- Bram van Munster
- Site Admin
- Posts: 180
- Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:34 pm
- Location: the Netherlands
This technique has been used for many, many years, from the times when humans only just started how to make fire.
It works basically the same as the firebow, only here you are rotating the spindle yourself.
You'll need the fire-board and a stick as straight as possible. Both have to be bone-dry. I prefer to have a 'drill' made from harder wood than the fire-board. When you cut your stick that becomes the drill, make sure you find one with as few knots in it as possible, because you'll get many blisters before you even get smoke, let alone fire. This is because the pressure - both downwards and rotating - you apply to the stick makes sure knots in the stick will get pressed onto your skin repeatedly. Also, you want to make sure there is no sand or dirt on your hands.
Before you begin: spit in your hands, or use the sap from a leaf to moisten your hands. That moist is used to prevent too much heat building up in your hands, which creates blisters again. Start by putting the stick on the board, and while you press it down to create friction between the fire-board and the 'drill', start rotating. As soon as you notice you have a snug fit between the two, apply more pressure and pick up the speed. Don't stop when you see a bit of smoke, because in this case, smoke doesn't mean fire. You only have a chance when the glowing dust that comes from the board and onto your leaf (description in the article about the bow drill) keeps smoking and glowing by itself.