Friction fire lighting is a challenge that helps develop lots of bushcraft skills and knowledge.
The materials you use will be the difference between success and failure...
Bow Drill Component Parts
The base of your set, used to set the drill and the point on which friction and force are centred and created. Big enough so as to work effectively - approx 20 cm x 8 cm x 2 cm minimum. Wood qualities described in the table below.
A straight length of wood used to apply force and friction to the hearth board. Sharp at the top end (to minimise friction). Blunt at the bottom end (to maximise friction). Normally at least 15cm long with a radius of 1.5cm. Wood qualities described in the table below.
The Top Block
A chunky piece of wood (or other material) used to transfer pressure downwards through the drill while holding it place above the hearth board. The top block should be made from harder woods that are resistant to wear and chunky enough so as to not transfer heat to your hand.
The tool used to apply rotational energy to the drill. A length of wood that has a curved shape with suitable cord attached at both ends so as to form a bow. The cord should be tight without being very taught. Hazel, Rhododendron, Sycamore (etc) will all work fine.
Suitable Materials for Making a Bow Drill Set
NCFE Level 2 Bushcraft Instructor Courses
Land & Wave runs lots of Level 2 Bushcraft Instructor training and assessment courses each year, normally during Winter and Spring.
We can also help with log book experience, consolidation and mentor support - usually for free.
Land & Wave also provides NCFE Level 3 and 4 Bushcraft Training and Assessment - get in touch for more details.