Well folks I have just made fire with the drill.
It's taken a few months on and off. It's been very frustrating, but I've learnt an awful lot. It's surprising how getting the position/posture correct and remembering to saw from the shoulder makes such a difference to the outcome.
I've replaced the cord about 5 times due to breaking, and have now settled on an ordinary shoestring but wrapped round the spindle 5-6 times like an Egyptian drill. I ditched the other bits that came with the kit and made the hearth, spindle and hand hold from an Elder bush growing behind my allotment.
The total unexpected benefit has been learning about tree identification in looking for suitable wood types
I knew I was getting close on Friday when I managed to get a coal three times in succession but couldnt blow into flame on the tinder bundle. Just tried again but added some fluff from a Reedmace head I spotted in a pond in my local wood.
You know when your getting it right, long strokes of the bow, then smoke comes pretty quick.
One very satisfied happy Stryker