Discussion in 'Fire' started by IHatchetJack, Sep 6, 2011.
Hand drill practice for tonight: recently harvested mullein on eastern red cedar.
Thanks @bacpacjac !
@NWPrimate I absolutely love the scenery in your videos and posts. It's like a green paradise or something. I love the dry air in the Colorado mountains, but that means it's only green like your mountains for about 2-3 months a year. Keep posting those spectacular views!
This is my first attempt in a while. I thought I would share even though I didnt get an ember. Horseweed on pine. Bonus if you ID the leaf...
You are going to tell us what the leaf is if no one guesses it, right?
Horseweed is a great spindle wood...I've made hand drill embers with it on 21 different hearth woods...including eastern white pine.
Kind of resembles Hibiscus, but I really have no clue. A for effort on the ember, I just learned a good use for Horseweed! It's everywhere down south
I sure will!
Horseweed makes a great spindle and very abundant, give it a try!
@OMRebel, is it a Thicket Hawthorn leaf?
Here is another attempt using a bow drill. This is a yucca spindle on a cedar board. The mystery leaf is Rose of Sharon.
An excellent combination!
Bacpacjac and MonkeyDaddy10 congrats to both of you.
I think Rose of Sharon might be a good wood to try, too. Never tried it myself cuz it's rare around here...
@Jacob sent me some saguaro rib, cliff-rose and other stuff. I got several embers using the saguaro rib for a hearth. Then I tried using a piece of saguaro root he sent for a spindle--to no avail. Yesterday I asked him if the saguaro ribs were good as spindles and he said yes.
So, this morning I whittled out a saguaro rib spindle and used it to make 15 unique hand drill embers!
Surely you don't want to see all those ember pics, so here's a few.
Thank you Jacob!
Saguaro rib spindle on (Purshia sp) cliff-rose hearth.
Saguaro rib spindle on desert willow hearth
Saguaro rib spindle on Ponderosa pine hearth
Saguaro rib spindle on a saguaro rib hearth
Saguaro rib spindle on western red cedar hearth.
I also got embers on woods including cherry, mahogany, English walnut, alligator juniper, tree of heaven, redwood, cottonwood and willow.
Made a friction fire kit of sorts. Add a sharp object, and some wood to complete the set .
Hearthboard, bowstring, and bearing block...you're pretty much there. Good job.
Tell me about your bearing block. What's the bearing block wood and the metal part of it?
English Walnut scrap with linseed oil.
The bow drill divot was machined out of 01 steel. I've made a few for testing on knife handles and settled with this design. The temperature of the divot reaches 160-180 degrees if you are working with a damp drill or hearth. If you have an excellent set, then 140°F seems to be the normal maximum temp of the insert.
This was important to discover because you can't install it in a rubber material, or on any knife where the glue or epoxy used to create the micarta has a melting point lower than 200°F. I've installed a few in micarta, and a G10 scale set with good results.
That's nice, good work!
Stone nice work on those 15 embers using saguaro rib, as a plug. I was worn out just reading your post.
Very cool information, thank you for sharing the results of your tests
And I got another ten with it today! Including harder woods like black locust, black walnut, and elm. Also, Crepe myrtle, rabbitbrush and chinkapin I got from @kcardwel; tulip poplar, eastern white cedar and pecan; and Canaan Fir I got from @Badey. My hands are sore. I'm not sure I have pics because my phone died...I replaced it but don't like the camera nearly as much as was in my older phone.
Got a firefighter refresher class tomorrow to prepare for the current wildland fire season so my hands get a break!
I finally got a look at some of the pics I shot today.
Here's some of the embers.
Saguaro rib spindle on black walnut hearth
Saguaro rib spindle on Canaan fir hearth
Saguaro rib spindle on eastern white cedar hearth
Saguaro rib spindle on pecan hearth.
I like the camera on my new phone...it's sharp.
Saguaro rib sounds like one of those magical materials, like Yucca or Sotol.
Have fun in class.
Indeed! I'll rate it right up there with Yucca, beargrass (Nolina sp), fig, agave and ferro rod. Haven't tried sotol yet.
Oh yeah forgot about Beargrass. Good call. Havent tried fig or agave.
Beargrass is good...but that's desert southwest beargrass (Nolina sp) rather than Pacific Northwest beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax). I don't know how the Pacific NW beargrass is at friction fire but it looks like it would work if you could find a big enough piece.
The Beargrass from here, works very well also. Due to our short growing season it is hard to find a perfect, long, straight spindle, though it can be done.
The Southwest species, probably benefits from longer, more frequent warm days. Ive seen some monster stalks from the Southwest. Some about 2 inches in diameter and 6 or 7 feet tall.
Due to the infrequent find of a perfect Northwest stalk of Beargreass, mostly, I carve a plug and put it into a composite spindle.
The Beargrass stalk here, is very sturdy and can be bent by heat. The inner cell structure is dense and porous, but not as dense as Yucca. Think along the lines of a strong balsa wood.
I remember from my years in Montana/Wyoming there was nice sized Beargrass available. I imagine it would be true for Idaho.
In this country, I find the best Beargrass at around 3800 to about 6000 feet in elevation. The closer you are to the Valley also known as the"wet side", the bigger the stalks ( longer growing season and more water I would assume).
Tonight’s hand drill practice. Very reliable combo of Goldenrod on E.W. Cedar. More to keep my hands conditioned than anything.