Bow drill fire, pretty tough task

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by Jsharp865, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. Jsharp865

    Jsharp865 Hatchers Cove

    Attempted to start a fire using the bow drill method, this was my first ever attempt using friction to start a fire!!!!

    Any of you start fires this was on a regular basis?? What types of wood is best etc??

    arleigh, Meat, Gator 45/70 and 4 others like this.
  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    @Bishop .... a member here is our expert at fire starting. there is so many ways. click on his member name, go to his profile, click on his content and I am sure you will see some of the ways he has made fire listed. click on one of those threads and check it out. most of his stuff has videos.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    40 years ago, I may have tried it. But as long as the Bernzomatic has fuel, I won't again. As to best wood, the fires I have built over the years don't seem to care what wood you use as long as it is cut into tinder, then kindling size and smaller, and start with char cloth or dryer lint as an option. And of course, bone dry if at all possible.

    Hope the chicken came out OK, couldn't watch the whole vid just now.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  4. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    At times I think Bishop needs a sub forum of his own . I am a total sucker for his primitive weapons videos and have them in their own folder on my computer. I have seen dozens of videos on starting fires, but only his on the proper way to use a bola. I am afraid that I don't thank his as often as I should.
  5. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Charter member, Bishop Fan Club. He does things right, and shares his knowledge freely. I want the autographed poster. I also plan to scream hysterically at his next concert.

    On the subject of friction fires, I saw a video recently where a guy substituted a strap and a bungee for the fire bow. The strap handled the pull, and the bungee handled the return. It seemed to work
    well, even though the guy's bungee was a condom...

    Come to think of it, it was only a Medium, so he had to take short strokes.
    Gator 45/70, Ganado, SB21 and 4 others like this.
  6. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    Bone Dry wood is the best! Char cloth at the bottom of the shaft where it meets the starter wood, and then a small batch of tinder to catch any embers! The trick is pressure and speed, and each set up takes a little time to "tune" that ratio. Best to start out with too much of both, and back down a little at a time to find the sweet spot! I use a folding bow saw with waxed boot laces on my drill and I have a large wood dowel of fir and a large fir block, so that I can usually get a fire going in a few min with this set up!
  7. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Looking at the video for a second time, I've think I spotted the problem.

    There was plenty of heat, but no ember.

    I think that was because all the hot wood dust trickled down into a sieve of tinder--which scattered and dispersed it, allowing each particle to cool and die alone.

    If the wood dust was collected first on a dry leaf of a small flat of wood or bark right under the fire-board, it would have coned up, stayed hot, and eventually the tip of the cone would have ignited.

    Then (without instantly whipping away the fire-board) a few gentle breaths could have gotten it well started.

    The fire-board, in that first few moments, helps trap heat and prevents too much wind from chilling the ember even as it fans it. Or even blows it apart.

    Give it another try with something solid under the fire-board. I think it'll work.
    arleigh, Gator 45/70, Ganado and 3 others like this.
  8. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    @Jsharp865 if you click on trending tags and type in bow drills all the bow drill threads will come up. Also we have a Bishop Backwoods tag if you want to find Bishop's videos.

    Good thread, I have never tried a bow drill and have always read it is a skill that one gets from practice. I think it is time I learned this skill. Not sure where you are but you have lots of different tinder/bark to try. Nice shelter.
    Gator 45/70, Ura-Ki and Jsharp865 like this.
  9. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Cypress for the fire board and spindle watching your video I think your notch is to big the to keep the coal the hot dust needs to compact to hold the heat you can open up the bottom part of the notch so it makes a chamber for the dust and when you go to move the spindle out don't move the. Board the dust is wanting to draw air think of fire as a triangle it takes heat air and fuel take one away no fire so when you move the fire board away to fast your adding the air but taking away the heat and fuel looks like your in North Carolina Tennessee or Virginia you may not have Cypress but cotton wood or Willow would work also

    I like your video

    By the way thanks everyone for the pat on the back
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2018
    oldawg, Dont, Gator 45/70 and 5 others like this.
  10. Jsharp865

    Jsharp865 Hatchers Cove

    Thank you, i am in East TN and yes there's so many different types of wood i wasn't sure if you needed something a little harder or what i was using just a white pine board was slightly damp not bad but not completely dried out either,....but thanks for the info!!

    Thank you very much you seem very knowledgeable, i will continue to practice and try different wood as well!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2018
  11. Jsharp865

    Jsharp865 Hatchers Cove

    Ok thank you, im going to keep on trying i believe im going to watch a few videos on it as well...see if i can learn a few tthings

    Haha thanks for the info and thats hilarious

    Thank all of you for the Replies and helpful tips i am going to check out some of Bishops videos as well!!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2018
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  12. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Keep posting I learn from other also
    Ganado, Jsharp865, SB21 and 2 others like this.
  13. Jsharp865

    Jsharp865 Hatchers Cove

    Chicken was amazing lol i was starving
    Ganado likes this.
  14. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @Jsharp865 what impresses me about you is your willingness to share your failures as well as your successes, and asking for advice demonstrates humilty. Good luck in your endeavors. [camping][coldfire]
  15. Jsharp865

    Jsharp865 Hatchers Cove

    Thank you, we cant be successful everytime, but cant give up when we fail, ill get it the next time or two, and it will feel great... I think the challenge is what makes it feel so good when we finally succeed!!!
    Motomom34, Ura-Ki, Ganado and 2 others like this.
  16. Meat

    Meat Monkey+++

    I’ve never seriously tried the bow drill. Starting and maintaining a fire in the PNW isn’t as easy as one might think. I should know. I’ve made hundreds of them. Still run into problems occasionally weather depending. I’m fairly certain some would die in a pinch.
  17. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Try some lighter pine shavings or some call it fat wood, See if that will fire off?
    Jsharp865, Motomom34 and Ura-Ki like this.
  18. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Right on! Never give up.
    Motomom34 and Ura-Ki like this.
  19. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    Any of the PitchWoods, or woods that are high in resin will be easier to start. Try charcloth as well, you will be amazed at how well you will do with a little per prep! Have a look at the old mountain men that carried a "Possables" Bag, a lot can be learned from that!

    Nice work, and sharing the failures helps almost more then the successes!
    Jsharp865, Motomom34 and Gator 45/70 like this.
  20. Jsharp865

    Jsharp865 Hatchers Cove

    Yeah pine shavings seems like that may work well
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
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