characteristics. Peter Rowe highly recommends Northwest Pitchworks

see his notes at


David; Warm the bowl, to get the pitch out, if there is a place near
you that carries stuff for horses, get a small can of Pine Tar, (its
used on horse hoofs to keep them soft and flexible) add a small bit
to your current pitch, warm in an OLD pan, or container.

Mix well and you’ve saved your self some money, I don’t know where
else you could find pine tar.

I believe asphaltum will work, the kind they use for roofing
repairs, get that at home centers or hardware stores, usually called
cold patch, just don’t use a lot of either one to change the
consistency of your pitch a little dab will do ya.

Kenneth Ferrell


If the pitch is of good quality, just very hard, you may be able to
alter it to be more malleable. Not everyone likes the black pitch,
and although I use the German Red and Northwest Pitch pitch, I do
like black pitch for control and long working time.

This is a bit difficult to describe . . .if when warm (in an oven)
the pitch has a sort of “sweetish piney smell” . . .keep it. Warm the
pitch in an oven, low temperature until it melts, then add one
tablespoon of lard and stir in (carefully of course). Next stir in
casting plaster, approximately one tablespoon, this removes some of
the stickiness and slick feel from the lard. Once this is done add a
tablespoon or more of blue injection wax to make is smooth.

You do have to play with the proportions – if when you use the
pitch, it is too oily add a bit of investment. If it feels grainy
add wax. Once you like what you have, you will not need to adjust it
again for a very very long time. I do alot of chasing and have one
pitch pot of black that I have not “adjusted” in twenty years. Just
be sure not to burn it or over heat it.

By the way this is my secret recipe (just shared around the world -
smile) . . .hope this helps . . .enjoy.


I would like offer thanks to all of you who took the time to suggest
how to remove old pitch from a pitch bowl. In the end, what I did was
to hammer (with a claw hammer because of its weight) the blade of a
broken table knife into the pitch. The old pitch popped out all over
the place (wore eye protection), and so I found a deep box to do the
chiseling in. I also found chipping out the pitch at the edge of the
bowl to be difficult, and so I froze the bowl overnight. The pitch
became very hard and was easy to remove.

My case might be exceptional because the pitch even at the bottom of
the bowl was quite hard and very gritty. The bowl had be hanging
around for five years, which might explain why it was so hard. Once
again, thanks the advice.