Friction Fire Tuesday

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

  1. tristndad

    tristndad Supporter Supporter

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    I do enjoy the variety of materials I can use with the bowdrill. It has been fun looking for new spindles and hearths. I also enjoy carving the bow drill spindles down from larger pieces of wood. That is alot better then just pealing the bark off of my hand drill spindles. Add the art of making the actual bow in there also. The bow drill has definitely been and will continue to be a really cool addition to my lifestyle. I find the hand drill a lot more challenging, and challenges drive me. Plus I just can't get over the wow factor you get when you make fire by just using your hands and a twig.

    Why are your preferences seasonal?
     
  2. Ivan

    Ivan Scout

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    My splendid carry around bowdrill set is much more reliable during cold wet winters. During hot dry summers I do not need to carry my bowdrill set, as all needed materials for hand drill present themselves while hiking around. And yes, it is most “uplifting” (quoting Medicine Maker) to be able to do hand drill on-the-spot.
     
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  3. tristndad

    tristndad Supporter Supporter

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    Cottonwood root spindle on tulip poplar. 20190328_161201-1.jpg
     
  4. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Skills Practitioner Supporter

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    No Go today...

    Hand drill friction fire practice...

    78273F56-2588-4171-B2AB-9A578045C808.jpeg

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    B87B7571-B371-4197-820D-50264C5CD1C7.jpeg

    The rose stem spindle I struggle with, and my favorite Mullein stalk spindle didn’t want to play with willow hearth board today.

    Thanks,

    Jarrod
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
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  5. Stone

    Stone Bushmaster

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    Nine unique hand drill embers today.

    Here are the embers.
    black locust spindle on agave hearth.jpg
    Black locust spindle on agave hearth.

    black locust spindle on balsam fir hearth.jpg
    Black locust spindle on balsam fir hearth.

    Black locust spindle on mountain ash hearth.jpg
    Black locust spindle on mountain ash hearth.

    black locust spindle on spruce hearth.jpg
    Black locust spindle on spruce hearth.

    black locust spindle on peach hearth.jpg
    Black locust spindle on a peach hearth.

    black locust spindle on cliff-rose hearth.jpg
    Black locust spindle on cliff-rose.

    black locust spindle on desert willow hearth.jpg
    Black locust spindle on desert willow hearth.

    black locust spindle on tree of heaven hearth.jpg
    Black locust spindle on tree of heaven hearth.

    Black locust spindle on Nolina beargrass hearth.jpg
    Black locust spindle on beargrass hearth (Nolina sp).

    Thanks to @Jacob for the beargrass, cliff-rose and desert willow. Thanks to @kcardwel for the mountain ash. Thanks to whoever sent the agave, tree of heaven, and peach (not all the same person).

    Yes, my left hand is sore; but I am again averaging more than one unique hand drill ember per day for the year...not that I expect to keep this up...
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
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  6. tristndad

    tristndad Supporter Supporter

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    Looks like you may have spent some time in Watertown, NY. 10th Mountain Division?
     
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  7. tristndad

    tristndad Supporter Supporter

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    @Stone I would have thought black locust would be impossible to use for a hand drill. Looks like you proved my theory wrong. Was it difficult?
     
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  8. Stone

    Stone Bushmaster

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    So far I've made 25 unique hand drill embers with black locust, out of a total of 47 that includes bowdrill use.

    I don't do the wood combinations that are difficult, so yes, they were easy! Some were easier than others...in this latest batch the easiest as I remember were agave, beargrass and peach. With some I had to continue drilling much longer than I thought necessary to get an ember...as demanded by the smoke quitting when I quit twirling. So on those occasions I rested a minute, kept the (nice, warm, dry) dust in the notch and the spindle in the divot to maintain heat, redusted my hands with rock climbers chalk, and gave it another go (or two). I like to shoot for working my way down the length of the spindle ten times after I start getting smoke. If I see smoke coming directly from the dust pile I'll stop twirling because an ember is likely ready to form.

    If I have the energy and it doesn't look like it's gonna ember up after ten passes down the spindle I'll give it more...sometimes 20 or more total.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
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  9. Stone

    Stone Bushmaster

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    That's why I don't put any stock in the 'fingernail' test to determine friction fire woods...I've got 13 hand drill embers on a hickory hearth!

    I even got an ember with a hickory spindle on a hickory hearth...but that was with a bowdrill. :)
     
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  10. tristndad

    tristndad Supporter Supporter

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    Stone, you are pretty amazing, I think you may have entered god-like status! It's going to be a long while before I even begin to think of woods like hickory and black locust. Going to just keep practicing with my pithy weeds and hope someday, I get half as skilled as you!
     
  11. Stone

    Stone Bushmaster

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    You've got time...I didn't get any unique hand drill embers until 2016. Now I have over 1300 total unique hand drill embers.
     
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  12. cockeyedhunter

    cockeyedhunter Half Blind and Bald Lifetime Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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  13. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    20190402_125512.jpg
    Got an ember 2 different ways with that bowdrill kid I was asked to try out.
    20190402_074627.jpg
    Same willow spindle. The second pic is the reccomend way to use the kit.. the first is the more appropriate :)
     
  14. Stone

    Stone Bushmaster

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    Three unique hand drill embers tonight.

    black locust spindle on elm hearth.jpg Black locust spindle on elm hearth.

    black locust spindle on pin cherry hearth.jpg Black locust spindle on pin cherry hearth.

    black locust spindle on western hemlock hearth.jpg Black locust spindle on western hemlock hearth.

    Thanks to @NWPrimate for the western hemlock.

    That hemlock took forever and I almost put the ember out with my sweat...nevertheless, I persisted to success. It would smoke really good so I'd stop, and the smoke would stop...about three or four times!

    Elm and pin cherry were more direct at producing no-nonsense dust, but I slipped the spindle out of the divot on the pin cherry and spread the dust pretty well. That is usually the end of the go, but a part of it was glowing and smoking so I raked it back together with my knife and voila!
     
  15. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Skills Practitioner Supporter

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    Yucca spindle on Sotol hearth hand drill friction fire practice. I thought this one failed, smelled smoke looked over and a tiny ember was forming.

    1BA48507-D4EE-42AE-921D-D0D2DB71D245.jpeg

    Bow drill friction fire practice, green willow. This one no ember. Lots of smoke, good dust going. At one point I stopped and could actually see tiny droplets of water leaking out from the board.


    7CC4A6A5-8820-4A10-BD4F-3EE599493A2E.jpeg

    6DA41C72-70E3-4FB2-BDB6-5418F9CEDD91.jpeg

    B584CECD-E778-434D-B07F-CBAF8500A092.jpeg



    Yucca spindle on Sotol hearth board, with a grass tinder bundle. Bow drill practice.

    Thanks again for the Sotol @kcardwel




    Thanks,

    Jarrod
     
  16. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Skills Practitioner Supporter

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    No Go on the Rudiger roll today, multiple variations on the roll part.

    2C9B30E3-76B5-41F8-A7DE-BE8180F415A9.jpeg

    0F47CFDD-9A16-4A33-9FC8-FBF5B188723C.jpeg

    182E47C8-54DC-4D89-9CC2-2363C0A3E415.jpeg

    On the upside there is a new one! Finally after 70 or more attempts success was achieved on the fire plough!

    B83FC59E-7409-4ED3-B9B7-9181F5AA0B9D.jpeg

    C7DE97F6-7F0F-4A44-A507-D2D6EA295875.jpeg


    I am thoroughly excited and exhausted!


    Thanks,

    Jarrod
     
  17. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Bushmaster

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  18. Stone

    Stone Bushmaster

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  19. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    Way to go on the fire plow...that I think is the most work required of any of the friction fire methods.
     
  20. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Skills Practitioner Supporter

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    Dead Poplar, it was painful to achieve. I was extremely exhausted afterwards. I didn’t expect to actually achieve an ember on this go or I would have recorded it!

    I have tried willow, pine, Yucca. All No Goes. Going to try the Sotol when my arms don’t feel like jello.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  21. Wyanokie

    Wyanokie Scout

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    Way behind you fellas but I've gotten embers with my latest wood trial, Atlantic white cedar. It worked beautifully! Not much pressure needed, gently warmed up the set and went at it. I'm up to tulip poplar, cottonwood, E. red cedar, weeping willow and now the Atlantic white cedar (these sets were all the same wood for both hearth and spindle).

    Really inspired by everyone here! Looking forward to trying the hand drill sometime soon!

    P.S. the index card made a poor coal catcher :)

    BCUSA FF2.jpg
     
  22. Ivan

    Ivan Scout

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    Poplar, wow! That’s a new one. Extra points.
     
  23. Draketake

    Draketake Guide

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    ArmyMac congrats.

    Like Stone, Fire Plow is on my to do list. Gotta heal up my shoulder first though.
     
  24. Lil Bullits

    Lil Bullits Supporter Supporter

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    My first ever bow drill ember!!
    Basswood on basswood with an Esee bearing block. I'm sooooo excited!!!
    Thank you for the tutorials @NWPrimate and @Guillaume Longval wouldn't have been so easy without them!
    20190406_154724.jpg 20190406_155041.jpg 20190406_155142.jpg 20190406_155331.jpg
     
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  25. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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  26. Captain Airyca

    Captain Airyca Supporter Supporter

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    It was recommended to me to post my attempt at making a bow drill here, so here's the video I made! I'm going to try again and will be perusing this thread for inspiration. Someone also reccomended to me the "Building an Ember" thread, so don't worry, I'll study that one right now!
     
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  27. Stone

    Stone Bushmaster

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  28. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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    congrats @ArmyMacE for the fire plow!

    thats by far the toughest ember i made. and only made one.... weeping willow and balsam fir if memory serves.
     
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  29. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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    solid first try @Captain Airyca !

    you sound like a perseptive person. i bet you will be spinning embers effortlessly very soon and laughing at the trouble you went through this time!:)

    @rsnurkle covered it up in detail. no-lube soft wood bearing block being a little like trying to push a car with the hand break engaged... in your video, i hear clearly the cordage slipping on the spindle. so when you get in the more serious pressure for ignition, the bearing block is breaking the spindle to a dead stop while you continue bowing. its almost impossible to see, but it makes a distinct sound.

    a better bearing block will probably allow you to make an ember, and cut almost by half the energy needed for bowing.

    multiple wrap of the cordage around the spindle will work in the same direction, increasing the grip on the spindle and allowing you to use almost any cordage.

    the other small detail that cought my attention is the vibration that you got in your spindle. its worth it to me taking extra care in carving a straight spindle because then, i need very little effort keeping it straight. large flat sections at the sides of bottom end doest help either. id say if you are going to "battle" against your spindle, better be with a knife then with the bow.:p

    have fun and keep us posted!
     
  30. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Bushmaster

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    Keep at it! :dblthumb:
     
  31. Stone

    Stone Bushmaster

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  32. Draketake

    Draketake Guide

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    Bullits congrats.

    Captain Airyca it will not be long. Stay with it.
     
  33. chansta

    chansta keeper of the flame Supporter

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    I got closer today. No smoke but the burning smell was in the air. I increased pressure on the bearing block. I also used a chaga coal to help create a new divot and shortened length of the bow.
    Guess I’ll keep trying
     
  34. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Skills Practitioner Supporter

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    Mullein spindle on punky Oak hearth. Still pretty hard actually, compared to punky wood I’ve pulled from Willow.

    F4D0A755-DEBC-4ADD-A687-82A234EDB17E.jpeg

    F6E7C3D6-16C2-4C90-892C-B46B020293E4.jpeg

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    3853C021-E2E1-4C34-A0EA-911B215AB179.png

    B58BE6F8-D9A1-4AD8-A580-C0B7FFD909AA.png

    Thanks,

    Jarrod
     
  35. tristndad

    tristndad Supporter Supporter

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    Bowdrill using basswood spindle and tulip tree hearth. It was a very squeaky combo in the beginning, the basswood was carved green over the weekend.

    20190409_203956-1.jpg

    Failed attempt at the handdrill using basswood and red cedar.
    It kept glazing over and I couldn't even achieve smoke. Going to have to let the spindle dry some more. 20190409_205755-1.jpg
     
  36. cockeyedhunter

    cockeyedhunter Half Blind and Bald Lifetime Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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  37. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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    wood on wood hand drill!
    thats a intense challenge!:dblthumb:

    have you tried a pinch of sand in the divot to help kickstart the thing without gloss?
     
  38. tristndad

    tristndad Supporter Supporter

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    I will have to give that a try. I have been using some scrapings from the char on already used spindles. It has worked for my weed spindles, but thinking the sand is probably what I need for the basswood.
     
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  39. Ivan

    Ivan Scout

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    IMG_0412.JPG mulefat cottonwood 4.9.19.JPG
    A park landscaper gave me two woods grown in a local park; Mulefat and Cottonwood. Thanks Bill.
     
  40. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Skills Practitioner Supporter

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    Practicing...

    FB75301F-334B-4697-93D9-2F0A7CEE041C.jpeg

    3E887A06-FEE5-43A2-9EA1-67E947B96559.jpeg

    D893C7E6-8BEB-42B2-A74B-0FD404674CA5.jpeg

    Thanks,

    Jarrod
     
  41. Stone

    Stone Bushmaster

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  42. Stone

    Stone Bushmaster

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    Three hand drill embers today.

    Fennel spindle on hackberry hearth.jpg
    Fennel spindle on hackberry hearth.

    Fennel spindle on staghorn sumac hearth.jpg Fennel spindle on staghorn sumac hearth.

    Fennel spindle on vine maple hearth.jpg Fennel spindle on vine maple hearth.

    Thanks to @Badey for the staghorn sumac and @NWPrimate for the vine maple.
     
  43. Stone

    Stone Bushmaster

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    And another five hand drill embers after dinner.

    Fennel spindle on California buckeye hearth.jpg Fennel spindle on California buckeye hearth.

    Cottonwood root spindle on California Buckeye hearth.jpg Cottonwood root spindle on California buckeye hearth.

    mule fat spindle on Nolina beargrass heasrth.jpg Mule fat spindle on beargrass (Nolina sp.) hearth.

    Fennel spindle on sunflower root hearth.jpg Fennel spindle on sunflower root hearth.

    Fennel spindle on Nolina beargrass hearth.jpg
    Fennel spindle on beargrass (Nolina sp) hearth.
     
  44. Ivan

    Ivan Scout

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    wildfire 4.14.19a.JPG
    wildfire 4.14.19b.JPG

    Over the weekend I picked up these sticks found washed up on the beach; mulefat and willow. Hand drill failure (spindle not long enough); but easily worked with my carry around bowdrill set. The hearth was punky and took an ember, so I used it as a firebrand to carry along on my beach hike. Never gets old.
     
  45. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    did five different ones to hone my skills.
    Eastern Pine on locust
    Alder on cedar
    Aspen on Aspen
    Aspen on cottonwood
    Sage on Sage
    [​IMG]IMG_5658 by Ken Cardwell, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_5657 by Ken Cardwell, on Flickr
     

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