The Bow Drill Method
- Gather Tinder
- Spindle should be on outside of string
- Upper body rests on upper thigh
- Handhold hand hooked on shim
- Lubricate handhold with oil, pitch, body grease, green leaves, DO NOT use water or spit (spindle will swell)
- Hold bow parallel to ground if using string, at an angle if using cordage
- Friction + Downward Pressure = Charred Dust
- Build up dust with slow continuous bow movements – light wispy smoke
- Increase pressure for 10-15 strokes, creating a thick smoke.
- Stop when dust is smoking on its own.
- DON’T RUSH! You have plenty of time. Remove fireboard from tinder by using a knife or stick to gently push the coal into the tinder.
- Nest the coal in tinder, blow conservatively.
- The ideal dust is dark brown to black, and should stick together.
- Add tension to the string with thumb.
- To add more friction, add gravel or dirt to hole.
See Fire Making With a Bow Drill – Part 1 – Making a Bow Drill for Bow Drill construction methods.