View Full Version : Fire with a Bowdrill
Uhm....this isnt exactly my thing, I pretty much keep to the Kit Chatter and Edged Tool forums, but I need some help.
I want to learn how to make fire with a bowdrill, but I have no idea how. I've seen it on the telly a few times watching "Surivorman" which I guess is a Canadian version of what Ray Mears does. But where to start? What techniques do I need to master? How difficult is it?
There is a variety of approaches to learning bowdrill. Depends on your preference and what is available:-
Go on a course
Feel your way through it yourself with minimum help from others
Get someone local to show you
Follow a guide on a web site
Do it with lots of discussion via the forum
As to getting a kit together there are those who sell made up kits I believe. Or you could scrounge around and put your own together. Here is a DIY kit I posted recently - bow made of a light, curved piece of buddliea about 18 inches long and ordinary parcel string, heath board made from scrap wood, drill - whatever wood comes to hand - about 1cm diameter, and top axle an ice cream scoop! Together it all works well except that the drills in this case are oak and not to be recommended.
As to difficulty - if someone else provides the kit and is there to help you get going then it is not especially physically demanding and most teenagers and adults can probably do it if they have a bit of persistence over about an hour or so of coached trying. If you are entirely DIY it can be months or more, but boy is it satisfying when you get there.
I would say first learn about the woods that are available to you in you area. There are many threads on here that cover how important the selection of woods for your set can be.
Pallette wood I would think is going to be the same no matter where you are and the guys had reasonably good results at the BCUK meet with this as a hearth.