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Thread: Questions about...FIRE!!!

  1. #1

    Default Questions about...FIRE!!!

    I've tried doing the bow drill method, and I can't get it to do anything more than give me a bunch of smoke. What am I doing wrong? I heard you should use a hard wood handle and soft wood base [[or vise-versa :/]] and nothin's happening. Also, when done correctly, how long should it take before you get an ember/coal? Finally, how do you contain a fire? I'm nervous of spark flying too far and starting a huge fire...how do I keep it big enough to serve a purpose but small enough so that doesn't happen?

    Thanks!!


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  3. #3
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Don't feel too bad. I've been working on it for years and I'm still lousy at it. That's why I carry matches, flint, napalm, flame thrower, .......

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    Senior Member Ole WV Coot's Avatar
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    If you get to the point you don't think it can be done chuck a hardwood dowel or piece of wood in a battery powered drill. Get in a safe place and have at it.
    Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old
    to fight... he'll just kill you.

  5. #5

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    It can be very difficult even in the best circumstances. Thats why carrying a coal, once fire has been accomplished, makes alot of sense.
    Earth - love it or leave it.

    FireSteel.com

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    Member Teacher's Avatar
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    Practice, I practice two to three times a week just so I make sure I get in right for my students when the time comes. Practice with some diffrent types of wood till you get one that works best for you and what is avalilbe, I use cedar base board and an arrow wood drill. Its all in the pressure you apply on the drill into the base board, start easy and apply more pressure as you go till you see that darker dust and a good amount of smoke. Practice is the key.
    Some times things that go bump in the night....get bumped back!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Don't feel too bad. I've been working on it for years and I'm still lousy at it. That's why I carry matches, flint, napalm, flame thrower, .......
    and bacon... don't forget the bacon. You might want to start a grease fire someday..

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    Member Teacher's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention the REALLY important part!!! You gotta hold your tongue JUSSSTTTT right to get it all to come together.
    Some times things that go bump in the night....get bumped back!!!

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    Senior Member bulrush's Avatar
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    It should take 1-2 minutes of drilling, then 10 seconds to get out your butane torch and start 'er up!

    I know you might want to try the drill method, but it's really not practical these days. Even an empty butane lighter will throw a spark onto a piece of tinder, cotton ball, or char cloth.

  10. #10
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Bulrush, I'm with you. But you take about 1-2 minutes longer than I do.

    I posted this in another thread but it applies here as well. This guy has a nice web site and has modified his drill just a bit and it makes a lot of sense to me (yeah, me. The guy that can't start fire with one of these).

    Scroll down to the bottom to see his mod.

    http://www.outdoorwonders.com/friction-bow.htm

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Those of you that consider yourself proficient at bow and drill, do you carry a bow and drill "kit" with you or do you make one in the field?

    If you make one in the field, even an expedient one, how do you get around the problem that the wood is green and therefore moisture laden? Dead (and drier) wood just snaps.

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    Senior Member Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Those of you that consider yourself proficient at bow and drill, do you carry a bow and drill "kit" with you or do you make one in the field?

    If you make one in the field, even an expedient one, how do you get around the problem that the wood is green and therefore moisture laden? Dead (and drier) wood just snaps.
    I carry a bowdrill kit with me most of the time, but I only use it if field expedient drills absolutly refuse to work. I use a type of wood called Terospermum. it is one of the best for firction fire lighting. At present I am in the process of experimenting and listing the different types of wood for FF according to the climatic zones. (Also bark and lianas for the bowstring)

    Finding dry standing wood is not a problem in the dry zone scrub jungle, but in the wet zone it is a pain. however with a little effort it can be done.

    I generally find a fairly thick branch and carve it down to the required size. Spindle diameter is not an issue (withing reason,....No large tree trunks please!)if you can get your bowstring around it and find a proper hearthboard.

    It takes about 40 ti 60 seconds to get an ember from Terospermum. Others take twice as long. it all depends on how dry the wood is and the humidity at the time. In the wet zone finding good tinder is more of a challenge than finding wood for FF.
    Walk softly upon the earth!

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    Senior Member sh4d0wm4573ri7's Avatar
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    Yes I do carry a ceder bow drill kit that I made , it works quite well . And I have never had a problem making one in the field is always dead dry wood in all but the wettest of seasons and lately wetness has not been a problem in TN.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    For those of you that carry a bow drill kit into the wilds - is it just the method you prefer and you carry it incase you are unable to make one? Do you carry other methods (fire steel, lighter, matches, etc.)?
    Can't Means Won't

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  15. #15

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    You don't have to worry about an ember flying off anywhere, it generally stays on the baseboard and on top of the tinder board. As for the materials, my bow drill set has soft wood and it works very well. But on the bow, you to keep the paracord tight. If it is loose then the spindle will slip and there will be not enough friction. And the tinder is very important, I find a jute twine bird's nest works best. I hope this helps.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Well, I could be wrong, but since ole JJ hasn't logged on in nine years he may miss your advice.
    Can't Means Won't

    My Youtube Channel

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    Senior Member Graf's Avatar
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    For kicks I'll do bow drill but always have a alternative as back up.
    Semper Paratus

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    Senior Member Antonyraison's Avatar
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    My advice is use soft wood for both spindle and hearth board, try use Alder, or willow those work the best for me.
    here is a video I made some time ago about making a set from start to finish:
    My youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ultsmackdown Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/antonyraison/

    (BOSWA) ELITE SURVIVAL RANGER - BSR/16/07

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    Senior Member Antonyraison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Those of you that consider yourself proficient at bow and drill, do you carry a bow and drill "kit" with you or do you make one in the field?

    If you make one in the field, even an expedient one, how do you get around the problem that the wood is green and therefore moisture laden? Dead (and drier) wood just snaps.
    I carry one into the woods with me, as trying to make a decent set out there is not always easy.
    My youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ultsmackdown Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/antonyraison/

    (BOSWA) ELITE SURVIVAL RANGER - BSR/16/07

  20. #20
    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Uh guys - the secret is when it smokes -DON"T STOP keep going, and going and going... like a E bunny then you have a coal.
    "Never work against mother nature"--Caesar Milan.

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