Show us your bow drill sets!

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Joonsy

Native
Jul 24, 2008
1,483
0
UK
great idea putting the bearing in the top for no resistance on that end will be remaking mine
perhaps it is just me but i feel using a metal bearing is a poor idea and seems to defeat the whole point of the exercise, each to their own of course :) ATB
 

Johnnyboy1971

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Dec 24, 2010
4,153
21
48
Yorkshire
Drill is hazel and bearing block of antler. Just trying a new hearth board but not too keen, will go back to hazel I think.
 

Frazer

Tenderfoot
Dec 18, 2009
64
0
Highlands
My first "wild" drill set. I think it's sycamore. Got it on the second try luckily
You've got a fair bit of charring on the bearing block there, grab a green leaf and squidge it in there for some lube and give it another shot [I see you were doing so on another set in that same photobucket album]. You want to develop a polish at that end after a bit.

EDIT: Sorry, I'm in work mode today - Anyone else in on a bank holiday Monday? :confused:
 

Stringmaker

Native
Sep 6, 2010
1,891
1
UK
This is basically my set up:

Bow Drill Set.jpg

The bow is Ash with some personal touches, the hearth in the pic (long since used) is willow, the drills are willow and hazel, the bearing block is limpet shell set in wood with clay, the cord (long since worn out!) was two-ply twisted leather and the coal collector was a piece of dried inner birch bark.

For demos and coaching I did have a failsafe set using broom handle and pallet but both of them have been worn out now.
 

atlatlman

New Member
Dec 21, 2006
750
0
ipswich
This is basically my set up:

View attachment 30098

The bow is Ash with some personal touches, the hearth in the pic (long since used) is willow, the drills are willow and hazel, the bearing block is limpet shell set in wood with clay, the cord (long since worn out!) was two-ply twisted leather and the coal collector was a piece of dried inner birch bark.


For demos and coaching I did have a failsafe set using broom handle and pallet but both of them have been worn out now.


That's a neat bearing block you have there. I seem to struggle with a hazel drill.
 

Stringmaker

Native
Sep 6, 2010
1,891
1
UK
That's a neat bearing block you have there. I seem to struggle with a hazel drill.
Thanks.

I got a little obsessive with that set; I use it as an example of personalising what only needs to be a functional tool, a bit like a gold ciggie lighter.

If I'm using natural drills/hearths I tend to stick with the same wood for each. Hazel is not the easiest combination apparently and to be honest the crucial ignition stage is pretty energetic but it is what is easiest for me to get.
 

Joonsy

Native
Jul 24, 2008
1,483
0
UK
This is basically my set up:

View attachment 30098

The bow is Ash with some personal touches, the hearth in the pic (long since used) is willow, the drills are willow and hazel, the bearing block is limpet shell set in wood with clay, the cord (long since worn out!) was two-ply twisted leather and the coal collector was a piece of dried inner birch bark.

For demos and coaching I did have a failsafe set using broom handle and pallet but both of them have been worn out now.
nice one that :), what is that 'grey thing' in the middle of the bow, is it just personalisaton or does it serve some sort of purpose.
 

Stringmaker

Native
Sep 6, 2010
1,891
1
UK
nice one that :), what is that 'grey thing' in the middle of the bow, is it just personalisaton or does it serve some sort of purpose.
Thanks.

It is a bit of personalisation that didn't quite work. It's a small piece of lead with my name scratched on it in runes but of course it oxidises so you can't read it. I need to highlight the symbols with black paint and then it'll look better.
 

Joonsy

Native
Jul 24, 2008
1,483
0
UK
Thanks.

It is a bit of personalisation that didn't quite work. It's a small piece of lead with my name scratched on it in runes but of course it oxidises so you can't read it. I need to highlight the symbols with black paint and then it'll look better.
oh i see, thanks :) you could also just outline your name in pencil on the bow then burn over the pencil with a hot pointed tip of something (like a hot darning needle) and it will be there clearly seen forever, or carve it in and rub ash into the carving for same efect.
 

leon-1

Mod
Mod
perhaps it is just me but i feel using a metal bearing is a poor idea and seems to defeat the whole point of the exercise, each to their own of course :) ATB
When you're teaching bow drill a lot it makes life a lot easier in as much as you are not always replacing the bearing block and believe me you do get attached to certain parts of a kit. It's the same principle as putting a limpet shell in the top or using a pebble with a convenient hole in it. It's also the same as using a chainsaw or lawnmower cord or climbing accessory cord. If we all did it properly we'd be using nettle or leather as our cordage and we'd probably also be doing more on egyptian bow drill than we do.

It sounds strange, but the bow and the bearing block become very personal pieces of kit. You get used to the size, weight and feel of them. If you had to do bowdrill on a daily basis it wouldn't be long before you thought about "customising" your bearing block and bow.

With bowdrill it's very easy to get stuck in a rut, you have a set that you know that it works (when I started it was an all Ivy set) and you tend to figure why try and fix what's not broken. I try to get as many combinations as I can now. My current hearth is a piece of alder and I use a hazel drill. There are though loads of combinations and quite a few will use the same wood for the whole set as I did with my first ivy set.

Someone once even gifted me a hearth made from elder, three instructors had a go at getting a coal out of it and I was the ony one that managed it, the coal was probably more made from the fibres from the sycamore drill than it was of the elder hearth though, I have done the same with a sycamore drill and ash hearth, a lot of the time it's just plain patience and perseverence even if the combination is round the wrong way it can be made to work.

I was teaching bow drill last Thursday, I was under a chute, but the weather was atrocious and I was using all the kits at my disposal. All of the students managed to get a coal, but the first student to get a coal was using a hazel drill and a lime hearth. That combination wasn't however the most consistent of the day, a complete hazel set was. It always took longer and it forced people to go from scratch (burn in, cut the notch, place down the ember pan and then steadily bow for the coal giving it maximum effort for the last ten seconds), but the coals that it yielded were some of the best that I've seen and although it took them longer to get promising signs they were normally the first people to actually get a coal.

Don't get me wrong, I teach to go from scratch, but people are generally lazy and will think that I am not watching and use an existing hole and notch. :)

When we teach group bow drill we tend to use palette wood and broom handle, not really a natural combination, but it works well enough. moduser was actually using a piece of palette wood and a hazel drill for bow drill on the first coal that he took to flame. It was there and it was available.

Each to thier own, yes I agree, but I also say that the situation dictates that you use what's available. :)