Discussion in 'Fire' started by IHatchetJack, Sep 6, 2011.
Awesome, that’s probably just what I needed to hear!
Back to practice!
I got a couple unique hand drill embers tonight.
Black locust spindle on California buckeye hearth. Thanks to @Seahunter for the California buckeye.
Black locust spindle on honey locust root hearth. Thanks to @ArmyMacE for the honey locust root.
And one more unique hand drill before I stop for the night...
Tumbleweed spindle on honey locust root hearth. Thanks @ArmyMacE!
And one hand drill ember for the road...
Tumbleweed spindle on California buckeye hearth.
Now my hands are sore...a little.
One combination I wasn't able to make an ember with last evening is with black locust as a spindle and pin cherry as a hearth. It was slow to get smoking, but I kept after it until it was smoking pretty good and I needed a break. So I stopped and the smoke quit. So I started again...three times. No ember. By then the spindle was worn out and I switched to tumbleweed. I'm not sure if my right arm is sore this morning because of pushing the snow blower yesterday or from hand drilling...tricept mostly so I suppose it could be either.
It has been a few weeks since I have conducted a hand drill friction fire practice, successfully completed today.
Moisture has been a lot higher here than it normally is, snow and rain, lots of fog. So I went slow and steady for a bit before I started pushing with effort.
I also cleaned off about an inch of the tip on the spindle to allow for better heat drying of the end.
Mullein spindle on poplar hearth board.
Four unique hand drill embers tonight.
Black locust spindle on a mahogany hearth--furniture type mahogany, not mountain mahogany.
Black locust spindle on Ponderosa pine hearth.
Marigold spindle on alligator juniper hearth.
Marigold spindle on vine maple hearth.
Thanks to @Jacob for the alligator juniper; thanks to @NWPrimate for the vine maple.
I had a lot of fails today using the black locust. I had a branch piece that had significant areas which were bored. That wouldn't be a problem in itself, but it made the spindle wear unevenly and resulted in a "wonky spindle." Those black locust embers I got tonight I really had to work for! The marigold spindle produced far easier embers.
So, I have not tried friction fire for alot of years. My first attempt many moons ago was oak firewood, on oak firewood. I had no idea what i was doing and got smoke. But nothing more.
its all your faults that i picked up the bug again.
Juniper with the purple heart sucks (for me) as a hearth board. I tried with a chinaberry spindle. Smoke black dust but no ember.
Changed to Cedar board with the same spindle and had a ember in a few tries, that i blew to flame.
my challenge is that the normal method and stance dont work for me, it brings on bring on some unfun lower back spasms.
anyway WOOT i got flame, GO ME! hehe
thanks for all the tips tricks and experiences from all ya'll.
Let me know if you want to see pics of tonight's ten unique embers.
Thanks to @Jacob for the cliff rose; thanks to @OMRebel for Rose of Sharon; thanks to @ArmyMacE for hackberry; thanks to @Badey for the staghorn sumac and peach; thanks to @Youcantreadinthedark for the beech; thanks to @Gruntinhusaybah for the mule fat.
On another note, some of you may have been following along the past couple of years. Last year I thought I'd attempt to see how many unique hand drill embers I could get in a calendar year...I was vaguely hoping (not quite a goal) for 365--one a day for a year's average. Well, that final number ended up at 470. So, this year I thought I'd try that again. I was kinda hoping for at least one a day. Once I passed that number I thought, "gee, wouldn't it be cool to have a two-calendar-year count of 1000 so I could say I averaged 500 per year?" Well, I also passed that number, which was 530. Then @Badey challenged me to get 650 by Christmas. Done. It's late enough where I won't get any more embers this calendar year. Today's ten embers bring the total for this calendar year to 690 unique embers.
A unique ember is one created with a hearth wood and spindle wood that I have never used together before.
This, I suspect, is my 'high water mark.'
I thank those mentioned today and all the rest of you who have provided me hearth and/or spindle woods over the years.
Happy New Year!
Congratulations, Stone, for such an incredible accomplishment!! Your dedication is admirable, hope you have a great New Year!
No successful embers today... I went at it for a while too... sad face....
Rose stem on honey Locust root hearth...
Mullein on Sycamore....
I tried for the unidentified stalk ( I think it is some kind of wild grape) on the Sycamore as well, but I had no energy left...
These have been out in the environment going through whatever nature does outside.
Frost and rain, sun and wind... while this hasn’t impacted my bow drill practice to much it makes a huge difference on my hand drill materials.
Hand drill friction fire practice today, Mullein spindle, Cedar hearth board.
Expanding the notch after my initial burn in...
Some calm mindless spinning to dry out and warm up the board...
Tinder bundle fell apart...
Ouch! I set myself on fire! A couple red spots, and some singed hairs, but all good.
All caught on video, it’s good to laugh at yourself...
Today I elected to try a wood that I had never made an ember with, and I got four unique hand drill embers with it.
Marigold spindle on American hornbeam hearth. American hornbeam is also known as blue-beech and musclewood.
Mule fat spindle on American hornbeam hearth.
Prickly lettuce spindle on American hornbeam hearth.
Sunflower spindle on American hornbeam hearth.
Thanks to @Vanitas for the American hornbeam.
@CoolBreeze135 didn't you express an interest in using American hornbeam for friction fire? It's a real challenge since it's such a hard wood. But once you get the bottom flat enough to be stable, the divot burned in, and the notch cut it isn't too bad. Earplugs might be in order early in the spinning process, as it is quite squeaky.
NICE! Being a hard but fine grained wood I thought it would work well.
This western red cedar sapling was holding more moisture than anticipated, so it took some adjustments and patience, but I got there eventually.
Harvesting some yucca for another to try their hand with...
I had to give it a test...
Well now to finish processing it down for the post office.
Five unique embers before dinner today...
Narrowleaf yucca spindle on American Hornbeam hearth.
Joe Pye Weed spindle on desert willow hearth.
Joe Pye Weed spindle on grape hearth.
Joe Pye Weed spindle on honey locust root hearth.
Joe Pye Weed spindle on western red cedar hearth.
Thanks to @Jacob for the desert willow and narrowleaf yucca.
Thanks to @ArmyMacE for the honey locust root.
Thanks to @Seahunter for the grape.
Thanks to @Vanitas for the American hornbeam.
I grew the Joe Pye Weed in my garden in Boise. Not sure it will grow here, and I'm out. You can see how skinny the spindle was...not ideal by any means, but enough to do the job.
Wet Weekend Wildfire
Over the weekend things were wet after a heavy rain during the night. The sun came out long enough to dry the surface of a stone slab for drilling a fire upon. I managed to find a plentiful supply of rotten willow for a nice smoldering pile from the dry underside of a fallen tree.
Three unique hand drill embers tonight:
Dogwood spindle on honey locust root hearth.
Mullein spindle on American hornbeam hearth.
Tumbleweed spindle on American hornbeam hearth.
Thanks to @Vanitas for the American hornbeam and dogwood (probably Cornus Florida, flowering dogwood?)
Thanks to @ArmyMacE for the honey locust root.
No luck here, plenty of smoke though. I think I’m going to be a little sore!
One hand drill ember today.
Honey locust root spindle on American hornbeam hearth.
Attempt 31? Fire plow method, pretty sure my set was willow...
No luck today...
Hand drill friction fire, Yucca spindle on Sandbar Willow...
Nice going....plow I have heard is probably the hardest of all of them to do.
Four unique hand drill embers tonight.
Honey locust root spindle on Ponderosa pine hearth.
Honey locust root spindle on cliff-rose hearth.
Honey locust root spindle on sagebrush hearth.
Honey locust root spindle on hackberry hearth.
Thanks to @ArmyMacE for the honey locust root and hackbery.
Thanks to @Jacob for the cliff-rose.
Tried a new one today!
Used a trash bag for my bow drill cordage.
Makes a huge mess and hard to get going. I just twisted my trash bag untill it was tight and secured the end. The outer layer of plastic binds on it's self and tears easily leaving the drawstring to do most of the work. I'll try a contractor bag next and try to make some sort of cordage out of the thin ones just to see how it does. Just another use for a trash bag. Learning something new everyday
Accidental success with a no notch ember... yucca spindle proofing on a cedar hearth board.
Strange when it is the goal of a practice session and it doesn’t workout for me. I was just spinning really fast and really hard to get smoke and char an end of a spindle.
I’ll see if I can replicate this on purpose later. Hands and arms are still sore from yesterday’s practice.
I seriously don’t understand why this time it worked! I wasn’t even very deep in the hearth board.
The board is clamped onto the shelf so I don’t have to sit or get down on my knees.
Measuring up my favorite Mullein spindle...
The tip where I place my hands for spinning up the embers...
It is a tiny bit larger diameter than this card will measure on the working end...
One hand drill ember tonight.
Honey locust root spindle on eastern white cedar hearth.
Failed to get a hand drill ember on eastern larch and peach hearths with honey locust as a spindle.
Two unique hand drill embers for me today.
Honey locust spindle on black walnut hearth.
Honey locust spindle on sweet gum hearth.
Honey locust root was from @ArmyMacE. Not sure where I got the sweet gum. Black locust was from my uncle, who lives in the same town as @ArmyMacE.
good job; that honey locust was getting awful close to being gone in the host spindle.
Yeah, thanks for giving me another opportunity for a teachable moment. I really didn't expect an ember on the black walnut...the spindle was short and I was just going to make the divot and prepare the notch. Then it started smoking...
Here's what the spindle plug looked like after I got it out of the host.
The faint line near the blackened end is from the knife blade I used to remove the spindle plug. I though sure I was going to need to get my gimlet (corkscrew).
Friction Fire Tuesday Eve. I found and prepared a spindle I hadn't done much with before, and it worked great for hand drill.
As such, I got a dozen embers. I really liked using eastern white cedar for a spindle plug.
I won't show all of them, but...these are all with eastern white cedar for the spindle:
Black walnut hearth
Sunflower root hearth
The other hearths were honey locust root, mahogany, palo verde, staghorn sumac, tulip poplar, and western red cedar.
Thanks to those of you who submitted woods for this success: @Robert Y, @Jacob, @ArmyMacE, @Badey, and @Seahunter. Can't remember where the tulip poplar came from, but I got some in Boise.
sage on sage...only thing I did different is carefully scrounge small pieces of bark out of the cracks of the hearth boards I made that I got for friction fire and didn't use any other things for my nest. It was pretty loose so left it in the tin to keep it together.
IMG_5266 by Ken Cardwell, on Flickr
IMG_5268 by Ken Cardwell, on Flickr
IMG_5269 by Ken Cardwell, on Flickr
Little lunch break bow drill today!
One hand drill ember this evening.
Eastern white cedar spindle on balsam fir hearth.
Got my first successful bow drill ember today!!!!! So happy!!! Now I've just got to keep practising.
Thanks @NWPrimate for your inspirational and helpful posts and Instagram and youtube videos!!! You're a frikkin beast bro!
That's certainly worth celebrating!
Way to go!
I did a little bowdrill practice with some friends at a recent gathering. I brought some proven sets and some materials to make a set. Cottonwood, western red cedar and bigleaf maple. We made form bearing blocks from fatwood, but the stuff I brought was not as dense as I expected. I've had one fatwood block as my standby for a while, so if I use some more dense stuff like that one it will work better. Seems like the sap helps lubricate the hole pretty well. We talked about the materials and techniques and how to get success.
A couple folks got their first ember and were quite pleased about it. That was fun- Learn something new every day!
good for you; the meetup looked like a good one
SUCCESS! I finally got one of my rose stems to work efficiently! 30 seconds with this one, hearth board is Willow.
Primitive Potato congrats. Huge Milestone. Its a blast huh?
Two unique hand drill embers tonight:
Eastern white cedar spindle on Rose of Sharon hearth.
Eastern white cedar spindle on tupelo hearth.
In addition, I got this one.
This was Eastern white cedar spindle on Douglas-fir hearth. However, since I had previously made an ember with this combination using a bow drill, I don't count it as 'unique.'
Thanks to @OMRebel for the Rose of Sharon.
Thanks @Draketake. Loving it!