Firemaking with the bow drill

Posted: July 18, 2012 in Bred to the Wilderness, Uncategorized

Dino makes fire

Last Saturday afternoon, I joined Dino Labiste for a workshop on firemaking with the bow drill.

Now, I had learned this technique last year from Tom Brown Jr., but my technique was rusty and I needed a tune-up.

  1. kortoso says:

    Despite the graphic, both I and Dino believe that softwood is probably better for the spindle and hearthboard. Hardwood just takes too much work+time to create good dust, which is where the embers need to be.

    For my right-handed technique, I hold the socket with my left hand, which is positioned in front of my left shin. I made the beginner’s mistake of letting my left wrist “float” rather than bracing it against my shin bone. When I corrected this, I was able to make a fire quite quickly.

    Dino noticed that the bow drill seen in Egyptian heiroglyphics uses a clove hitch to secure the string onto the spindle. This keeps the spindle from popping out and flying through the air. It needs extra string on the bow, but it works fine. Just make sure you wrap the string once or twice around the spindle both above the knot and below it.

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