Introduction: Primitive Fire

There are many was to execute primitive fire. The one we will be going over today is the bow drill.

Step 1: Beginning

The bow drill consists of five component parts only two of which must be combustible. These parts are the spindle, the fireboard or hearth, the bearing block, the bow, and the ash pan.

Step 2: Spindle

The spindle is a straight, narrow stick with a diameter of up to 2 inches. This piece will go between the fire board and the hearth.

Step 3: Fire Board or Hearth

This piece is a long flat board essentially. The spindle is laid upon it in a carved round divet. Then pressure is applied by the bearing block an motion is set in by the spinning of the bow. Once you have the spindle and hearth "mated" or fitted onto each other you will carve a inward v shape into the board in between the burnt in divet, this allows the coal to fall between.

Step 4: The Bow

This is the part which gives the method it's very name. This is nothing more than literally a sturdy of rather flexible but not brittle stick in the shape of a bow. In fact, I doesn't even have to be a stick. It can be anything from a cow rib, to a bent piece of metal, or anything in the shape of a bow. Once you have found something which suits this position you must take string and tie it to it both ends, then wrap it around the spindle once. After this you place the spindle onto the fire board and under the bearing block and start pushing an pulling the bow increasingly faster.

Step 5: Bearing Block

The bearing block is anything which is sturdy and burn proof that can be set over top the spindle, to apply downward pressure forcing it into the fireboard. Some materials you can use are the dip in a spoon, a rock with a small hole made or naturaling occurring in the center, a strong piece of wood; rich pine works very well as it is naturally lubricated to allow the spindle to spin easier, or in some circumstances people have even balled up there sock or tee shirt to use.

Step 6: Ash Pan

The ash pan is simply a leaf or anything that the small ember produced at the end of the process can be transported on. Anything from a piece of tin to your knife blade will work for this.

Step 7: Tips

-add lubricant such as earwax, body oils, or sap to the bearing block to make it not slippery
-use the right wood. Some good ones are willow, cedar, some pine, yucca, mullein, oak, and almost anything dry
-have a tender bundle set aside and ready
-be gentle with the coal, your life may depend on it