Just imagine a world without the luxury of fire at your finger tips, a world where you couldn't just strike a match, or flick on your lighter, just imagine if you had to start your fire by rubbing sticks together!
Well that world existed just about a million years ago, and those sticks that where being rubbed together were called bow drills,
This ancient art has been lost ever since we found "easier" ways to create fire, but this way could be no less then the most simple way of creating fire out there! And here's how you do it!

Materials needed: you don't need ANYTHING!!!
Nah I'm just kidding, I used
A carving knife, some cordage similar to 550 cord, and some trees.

But really this is great if you are lost in the woods with nothing, you could make this with cordage you make of of tulip poplar, a dull knife for carving, and a fresh tinder bundle right out of the woods!
A bowdrill really is the ultimate survival tool! :D

Step 1: The Bow

1: The bow is the most important part of the bow drill, to get that started you will need a piece of hard strong wood, straight or curved about the length of the area between the tip of your middle finger and your elbow, the width depends on the size of your palm and the length of your fingers make it as big as your need to get a comfortable grip on your bow, normally about an inch and a half wide or so.

2: now make a notch about an inch away from the top and bottom of your piece of wood.

3:when you are finished with the main piece of the bow it is time to add the string, if you were in a survival situation you could just use your shoelace, but you probably aren't so get some 550 cord and attach firmly to either side of the bow, this should NOT be lose!

You are now finished with the bow

Step 2: The Spindle

The spindle is the piece that spins back and forth to create the saw dusty material in which the coal will form. To make the spindle you will need a piece of wood about as thick as your thumb and as long as the distance between your pinkie and your thumb.
Now sharpen one end nice and pointy then sharpen the other end like a very big and dull pencil. Apply oil, beeswax, or just some sweat off your face to the pointy end ( of you do not do this step your hand hold will start to smoke and that is not good) , you are now finished with the spindle!

Step 3: The Fire Board

The fire board is the part of the bow drill that the spindle goes into, it is literally a rough board of wood,
To make this just take a log and chop a piece off until you get a small board.
Now make a small triangular notch on the side of the board like in the picture above.
Make a small indent just at the tip of the triangle with your knife, this is what the spindle will rest in.

Step 4: The Handhold

The hand hold is the piece that you hold with your hand.
The pointy part of the spindle goes in this piece, to make it you could use just about anything, a bone, a stone, a piece of wood, just as long as you can hold it comfortably and it can fit the point part of the spinal without slipping

Step 5: Tinder

Tinder or a tinder bundle is very useful when creating a fiction fire, once you have made your coal you need to directly transfer it to your tinder bundle.
To make a tinder bundle you will need the inner bark of almost any tree, then you rub it back and forth in the palm of your hand until it becomes light and fluffy, an alternative option is to find a abandoned birds nest, this also works very well.

Step 6:


Now that you have everything it's time to make some fire!
First load your spindle into your bow.
And put your pieces into order show above.
Don't forget to put a leaf or a piece of bark underneath your triangle to catch the sawdust that will turn into a coal!
now take your bow in one hand, place your foot on the fire board, wrap your hand around your knee and hold down on your hand hold and pull the bow towards you then push it away, you will notice that it will start to smoke after awhile, that is a good sign, eventually it will produce saw dust, keep going! Apply more pressure to your hand hold!
Then the saw dust will get darker and darker and produce a tiny coal, dump the coal into your tinder bundle and gently blow on it, and there you go! You made fire the old fashion way!

Don't give up if you don't get it the first try, it is difficult, but if you keep trying you will get it!
<p>Could you be more descriptive on step 6. I feel like I missed something.</p>
<p>Cool. thanks!</p>
<p>i need something that can start a fire using like rocks or something because it's my assignment in college</p>
Have you thought about using flint and steel? Thats pretty much just a rock and a piece of metal, If you do wanna use flint and steel I would recommend making char-cloth first, you can do this by taking a metal tin and putting a few pieces of an old t-shirt in it and than throwing it into the coals of a fire and just leaving it until your fire burns out, then you should have some very thin charcoal like cloth that catches fire extremely easily when using flint and steel. http://www.artofmanliness.com/2011/01/05/traditional-firestarting-part-i-how-to-make-fire-with-flint-and-steel/ &lt;-- Heres a pretty good tutorial on flint and steel fire making.
<p>Thanks! It was very interesting and useful for me!)</p>
Thanks man, Glad I could interest you!
By the way paw paw makes a very good spindle.
Another extremely important note: start the rotations slowly, allowing a wood dust to form before building up speed and friction/heat. The biggest mistake I see most students make is going full bore right out of the gate, the only thing that will accomplish is an extremely tired arm, and sadly no fire. The wood dust needs to accumulate so the friction/heat has something to light...
One thing to note. For this to have the best effect, your spindle should be a hardwood and the board a softwood. For example Oak/Pine this will allow your board to get the fire going faster.
<p>Nice tutorial. Everyone should know how to do this.</p>

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