The Bow Drill

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Your about to learn about the bow drill.  Way back in ancient history, our ancestors came up with the establishment of fire by the use of friction. You can come up with a flame by using a bow  drill to induce friction on one another. With the growth of technology the art of lighting a fire using this method is steadily becoming indigenous with most of us doing it for fun or for teachings of the ancient history. There are various factors that you have to consider before you are able to come up with a fire from a bow and drill. The following are some of the factors that you may follow before you make a bow and drill fire.

1.Type of wood that you are to use.

You do not select any type of wood to make a fire as some may contain lots of moisture that may hinder this from occurring. For the creation of fire using friction it is important that you consider a type of wood that is of soft density and is dead. Also the most viable wood species that you may use to create a fire are the cedar, cottonwood ,willow, basswood, poplar and buck eye. Note that you may fail to notice some of this wood species therefore ensure that whichever wood that you are going to select is completely dead and dry.

2.Creation of friction kit.

For you to be able to come up with fire using the bow and drill it is very important that you are equipped with a good kit that will facilitate this process and make it even more faster. A friction kit contains of various parts and items.


This is a bowl like structure that will be able to accumulate all the dust particles that will be emitted from the spinning of the bow  drill. You can use materials such as paper, plant leaves or even barks of trees.


Your friction kit must be readily equipped with some chunks of materials that are highly flammable even while exposed to minimum amount of heat


This is a small upright piece of wood that is sharp at the front and is used to induce friction onto the fireboard and in the long run creating heat. An efficient drill should be pencil shaped and have a sharp edge at the top with the bottom part having a blunt edge as this is the part where an individual is to hold.

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This is the bottom piece of wood where the coal is formed. The drill is used to induce friction on the fireboard. Note that the fireboard should be twelve inches long and in the shape of a board.


This is the item that is used to spin the drill back and forth from the fireboard. For a good bow you can use a light branch that is slightly curved. Ensure that it is compatible to your arm and has a diameter of two or one inches.


The handhold is placed on top of the drill and is used to apply pressure on the fireboard therefore increasing the amount of friction on the same. It is also important that you ensure that the handhold is well lubricated so as to prevent your hands from getting sores or worn out after a short spinning period.
Once you have a ready friction kit then the usage of the same is quite easy.
Start off by creating a small hole that fits the drill on top of the fireboard. Ensure that you have a steady grip on the fireboard so that it does not move from side to side while spinning. Start spinning and once you have dug up a deeper hole you will notice that the coal particles will start forming. Create room for your coal catcher and collect all the coal in the same place.
Once all the coal is collected you can then get back into spinning the fireboard and establish smoke. Ensure that you are not tempted to stop once you notice some small amount of smoke. In fact this should be a motivation for you to apply more pressure and keep on drilling at a faster rate until that point when you stop drilling and still there is smoke coming from the fireboard. Return the coal into the same hole and let the smoke to keep on coming up. You can then use your flammable bundle to catalyze the smoke and with time you have a fire.

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