Tips for starting off with bow drill/hand drill

JordyPordy

Russell Coight
Joined
Sep 10, 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Hi,

I'm just getting into bushcraft and am wondering where to start with acquiring bow/hand drill skills. I don't have massive amounts of time during the week; any ideas? Should I practice carving my own set? Or just buy a pre-made one to start with?

Cheers
 

Thrud

Richard Proenneke
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
2,031
Reaction score
259
Location
Perth, WA
Personally I would do it myself, that way you will know what to do. What you use depends on where you are based, I can only speak to WA where I used the spear from a grass tree. Some knives have bearing blocks built in, but making your own is easy. For the cordage, get starter cord. It is hard work to get an ember(at least for me)
The components are important, but technique and the little bits of extra knowledge such as using some grass or oil from the side of you nose to lube the bearing block, bracing against the ankle, using a bit of sand or charcoal if the hole is becoming too squeaky.
I know there are others on the forum who are far more expert than me.

Welcome to the forum and post a little about yourself on the intro page, it is a very friendly and helpful forum.
 

Taplow

John McDouall Stuart
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
670
Reaction score
34
Location
Sydney
The wood type is key. Gum seems to be hopeless for most people - lots of smoke but no ember even after a lot of effort. If you can't find a grass tree spear, willow or pine have worked well for me and are easy to carve. I often use these as the bottom board even with a grass tree drill, as a thick grass tree stem that isn't too soft has been hard for me to find until recently.
 

JordyPordy

Russell Coight
Joined
Sep 10, 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Thanks guys. Hoping to get into this when I move out of the city into a bit more of a bush environment at the end of the year!
 

Mozzie

Richard Proenneke
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
109
Location
Wollongong NSW
what the guys say above is sound re timbers you use but my one tip is,

you need to have a good nest of fine tinder and twigs to set your ember in, there are always two sections to fire lighting...

1: getting a glowing ember and 2: make that ember into flame.

Go with the bow drill first as it is not so hard on hands and arms.

read the threads in the "fire" section you have posted in and

watch youtubes, heaps out there.

one more thing, just give it a go and have fun, cant say you will get an ember first go but you could be lucky....even
the best of us dont always get an ember.

let us know how you go

Mozz

Timbers
-----------------------------------------------
Grass Tree / Black boy - Drill and hearth
Poinciana
Morton Bay Fig
Lantana
Pepper Tree - Drill and Hearth
Poplar
White Cedar
Black Wattle
Cottonwood
Mangrove
Tea Tree
Mango
Blue Gum
Crab Apple
Bougainvillea Vine
Morton Bay Fig
Lantana
Poplar
White Cedar
Black Wattle
Mangrove
Tea Tree
Blue Gum


Native Tinder Materials
----------------------------------------------
Inner bark of the Stringy Bark Tree
Eucalyptus rubida (candle bark)
Inner core of Aloe
Inner core of Grass Tree
Heads of Cattails
 
Last edited:
Top