I'm just writing to report that for the first time I have made fire by friction!
I've been using a Ferro rod for years and have tried a couple of times to get a bowdrill working but could never quite get it. Anyway after coming across some really nice videos on youtube and doing some research I decided that this year I was going to crack it!
I collected some bits of wood while taking the dog for a walk last week and today I decided to really give it a go. It took three attempts, after the first one I determined that my bow was too short so hunted round the garden for a longer one. The second time I manage to get lots of powder but I just couldn’t get it to light, so I did a little more research on this site and the web and worked out that I wasn’t pressing hard enough. So third time lucky, by now it was dark so I had to come up by the house under the back light. I got a lode of nice black powder quickly but the drill sprang out of the bow and I thought that would be it for the day, but I noticed the powder was still intact so I resolved to give it one last effort. With the powder from the last attempt still in place I just gave it all I had bowing like crazy, then the drill flew out again and my hart fell. But after a few seconds I realized the powder was still smoking! I had made fire! I was totally exhausted and aching but hugely satisfied .
So now I feel like a real bushcrafter .