American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hand Drill Fire

I'm going to make fire with the hand drill.

I was thinking last night about making a new bow drill set and then went down and dug out my hand drill set I made back at the Briar Patch Primitive Skills Course. I have a mullein spindle and a cedar hearth board.

I was so motivated that I started a new hole in the board last night. I carved the depression, started drilling, got smoke, and then carved in my notch. Then I went to town with the drill to see how far I could get considering that my hands had gone soft and my muscles were no longer used to the strain.

I got lots of smoke and fine dust but my arms wore out before I had taken it far enough to produce the ember.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Once I get it you can expect a series of pictures and a video. This is something I want to be able to show off at the drop of a hat.

I'm going to have a go at harvesting a couple of woody cattail stalks this weekend too as they should make acceptable hand drill spindles. They have many of the same qualities as the mullein spindle I'm currently using and it'd be nice to have a backup.

Thanks for reading,



At 8:53 PM, Anonymous George Hedgepeth said...

OK- after you have gotten smoke and cut your notch, do 5-6 passes with spped, but little pressure. You are warming the board. Then, pour it on with speed and pressure- keep your elbows out and use the weight of your upper body. BREATHE! When the notch is full of dust, spin away- the dust should get progressively darker. When the pile smokes, ya got it!

At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And let me know what wood you're using please. This is a skill I want to "own." Thanks, Jeff


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