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Sunday 8 April 2012

Hand Drill Hell

Most of you know I dislike fire by friction, it can be unreliable and takes a lot of exertion,  however Sam has been teasing me to try Handdrill again as he seems to have mastered it very well, so I went out and cut some boards

Left them to dry for a while then tried the technique indoors,there is no way I would get an ember outdoors!

Usual form, sitting cross legged with one foot securing the hearth. This was tough! My hands were aching and my shoulders were screaming!! After 3 or 4 attempts I was burnt out, shaking and tired, however...

as I sat back and tried to control my shaking shoulders I noticed smoke coming from the notch, but to be absolutely truthful I think it was more pure luck than skill. I tried 2 or 3 pics of this but I was still trembling from exertion and the photo's turned out blurry, so I sat back and caught my breath and wafted the ember to let grow, I didn't want to move the hearth too soon as handrill embers can be delicate and easily ruined

Funnily enough (or not) I still got no buzz or excitement when I got the coal, fire by friction holds no magic for me and especially this method, the exertion is incredible and the pain in my hands and shoulders was unreal, I guess this is one method were regular practise pays dividends..but this is not a method I will practise often, as a matter of fact I don't think I'll ever try it again!! I remember now why I stopped trying it in the first place..
Sam, you're the handrill expert, fair play to you brother, I just love my flint and steel way too much!!


  1. I sort of like the Boy Scout one-match fire, myself. IF they still do such things.

    1. I agree, I did that on a course once and it was much more fun!

  2. Whats the wood Phil? Im going to have a go with Buddleia on Cedar over the weekend. Ill let you know how it goes. Its just what I have at the moment

  3. It was elder on ivy, I honestly thought it would be easier than it turned out but I guess it's all down to technique and that's something I don't have, firebow is much easier by comparison..definitely let me know how you get on Donal, if other wood combinations make it easier I could be convinced to try again!