Bow Drill Fires!
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David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
fireboard on 11/05/2010 08:10:58 MDT Print View

Brad, scrape the black stuff off the end of your spindle, and try the tension suggestions above. If that doesn't do it, start a new hole in your fireboard. Oftentimes as you bore a hole deeper and deeper you'll get into harder wood that produces punk less efficiently. Also make sure your side trench (for catching and collecting the punk) is deeper/lower than the bottom of the hole in your fireboard.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
fire! on 11/05/2010 08:18:24 MDT Print View

Great video Larry! Really captures the mechanics, and how darn annoying the learning process is.

I used a rock climbing bolt drill to put a hole in a piece of hard granite. An elk ankle bone perhaps the best top rock of all, it has a good hole and very low friction on the spindle.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: fireboard on 11/05/2010 10:47:49 MDT Print View

"Brad, scrape the black stuff off the end of your spindle"

And the hearth board hole too.

One thing which helps with the string slipping is to use a counter-twisted pair instead of a single string. A larger diameter spindle will help too--it needs to be >= 1 inch.

The hearth end of the spindle should be blunt, the other end narrow for reduced friction.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: fire! on 11/08/2010 10:22:11 MST Print View

"Great video Larry! Really captures the mechanics, and how darn annoying the learning process is."

Thanks, a lot. That was the "story" I was trying to tell and I'm glad to hear that I succeeded. You're the first person to comment on it that did not know prior to watching it what I was trying to convey. Thanks again.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Re: Bow Drill Fires! on 11/08/2010 10:45:12 MST Print View

I'd try a new hole... Sometimes you enter into or out of the heart wood and that causes problems. Or if its too deep, it robs you of down pressure.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: Bow Drill Fires! on 11/08/2010 15:11:55 MST Print View

Thanks for all the tips, guys! I could definitely stand to rough up the bottom of the drill, it's been rounded almost perfectly smooth. Hope to have some time in the next week to play with it some more.