Friction Fire

For a year (365 days) I produced a primitive fire coal using various bow drill kits. The process is simple: Check out this link to find out how. It took me two years to get my first coal, and for a whole year, I only produced 5. I decided that I didn’t want to give up, so I committed to producing one a day for a whole year, and guess what? I got really good. Just goes to show: If you work hard at something, you’ll succeed.

My favourite woods have been cedar on cedar, and big leaf maple on cedar. I’ve also had good luck with mullein on cedar, for a quick and easy spindle. For cordage, I’ve had success with raw hide and dogbane.

Below are some pictures from a workshop I facilitated. My next challenge? Handrill. I have big plans for a similar, and likely shorter, challenge.

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3 responses to “Friction Fire

  1. Rebecca Lerner

    You are awesome!!!! I have never been able to get a coal successfully from either bow drill or hand drill.

  2. Here’s what I recommend: try with a big leaf maple spindle on cedar. Start nice and slow, until your dust is full, then loose pressure and speed up. believe it or not, I’ve noticed that many people actually press too hard on their hand hold. To see if this is the case, check your dust. If it looks like splinters or wood chunks, your pressing down too hard. if its too light coloured, press harder. Let me know how it goes!

  3. ps I think you’re awesome! I’ve been reading your blog for a year now. Glad you’re reading mine!

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