Chevy1121 wrote:1. I'm trying to learn the bow drill method. Is there an easy way to start a fire primitively?
If there is, I am all ears.
Just kidding. The firebow is more efficient at generating enough pressure and friction to light wood dust.
Theoretically. If the wood is dry enough. No water or sap content. The harder (more dense) the wood is, the harder it is to generate the necessary pressure and friction. Hardwoods are such woods as oak and hickory. These are the kinds of woods I like to use for a handhold or socket. Typically soft wood is the best like cottonwood and velvetleaf but many medium hardness woods like willow and maple will work well also. You will find that wood density "does" make a difference whether the wood is freshly fallen, seasoned, or turning softer as it begins to decay. It is better to do a fingernail etch test first to tell if a wood is good for friction wood rather than knowing names right now. If the wood is solid and etches but is not rotten, you should be good to go. If it does not etch, it is probably too hard. Just press your fingernail into the bare wood.
Chevy1121 wrote:3. Does my notch need to cut through all the way to the bottom of the fireboard?
It would be better if it did so the dust will collect separate from the board.
Chevy1121 wrote:4. Will the coal get hard when close to ignition or will it remain a fragile bunch of powder?
It is fragile so treat it like a chicken egg. I will stress to you that you will know when you have a coal just by smoke rising continuously from the dust pile separate from the spindle and board smoke so pay attention to the dust pile. Do not stop spinning until you see the continuous smoke of the dust pile or you drill to the bottom of the board. The coal should remain lit for a good long while since you just put a lot of energy into generating it. Wave your hand briefly over the coal gently to add air and expand the coal to the surrounding dust. This will give you a larger coal. Be patient, determined, and persistent. Keep working at it and it will happen. Hope this helps. Good luck and let us know how you do.
- Robert M.
"I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me." - Paul, c. A.D. 60 (Philippians 4:13)