well, I worked on the bowdrill for a couple hours today, and managed to get an ember, unfortunately, im at home and didnt have many tinder options, just some moss i collected a while back, and the ember went out. Its my fault i tried to use as little moss as possible cus i really just wanted to get an ember going, but it would have been nice to see flames and I regret not making something beter.
But, I got a question, I get ton of black dust and smoke, but that was my only ember, and I do not know what i am doing wrong. Maybe I just need to go longer, but the spindle usually ends up flying out of my hand when I get tired. or is it something else
By the way I was using a pine board and a spindle I cut from some sort of plant by a creek with really straight branches.
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Nice work on your first ember. Amazing feeling isnt it?
Hopefully Kcardwell or jcl-MD will see your post and help you out. Those two are bow drill maniacs as is crunkssknunk and Ihatchetjack.
Bush Class Intermediate Certified
Congrats tleek, it is a great feeling when you get your first ember. I would say that you just need to go a bit longer. Different woods have different ignition points. Some give you black dust right away and harder woods have to heat up quite a bit, transitioning from brown to dark brown, to black. You may be simply trying too hard. When I first started with the bow drill, I had a tendency to give it too much pressure too early.(sometimes I still do) This causes you to wear out before you really have to go to town. I use alternating pressure, usually letting up a little right at the end and increasing speed. Also what pine are you using, and is the spindle harder than the hearth? I have used wt. pine with a lot of success, and jclmd has use several different species of pine and even fat wood.(yeah he is the man) If it is really resinous, that could make it more difficult. Most of all, you just need to practice, practice, practice, the more you use this method, the better your technique will be. Technique beats power and speed any day of the week. One thing that helped me was actually video taping the sessions. You can put he videos on this forum, it is easier to help when you can see what is going on. If you didn't want to post the videos, you can at least look at them yourself to study your form and technique. the first time I watched myself on video, I noticed that I wasn't locked down good enough at the shin, the spindle was wobbling all over the place, and sometimes ended up shooting across the yard. Seeing it on video made me notice how bad my form was and allowed me to take steps to correct it. Please PM me if you have questions, I'd be happy to help however I can. Keep up the good work!
Originally Posted by tleek
Last edited by Beginnersbushman; 03-22-2013 at 09:29 AM.
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Bush Class Advanced Certified
yes, good advice. with all the dust you are getting you might just not have enough heat though. maybe like was said get the board warmed up then go quite fast but with not much pressure and then put more pressure with a good amount of smoke. pine is pretty soft so it may be wearing bad if your hearth board is harder and thus hard to keep the spindle from flipping out of the hole. If you are wobbling and not keeping the spindle straight and firm the same problem. depending on what pine I have a lot of trouble with it up here. I actually stay away from it and use fir or some other woods around here. give us a few more details and maybe vid what you do too...you can put it unlisted on youtube and only we can see it with your link. Anyway, congratulations on getting the ember since you got to be doing things mostly right!
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Um, I really dont know what type of pine.
I dont go places with a lot of pine too often but I went on a dirt road drive out in the woods and they must have been doing some work cus there was a bunch cut down. I just chopped myself a couple pieces and figured Id give it a try.
it is pretty resinous. but at least the smoke smells nice ha
I burnt through the board and started making a new spot ( hole, thing.. whatever its called =)) but didnt have time to get much practice in.
Maybe ill film myself next time.
Tried again today, again, tons of smoke, and tons of dust, dark black dust, but no ember.
I think I almsot had it once, there was so much smoke coming at me my nose burned and i couldnt breath ha, but no ember. Actually, there might hae been a little one tuck inside the notch, but it went out when i tapped it out. I recorded a few goes, and I am definitely more wobbly then I thought, partly cus i was trying to get away from the smoke, partly because I need to get back in shape ( gettin tired lol) and probably mostly because I need more practice. also, once i see smoke i get too excited and the bow starts going wild. Probably why i keep shooting the spindle.
Ill try to figure out how to post the vids, and also take some pictures of how much dust im getting.
but, for now practice is over cus i got to go to that place called work.
the videos were definitely a good idea
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Congratulations! Getting an ember was always the hardest part for me. You can find tinder anywhere or carry it with you, but making an ember takes skill.