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Thread: Fire-Bow (PIC HEAVY)

  1. #21
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    Yes, Aurelius, I use them for the spindle. I don't have any branches large enough to try for the hearthboard yet. If you have any success using crepe myrtle please let us know. The ones that have weathered in your back yard over winter should be great for firemaking.
    I eagerly await your results
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    Senior Member Ted's Avatar
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    Hey Batch, try getting some dry leaves and/or grass and rub it between your hands. You should have a lot of fibers left in your hands. Do this over something to also collect the dust that comes off the fibers. I do this till I get a nice handfull of fibers and form them into a "nest" at least 3 inches in diamiter, and 3 inches thick. Now put the nest in a bigger nest of dry grass,about 6 inches, in diamiter and 6 inches thick. Now put the dust in the nest. When you get an ember put it on the pile of dust. Your ember will easly catch the dust! While blowing keep pushing the nest tighter and blowing harder till it burst into flame. It will burst! Don't have your face too close or you will singe your face!
    Last edited by Ted; 04-06-2010 at 10:50 PM.
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  3. #23
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    I hadn't thought of collecting the dust of crumbled leaves. Nice tip Ted. I remember before you said you could use the same wood for both spindle and hearth. Was that linden you were using? I'm interested in hearing some of the other woods you've had success with. I picked up a piece of dead chinaberry today and have cured out a piece of Cotton Rose to try too.
    Good info as always Ted. Thanks bro!
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  4. #24
    Senior Member Ted's Avatar
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    I've used maple for the whole deal! Socket too! Only grease I've ever used was off the sides of own greasy nose!...LOL!
    The fibers left from rubbing leaves, and putting the dust in it works great! Thats how I taught the boys to make a fire with a magnyfing glass! Instead of putting a ember in a nest you make a ember in a nest!

    Maple is the only one I know for sure what it was! I've made quite a few without knowing what the hell it was! If the spinlde got eaten up I'd try another. If the fire boad burned through I'd just try another! That was before I read about the thumbnail trick, and as long as the wood passes the thumbnail test it dosn't seem to matter what the wood is!
    Last edited by Ted; 04-06-2010 at 11:10 PM.
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  5. #25
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    Default more fun with fire!

    An update for those interested.. I know crash asked about this particularly.. so here's the answer!

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    The fingernail dent test indicated it was a slightly harder wood, so I went with he tulip hearth for starters, but it didn't work, and after about 30 minutes and several tries, I went to a slightly softer willow hearth (I have a lot of it stashed) and got fire. Judging by the way it shreds itself, I would think this is one of the woods that the whole kit could be made of, bow, hearth, and spindle. Exhausting, but fun.

    in case you can't read my sloppy handwriting, it's Chinaberry.
    Last edited by crashdive123; 08-04-2014 at 06:07 AM.
    Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Helen Keller

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update.
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  7. #27

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    get fire from the hard work is pride.
    Some Survival Video that could be learn.
    and don't forget to Respect The Wild.

  8. #28
    Junior Member markhdteck's Avatar
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    I'm ready to try again!.... i got a spark twice,fire 1 time awhile back,sure had to work for it.....i used poplar wood for the hearthboard and spindle,that i found on the ground,and the tinder was fibers from the underside of the bark of rotten oak and rotten poplar and leaves rolled in my hand to make into the bird nest.
    I'm going to try cedar this time,maybe it'll work better..

  9. #29
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    I didn't have much success using tulip poplar for both pieces, swamprat. I use it for a hearthboard on harder spindles, like with nandina. I think the poplar was just too tight-grained or something.
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    Junior Member Swamprat1's Avatar
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    thanks for the great tutorial. I have been trying to master this for awhile now. But your pics show what I am doing wrong. Will give it a another go this weekend.
    also, i had heard somewhere that cattail stalks work for a spindle, anyone else here have any experience?

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamprat1 View Post
    thanks for the great tutorial. I have been trying to master this for awhile now. But your pics show what I am doing wrong. Will give it a another go this weekend.
    also, i had heard somewhere that cattail stalks work for a spindle, anyone else here have any experience?
    I haven't tried cattail stalks yet - actually my success rate has been pretty poor. I am going to give it some more effort - I just hate it when inanimate objects kick my butt.
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  12. #32
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    In my experience, cattail stalks are too brittle to handle the fire-bow. I haven't tried it for a hand drill yet, but it certainly can't take the overhand pressure of the fire-bow.
    Let me know how you fare and if you have any more questions!
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  13. #33

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    How the heck do you make the little depression for your handhold? (Using wood i mean)

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    I used a hard cobble (like large pea gravel, I don't know much about rocks, but it's the kind you find in driveways and flowerbeds) to peck away at the center of a much softer limestone type rock. I'll try to remember to snap a picture of my socket-rock so you can see where it was pecked out. Basically you just keep tapping in the same spot with your pecking stone till the hole is the size you like it. It takes time, but not a lot of energy.
    Look for softer limestone type rocks, or a nice piece of hardwood like a pine knot, and you can just "drill" it out with another rock or your knife.
    Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Helen Keller

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    If you don't have a knife - with a rock.
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    Either way i am going to try it this summer. Pretty much all of these trees around here are hard or extremely hard(the softest wood around is douglas fir which can actually get pretty darn hard and its pretty resiny), so it might not be too easy. Mabeye there are softer woods around, there is some ash(is that soft or hard?) and a couple other trees around a creek(there tends to be a greater variety and some rarer trees around rippearian zones) that i frequent but its right next to a jogging trail and i dont want people to freak out or have problems with the authorities. The yuppies would think that i am intentionally hurting a poor tree when i would really be just sawing off a dead limb.

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    For the socket, you really want a hard wood, and you want to keep it greased. I use soap for lube, but I've heard of others using all sorts of things. Good Luck and let us know how it goes!
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Because of the intense sun, I usually have a tube of chapstick. It can be used to lubricat the socket of your bow drill.
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    Junior Member Swamprat1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    I haven't tried cattail stalks yet - actually my success rate has been pretty poor. I am going to give it some more effort - I just hate it when inanimate objects kick my butt.
    I know what you mean crash. All I've managed to do is get the wood to hot to touch. From the video I know that part of my problem is having the bow to high on the spindle. Need to try lubing the socket to. May try to work on it this weekend. I've got a campout in a couple weeks and would like to be able to showoff a bit

  20. #40
    noob survivalist crimescene450's Avatar
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    So im in ohio now, where i have much more means to try alot of primitive things

    so the first thing i decided to try is a firebow

    im having problems though (obviously)

    first off, ill shows you my stuff, just to make sure if there any problems with it

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    heres my base? is that what its called?
    im not sure what kind of wood it is

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    heres my spindle, made of sugar maple
    does maple work? and is this straight enough? should i completely debark it? or does it not matter?

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    heres my point (i have no clue why this pic is so big)
    is this good at all?

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    im not sure if this is a good handhold. its a shell we had lying around
    what are some other good handholds?


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    heres my bow
    is this curvey enough?





    now my problems:

    my main problem is that the spindle keeps poppping out
    i hear this is because of bad form. but it is possible that the handhold is allso bad? there really isnt a divot in the shell.

    a second problem is my string keeps stretching. im not sure what to do about that though

    on a couple of tries i had smoke, so i stopped but there was no ember

    my residue is light to dark brown and really fine
    Last edited by crashdive123; 08-04-2014 at 06:07 AM.

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