Friction Fire Tuesday

Discussion in 'Fire' started by IHatchetJack, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    The notch on the right looks really good. Can't see the left one very well. Seems that right side might be glazing a bit.
    Try letting the hearth and spindle dry indoors until Saturday and giving it another go.
     
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  2. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass III

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    what was the wood for the spindle?
     
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  3. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    All pieces have been inside for a while. The driftwood for the hearth has been inside and on the dogs bed since April and the spindle came from NW Primate.

    The notch on the right I tried 3 attempts with the notch on the left I tried twice but it was just off .

    This was more of can I, how do I burn in, how do I get the notch right, ect before trying with a pumpkin stalk lol. That I am splitting in half tomorrow and letting get good and dry for next week. I can see how addicting this can be as I am looking at wood in a totally different way.
     
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  4. melbolt65

    melbolt65 Guide Bushclass I

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    Hard to tell if it's just the lighting, but that dust looks like it could be char black instead of a really dark brown? If this is the case, try going real easy on it until you have the pile established. Some woods are funny like that.

    Best way to diagnose is to check the dust, if you continue to have problems, try to share a good photo of your dust pile and it may provide a clue as to what's going on.
     
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  5. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Lol I too thought the dust was wicked black but I tested it with my lighter and it went straight up in flame. Next time I will also include a pic of the dust pile
     
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  6. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Yesterday's set came from a less than ideal source; this chunk of western red cedar laying on the ground.

    [​IMG]

    I gave it a few exploratory chops and found it was somewhat dry inside.

    [​IMG]

    Cedar is very rot resistant, but this piece has probably been sitting in the mud for years so there was a lot of variability in moisture and softness through the chunk. I split the whole thing down looking for the very driest sections to use for the set and tinder bundle.

    [​IMG]

    I'm pretty good about wearing gloves when working with sharp tools, so I seem to get bit more often by the wood itself than steel. This time I got to pull a nice long cedar splinter out of my thumb.

    [​IMG]

    I like that you can see the different layers of moisture in this piece. Even though this was from the driest section, you can see the darker, wetter layers at the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    Knowing that I had my work cut out for me, I tried to approach this with an eye toward minding the details, both in set construction and operation. I also was deliberate in the order that I made the components. I made the set first and tucked it into my rain pants so that it could get the benefit of some drying from my body heat. I stuffed the curls into my pocket for the same reason, and both felt a bit drier by the time I was ready to start drilling.

    [​IMG]

    I spent a lot of time drilling slowly with very light pressure, letting that heat drive some moisture out of the wood before trying to fill up the notch.



    Other than taking a lot longer to warm and dry, this set was trouble-free, which was a nice change of pace after dealing with several difficult sets lately. This was the least blurry of the ember shots.

    [​IMG]

    In the spirit of the challenge, I skipped the punkwood insurance and dropped the ember straight into the ball of shavings.

    [​IMG]

    Being in my jacket helped dry them even more than I was expecting and they lit right up.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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  7. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass III

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    wow; nice job, you were really pushing the envelope
     
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  8. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Overlanding Bushwhacker Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Your videos are getting pretty good now @NWPrimate. Awesome as usual.
     
  9. schapm

    schapm Supporter Supporter

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    65ED6205-9673-47E1-B79D-EBAD0D02281A.jpeg New knife I got in trade from @CoolBreeze135 calls for some front porch bushcraft. Sweet Annie on Silver Maple hand drill.
     
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  10. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass III

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    not tuesday but thought it would be interesting....western cedar on I believe Texas red cedar. I know that @Draketake has said that he only does well in the white part so thought I would go half and half with no luck. Both were very close but not a ringer. Probably would eventually get it but had some other things to do.
    [​IMG]IMG_4745 by Ken Cardwell, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_4746 by Ken Cardwell, on Flickr
     
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  11. Draketake

    Draketake Guide

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    Hey Ken,

    I concentrate on the white ( sapwood ??? is that the correct name) using the hand drill, on that Texas Red Cedar you gave me. The red ( heartwood??? ) for me, was a fail for hand drill. I think it may be due to the red wood being more oilyish feeling/smelling for lack of a better term. I need to go back and try some sand in the divot, in the red section of that wood.

    With the greater pressure and speed of the bow drill, you may be able to overcome the differences in the sapwood and heartwood, sections. Stone.........sounds like an experiment on this is right up your alley.

    Be safe all.

    Draketake
     
  12. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict Supporter

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    I experimented this week some bowdrill. Found black austrich pine in the park. (I was looking for willow). I was surprised not being able to coax en ember out of the pine branch. Didnt try the drying rounds though. Very very sappy and glossing wood! Will try it after it dries some.

    @bacpacjac
    Wet "on the ground" willow branch. That one went to ember on second run (drying first).
    Sorry for crappy indoor pic IMG_20171108_192849631.jpg

    Pine branch left willow right IMG_20171108_180909200.jpg
     
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  13. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass III

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    wow; very nice
     
  14. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Thank you, my friend. :)

    Now I can't sleep. The branches I collected the other day are drying, but your hearth board is definitely wider than I found. I'm going to go back and find a thicker willow branch. ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  15. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict Supporter

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    Well, this hearth can almost accomodate 2 notch wide... If you can flat a 1"-ish cross section, should be good to.
     
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  16. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict Supporter

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    Narrow hearth set for @bacpacjac , deltoides poplar branch. Split in quarters, 1 for the spindle one for the hearth.

    Cheated a little using my small handplane. I was on the clock. IMG_20171112_120426639_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20171112_122038778.jpg IMG_20171112_121515969_HDR.jpg

    I wear large gloves. So my thumb is a relative reference. Could have got narrower on the hearth by shaving down the spindle a little...

    Lost this one to wind and picture time. But would have loved to blow this one to flames in its own shavings for a picture on the ice of the firepit! No time left. Next time. IMG_20171112_120851745_HDR.jpg
     
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  17. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Awesome! Thanks, so much, @Guillaume Longval! That was really helpful!
     
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  18. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I’m getting back into hand drill after a little hiatus (thanks to @NWPrimate for the nudge). I started easy with goldenrod on northern white cedar/arborvitae at home this evening.

    71F4E34D-31C4-47B3-B2E1-B650CD8583D3.jpeg
     
  19. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    That's some king sized goldenrod.
     
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  20. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    It’s just the angle. It’s pinkie sized at most (and I have skinny fingers).
     
  21. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    angle makes it look like a half-incher...
     
  22. russw25

    russw25 Scout

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    Here is mine for the day, actually had to make two! First one I was recording and wouldn't ya know it the battery died! So i made a second ember to photograph then found a little bit of a tinder bundle to blow into a flame. Lesson learned this morning, when its 34 degrees it takes a little more effort. Also harder to tell when its going on its own with seeing your own breath! Anyways I got and here it is. Thanks for looking.
    My Tools this morning:
    20171114_074531_001.jpg
    20171114_082113.jpg 20171114_082206.jpg
    You can see my first fire in the background here. This is my small tinder bundle here on my second go around.
    20171114_082230.jpg 20171114_081619.jpg
    And the final outcome, fire at last.
     
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  23. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    Good job! What were your spindle and hearth made of?
     
  24. Expo 6

    Expo 6 Scout

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    I picked up a Box Elder branch on the way home from class yesterday since I knew what today was :) here are some shots of what went down.

    IMG_5951.JPG IMG_5953.JPG IMG_5956.JPG IMG_5958.JPG IMG_5961.jpg

    Box Elder was softer than I expected, and definitely produced some great fibrous dust. I gave it three goes and got an ember out of one. The only thing that I didn't like about this set was that the moisture content seemed to be fairly high. You can kind of see what I'm talking about if you look at the end of the spindle near the charred tip. It's sort of yellowed and that area was sticky, like there was still sap and water in the wood. Still managed to spin up a lot of smoke, dust and one nice ember that I didn't capture very well in the picture.
     
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  25. bcbeast

    bcbeast Tracker

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    I haven't posted in sometime so I thought today was good. Rudiger Roll Friction Fire method using Walnut Husk as an accelerant. I have used Walnut Husk as an accelerant with Wood Nettle, Dogbane, Jute and a few other fibers.
     
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  26. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    I retired my trusty box elder hearth board and moved on to basswood, still using a mullein spindle.
    20171113_133227.jpg 20171113_133346.jpg
    20171113_133407.jpg
     
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  27. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict Supporter

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    Straightened a new mullein spindle of the last month harvest. This one turned out like a punky febuary one...made an other one. That one went as expected.

    On a willow hearth IMG_20171114_160556939.jpg

    Blew it to flame with poplar shavings i left last time by the iced fire pit. IMG_20171114_160920538.jpg

    Fire on ice!
    On tuesday...thats a rare occasion!:)
     
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  28. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That was really cool @bcbeast ! I've never seen this done with anything but ashes. I still don't understand how this method actually works, but it sure is impressive.
     
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  29. bcbeast

    bcbeast Tracker

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    Thank you @NWPrimate. The rolling creates friction in the fibers while the accelerants aid in friction and combustion. I don't know the complete science behind it but have researched enough to form a few opinions. This method will work with quite a few accelerants other than ash. Rust, various Fungi, Dung, and even quite a few chemicals to name but a few. I have also used this method without any accelerants. I have playlists on my channel broken up into sections like natural accelerants, chemical accelerants, plant fibers and natural rolling surfaces if you want to see more. The beauty of this method is that it not only works with numerous materials but it complements other fire making methods. You should give it a try. You'll laugh at how easy it is.
     
  30. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    That was cool! I've only seen it done with ashes before but it all seems like magic to me. Well don!
     
  31. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    I got four new hand drill embers tonight using beargrass (Molina sp.) as a spindle.
    Here are pics of three of the embers.

    Beargrass on cottonwood hearth.jpg
    Beargrass spindle on cottonwood hearth

    beargrass on yucca hearth.jpg
    Beargrass spindle on yucca hearth.

    beargrass on plum hearth.jpg

    Beargrass spindle on plum hearth.

    I also got an ember with beargrass on a red spruce hearth.
     
  32. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass III

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  33. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict Supporter

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    :4:
    ...boggy creek beast!!!

    I am relatively new to friction fire in general and recently enjoyed binge watching a good portion of your videos! Many thanks for taking the time to document all this!

    And welcome back!:)
     
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  34. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict Supporter

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    Tagging @bacpacjac for future reference.;)

    Quick pic explanation of the multiple wrap:
    One wrap
    IMG_20171112_114804647_HDR.jpg two wraps
    IMG_20171112_114815152_HDR.jpg
    Ready to go
    IMG_20171112_114839867_HDR.jpg
    The trick is to avoid tilting the bow the wrong way. Or this happens:
    IMG_20171112_114833728_HDR.jpg

    The big advantage of this multi wrap thing is obviously more traction, less tension needed with a more fragile cordage, and good angle habits to avoid wear, even on single wrap! It takes a few tries though to get the hang of the non-tangling thing...
     
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  35. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Woodsman Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Cedar on cedar friction fire practice.

    I started with a very small spindle, two attempts at hand drill... the edge of the board kept breaking. Was starting to get smoke on the second attempt, and then curse words.

    So on to a larger spindle. The edge continued to snap off, but success was had in the final seconds..

    This was also my first time using bank line for my cordage on a bow drill.


    F7E317CD-936A-4D88-9883-2C9E5D8AD601.jpeg

    F80F6F7C-FF6B-4457-86AD-587126F80CED.jpeg

    D4B1B95A-90F5-403D-8A8D-16105CBBD96E.jpeg

    15164C47-AA8F-440F-A5E4-574609334CC8.jpeg

    5D2EB923-0FFD-4D78-855C-92E2D99E5E3D.jpeg

    1822CBEB-5C99-4E33-B11F-E6212559DD1C.jpeg

    97619D07-DB4E-4D05-804D-22D5A777874D.jpeg

    084A3B8C-F309-4EB0-B019-882E059824D2.jpeg

    293CFA9C-C199-4A18-9977-0F885ED6E27D.jpeg

    732E8A2D-ECA9-4BA2-850C-A45865E8373F.jpeg

    Thanks,

    Jarrod
     
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  36. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass III

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    good job; looks like you had somewhat of a fragile hearth board
     
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  37. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Woodsman Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    One last hand drill attempt for the evening...

    This cedar piece I have is stupid fragile...

    Yucca hand spindle, cedar hearth board. This combination made a hole lot of smoke and had me super hopeful.

    54187188-DD57-4336-A752-4C2BD7C14BF8.jpeg

    4C18C92D-17BE-446D-9B3A-1717D603623B.jpeg

    Going to re-carve this piece in hopes of making it stronger, if that fails I will be hunting down some new cedar.

    Thanks,

    Jarrod
     
  38. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    I think you need a different hearth board...one that is less rotten. I know your area is full of cottonwood...try that for a hearth. Get a piece that is suspended off the ground...like a dead branch that breaks off and doesn't make it all the way to the ground because it's hung up.
     
  39. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Woodsman Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    @Stone

    I have been told the wonders of cotton wood. Although I have never found any that is not in other peoples yards. I have found a lot of poplar though.. maybe I will try that. I will keep my eyes open for some cotton wood too.
     
  40. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    Out toward Union Gap the whole flood plain is thick with cottonwood. Down around Sportsman's Park and those "park and fish" areas along the river...

    Cottonwood IS a poplar.
     
  41. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Woodsman Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks for the advice @Stone !! I will actually be over there tomorrow! So thanks again!

    Jarrod
     
  42. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    @ArmyMacE, you may be calling cottonwood by the name of poplar. Both are correct.
     
  43. melbolt65

    melbolt65 Guide Bushclass I

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    Finally, success at @Guillaume Longval challenge, not once but twice in a row!

    I am definitely over 70 attempts at this challenge. I do believe I've figured out what works for me and it wasn't a fluke and did it a second time in a fresh notch to be sure.

    Cedar on cedar.

    I've tried very small diameters, it tends to just crumble and make a grainy pile of dust. I've tried the larger end of typical hand drill diameters and it was closer but I always drilled through before getting the ember. I've tried narrow notches, wide notches, round notches, pointed notches, deep notches, and shallow notches. Each modification observing closely if the dust looked better or worse (darker/lighter, grainy, gritty, fine, and consistency throughout the pile). I've tried all speed, all pressure and various mixtures. I've tried rounded tips, flat tips, and tapered tips. Tilting the spindle various directions, etc etc.

    Always lots of smoke and no ember.

    Finally, I decided I am very proficient at the bow drill, I'm going to treat it like a bow drill. I made an extra large diameter spindle with a rounded tip (instead of flat). This prevented the whole crumbling issues, it took longer to heat up but I didn't get any junk dust, once it was hot enough, I got the good stuff. Smaller diameters let you grind off crappy dust before it's ready to be ground off easier.

    I failed so many times trying to treat it like I do other hand drill materials, it wasn't until I was able to get myself to think outside of the box a bit that I got somewhere, and it took me a looong time and many failures to do that.

    5/8 inch diameter spindle plug:
    [​IMG]
    20171114_230736-1664x1248 by - Flickr2BBcode

    [​IMG]
    20171114_230827-1248x1664 by - Flickr2BBcode

    1/2 inch thick board:
    [​IMG]
    20171114_232526-1248x1664 by - Flickr2BBcode

    The first ember was achieved with the gas pedal method, ironically, my pedal was made of mullein (what a tease!) . This method is way better than thumb loops in my opinion and able to keep pressure on and spin it with minimal effort and hand wear:
    [​IMG]
    20171114_230306-1664x1248 by - Flickr2BBcode


    [​IMG]
    20171114_230258-1664x1248 by - Flickr2BBcode


    What did to get easy success was speed speed speed with a light pressure until the notch was full and it was smoking well then 2 passes of full force pressure and I had an ember.

    Next up, I wasn't satisfied that I used the gas pedal method and wanted to do the exact same method with just traditional passes. Started a fresh notch. Same method speed speed speed with light pressure while sitting til notch was full and smoking. I then switched to kneeling position, 2 full force down pressure passes, I had an ember.

    [​IMG]
    20171114_232305-1664x1248 by - Flickr2BBcode


    [​IMG]
    20171114_232331-1664x1248 by - Flickr2BBcode

    [​IMG]
    20171114_230421-1248x1664 by - Flickr2BBcode

    [​IMG]
    20171114_230430_HDR-1248x1664 by - Flickr2BBcode

    Now to try with some other woods to see how they work out.

    Big thanks to @Guillaume Longval for giving me a challenge that taught me a lot of the fine nuances of friction fire by struggling again. Another big thanks to @NWPrimate who convinced me not to give up on it. It's frustrating as heck for the first 50 attempts lol, then you just get kinda accepting of what you're doing and experiment and it's still fun to learn things even when you fail. Things I may not have learned unless I was forced to fail so much and experiment with every piece of the kit.

    Thanks for looking
    [​IMG]
    2017-11-15_12-23-37 by - Flickr2BBcode
     
  44. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    +1 to this. Some people call Black Cottonwood "Balsam Poplar". The stuff I have in my area is Populus trichocarpa and it's really widespread, so I'm betting you have the same tree in your area and may be calling it poplar.

    @Stone is right on about getting cottonwood branches from off of the ground. They're not the best wet weather option, but should work great if you haven't had much rain.

    https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=POBAT

    P.S. @Stone also taught me that a chunk of thick bark from a mature tree makes an excellent bearing block, so make sure to pry off a couple of chunks with that Tracker when you go.
     
  45. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Outstanding @melbolt65 ! :35:
     
  46. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Woodsman Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Apologies for derailing the thread again into plant ID...

    I guess plant ID will be one of the new weaknesses I will be training!

    Learning a lot of new things tonight... kinda embarrassing. Kinda fun.

    So this type of poplar is what I was thinking cottonwood is.

    I haven’t actually seen these with the exception of people’s yards. Looking at the leaves a bit closer I think I just over looked them... just now learned that only the female species produces like this. My mistake.

    B6FC88CB-FD0D-4171-AE3A-F5D9DA11216D.jpeg

    This poplar tree is one of the ones I am used to seeing, it is called the Lombardy Poplar.

    E512EFAF-9AA2-4F1E-813B-C2846061C788.jpeg

    The other poplar tree that I have seen everywhere is also called Quaking Aspen. Which works awesome for bow drills for me in the past.

    6C87440B-BD55-4FE9-8756-05E5C3C7298F.jpeg

    I have used the Quaking Aspen poplar and Lombardy poplar a few times with bow drills. Never attempted with hand drilling.

    There is one more that is in the poplar family that I have used in the past , usually young and dead from high winds. It has a grayish color bark and looks surprisingly the same / similar to the Quaking Aspen poplar.

    I had no clue poplar had so many sub species. I had it backwards in my mind...

    I will be harvesting some of each tomorrow during my afternoon hike. I may try a couple on the hike...

    Thanks for this lesson, my mind is racing with excitement now.

    Thanks again,

    Jarrod
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  47. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Douglas fir on Douglas fir bow drill today.

    [​IMG]

    Cedar roots for cordage.

    [​IMG]

    Keeping things interesting by limiting myself to using just a little SAK.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    Cedar bark for the bundle with a second mini bundle saturated with Douglas fir resin standing by to catch the flames.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Draketake, rsnurkle, Ivan and 5 others like this.
  48. Seahunter

    Seahunter Tracker Bushclass I

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    Well that was bad ass! Nice video too.

    There aren't wild yucca growing where I live, but there are some feral ones growing across the street from where I work and I had been eyeing them for a while. I grabbed some over the weekend and tried a yucca hand drill for the first time. It was slow going because they were a little damp since we got a few inches of rain over the last couple of days, but after a few burn ins I got an ember.
    yucca on yucca hand drill.JPG

    I also got an ember with bow drills using wild grape on wild grape and box elder on box elder. The box elder hearth and spindle was split out of a larger branch and whittled into shape. That was a first time that I have split out a bow drill kit. I think box elder is the easiest wood I have used to make an ember.
     
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  49. bcbeast

    bcbeast Tracker

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    Friction Fire is a fun activity as I'm sure you know! Glad you enjoy the videos. You take care :)
     
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  50. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    Great!
    School us on your gas pedal method.
     

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