Bow drill wood types in the UK?

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starfury

Member
Dec 2, 2003
16
0
48
Wessex
www.spiritofold.co.uk
Hi :)

Nice to know your all out there!
A couple of questions:

What do you think are the best types of wood for making a bowdrill,that are available around UK woodlands? What type of wood do you find it easiest to get an ember from? (and at this time of year,in the open?)

I'd be really interested in all of your views!

Andy in rainy Wichester...........
 

Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,222
323
Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
Although I've failed to manage it myself yet, I'm told that

Alder
Birch
Clematis
Elder
Elm
Hazel
Horse Chestnut
Ivy
Lime
Oak
Pine
Poplar
Sycamore
and Willow

are all suitable woods.

I've tried, a few of those and got plenty of smoke but not an ember yet. Maybe it's about time I tried again...
 
Oct 16, 2003
154
3
53
Surrey
I've only tried the bow drill with lime wood with no success, although my wife thought my attempts were hilarious!

Are there any UK woods that are amenable to hand drilling?
 

martin

Nomad
Sep 24, 2003
456
3
nth lincs
Hi Starfury.
I got an ember from Sycamore, I used it for both the drill and the hearth. Your tinder ball needs to be bone dry,or transfer the ember to a piece of punk if it isn't.
 

Gary

New Member
Apr 17, 2003
2,603
0
53
from Essex
Ivy and Alder are good - more speed less pressure.

Sycamore is good - more forgiving of brute strength and ignorance.

But more than the species ensure you select the correct type of wood - needs to be dry but not rotten. And make sure you carve your set to the correct size for your nody too. I have seen many a novice struggle with a spindle thats to small or big.

Finally practice and patience are the menu of the day.
 

Jon

Need to contact Admin...
Oct 28, 2003
99
1
England, half way down
Once over the summer I got success using London Plane that had blown from the trees outside my house. :-D

The problem is

I daren't try again incase I fail.
How shallow is that ? :oops:

Jon.
 

Mel

Member
Nov 13, 2003
20
0
45
West Sussex
www.wilderness121.co.uk
I tried an alder set that I had made some time ago again this summer. I had struggled with it when I made it (succeeded in the end) but it was far easier and quicker this second time around.

Obviously this is no good in an emergency situation but it seems that if you have several weeks to let the wood really dry out it makes the world of difference. :-D