Fire by Friction - Hurray!

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At long last, success!
After some intensive practice for the past month (half an hour here, half and there) I finally got two embers in a row which were transfered to cramp balls. I now look like this :D :D :D !

A few tips I have come by via trial/ error for anyopne still trying are:

1) Make sure your drill and bow are big enough. I was using a drill only about 15cms high, which was very inconvenient, as well as a tiny bow. I doubled both the sizes and it was much easier.

2) Don't make your hole too near the edge of the board, the drill just keeps on popping out.

3) Don't stop until you can't see the drill 'cause of smoke!

woodwalker :red: :red:


Sep 6, 2005
South Northants
Well done that man! That first coal is worth more than gold when you finally get there isn't it? The fact that you produced two coals in succession is good too. It shows that the first one wasn't a fluke if nothing else! As Tony says, keep practicing and you'll soon be doing it every time.
I struggled with the bow drill for years before learning on here that the bow must not flex and that I had been trying with "difficult" woods for all that time. Once I cracked it I practiced and practiced until I am now confident that I can get a coal every time with my bow drill set. If I cannot get a coal these days I am confident that there is something wrong other than my technique, and I start looking at the materials I'm using etc.


Aug 28, 2005
Brilliant Woodwalker.

I had a first today in one form of bow drill. I have a big grin but I bet yours is bigger.

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