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15 minute bow drill

Discussion in 'Out and About' started by barbourdurham, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. barbourdurham

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    Was bored on the sofa. Went outside to get some air. Found a hazel wand on top of the arbour which I used earlier in the year to make a wilderness chair. Had my pocket knife on me, so I decided to set myself the challenge of making a bowdrill set and getting an ember within 15 minutes.

    I cut the hazel into a hearth board and a drill, used the saw on my pocket knife to trim a branch off one of the bushes in my garden and set to it. I used a smooth stone that had a kinda dent in it for a bearing block. I always have a meter of paracord looped onto a split ring on my pocket knife.

    Anyways, here's the set.
    [​IMG]

    It was great fun to get a bit of practice in. I was successful, which is clearly the aim of this, here's my ember....
    [​IMG]

    I am man. I. Made. Fire! 😅

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
  2. Man of Tanith

    Mod

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  3. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Forager

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    great job!...takes me 15 minutes just to carve the spindle!!!!...woods
     
  4. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    Hugely satisfying :D

    M
     
  5. Mesquite

    Mesquite Anyone for sailing?

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    Nothing more satisfying that creating an ember that way :)
     
  6. huntersforge

    huntersforge Full Member

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    Top job fella:)
     
  7. NarzaCyst

    NarzaCyst Tenderfoot

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    Nice one mate, having issues my self with hazel on hazel. Any tips on the technique? Always seem to create fibres instead of dust.

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
     
  8. barbourdurham

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    umm... I'm no expert on this technique (I failed just last night with the same set) but from how I feel it, hazel is a very hard wood and needs to be well seasoned. I used a smooth stone as a bearing block in this successful attempt and i think that had a lot to do with it, where as last night I had a hard wood burl as a bearing block and there was too much friction on the spindle. BUT, when using hazel on hazel, I do spend a fair longer time warming the set in with long, steady strokes on the bow, with only a light pressure on the bearing block. Once the smoke is nice and thick, I will apply steadily more pressure on the bearing block and more speed on the bow. I always remember to breath and not get too excited going hard out as this can cause the spindle to pop out!

    It didnt work last night because when I burned the set on, the spindle wasn't in the centre of the hearth board and once it was bedded in, the spindle would pop off the side of the board. I got lots of smoke but could not get an ember because I couldnt maintain pressure for long enough as the spindle popped out always at the wrong moment! oh well, practice practice practice........

    On another note, the first ever bow drill I did was pine on pine and took me four and a half hours!
     
  9. NarzaCyst

    NarzaCyst Tenderfoot

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    Thanks for the reply mate, really appreciated. I've kept the set and won't give up. What you said makes perfect sense. I tend to get excited and try to rush the whole process, heavy pressure all the way which always causes fibers rather than dust.

    Pine is also on my list also, I had a set, but had too much resin in it, so will scout for another set this weekend also.

    Many thanks for the advice!

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  10. barbourdurham

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    You're welcome. I hope my ramblings made some sense....

    If you are scouting for suitable wood for a set, my top tips (all from only my experience) on wood for a bow drill are:

    Pine on pine: good if from a branch dead on the tree, cut from further than the first knot.

    Willow on willow: can be found anywhere near water, or in town parks and the like. Very good.

    Sycamore on sycamaore: good to use but so hard to find that 'perfect' limb. Can be rotten on the inside but look perfect from the outside.

    Hazel on hazel: hard to find a decent limb in nature but easy to prepare as almost always nice and straight and the right diameters.

    Ash: don't bother, way to hard a wood.

    All materials should ideally be gathered as dead standing wood, well weathered with the bark shed or at least most of it peeled off through time and of course, it must be bone dry! I have found that for me, the best diameter for the spindle is as thick as my thumbs first knuckle.

    Anyways, good luck! Let me know how you get on!

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
  11. NarzaCyst

    NarzaCyst Tenderfoot

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    I can't thank you enough with your advice! Thank you so much!

    I learned an incredible amount from you regarding hazel on hazel which serves me well on future woods.

    I'm used to a harder wood that takes a lot of pressure and lots if speed.

    Hazel is quite the opposite and requires very little pressure and just a moderate amount of speed.

    I've managed 2 embers from my hazel set, and managed to use the skills I learned from hazel and other sets to get a birch on birch ember this weekend too!

    Again, many thanks to your advice, I'll post some vids tomorrow when I upload them through the work network!

    Hazel on hazel.

    [​IMG]

    Birch on birch.

    [​IMG]

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
     

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