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Author Topic: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks  (Read 6773 times)

Offline Seahawk12

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2017, 09:42:05 PM »
I had known how in theory, but two years ago i figured I'd give it a go. It's always easier to learn survival skills when you don't have to worry about going cold for a night in the mountians.
I practiced in my back yard.
The bow-drill worked for me.
I would suggest anyone that spends time out in our mountians to practice this skill. Murphies law and fluky bad luck can put anyone in a sceario where these simple skills can be very important.
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Offline Pacific

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2017, 02:19:25 PM »
I have been successful....a couple of times. Hot summer day, reaaaally dry and dead maple hearth board and spindle....definitely had to work at it....got to where is was pretty easy to produce an ember with a bow drill....then you have to get that ember into some tinder and actually get it flame....

Preparation is the key!!  Man, if I had to do it in a survival situation here in western Washington in the winter time....well, it would be a cold night, for sure  :o
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Offline Expedition Scout

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2017, 04:56:05 AM »
 Yucca stalk, the straighter the better. The base of the stalk take and flatten two sides, just enough to get it to sit flat. Cut tapers on the big end of the upper half of the stalk. Cutout a circular hole in the middle of the flat end of the stalk about an inch from the end. Spit on your hands and begin drilling in the small hole just enough to get a hole that will stabilize the drill. Now chat a notch from one side to almost the center of the drill hole. Place a leaf or something to catch the duff and the ember. Spit on hands and rub back and forth pushing down and then raising your hands to the top again and again.


I've made quite a few as well, both hand drill, bow drill and even a bamboo fire saw. Dbow's information is the best on this thread, only I'd add to the Yucca stalk, grand mullen stalk, cattail stalk, and ceder branch as local useful items. I've also been successful with cotton wood. I like either the base board or the spindle to be soft wood and the other can be hard or soft. The soft wood tends to fiber up better and you will get a lot more powder from it. the powder is what the friction is igniting, so no powered, no fire, unless you've been at it for hours and finally lite your base board on fire! :tup:

We call the powder magic dust, and you could even collect remaining dust after you get a coal and place in a ziploc for next time if you wanted.You have to remember that the powder will be very susceptible to moisture, both in the ground and in the air. I use a piece of leather under the notch in the board to collect the dust and keep it off the ground, but even a humid day can make things difficult.

I've also tried the hand plow and thong method and only got smoke, not sure what the trick is this them other than wood selection.
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Offline HawkCreek

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2017, 10:15:26 PM »
My outdoor survival instructor claimed sage was the best, not sure if it was for the drill or base though. Hard to find straight sage for a drill so would assume the base.

You dont need a very long piece for a bow drill, sage works great for both the base as well as the spindle. Mullen stocks are good spindles and cedar makes the best learner hearth boards. Once you get the technique down it's interesting to see how different woods work with each other.

Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2017, 07:54:10 AM »
I am going to have to tried cedar at home.  Thanks for all the info  :tup:

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Offline kisfish

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2017, 08:31:11 AM »
I will have to try again. Tried it several years ago and just couldn't get it to produce an ember. I have only tried the bow drill. I finally ended up with a flint striker. I can get a fire going very easy with that.

Offline PlateauNDN

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2017, 08:42:37 AM »
Had to. :chuckle:
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Offline Bill W

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2017, 09:11:15 AM »
I saw it done back when I was a young sprout in the Boy Scouts.  It took some time.

Offline Humptulips

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2017, 07:13:22 PM »
I have been successful....a couple of times. Hot summer day, reaaaally dry and dead maple hearth board and spindle....definitely had to work at it....got to where is was pretty easy to produce an ember with a bow drill....then you have to get that ember into some tinder and actually get it flame....

Preparation is the key!!  Man, if I had to do it in a survival situation here in western Washington in the winter time....well, it would be a cold night, for sure  :o

Truth is if you are ever in a situation where you really need it you won't have any luck. Maybe a fun thing to try on a warm summer day. Not so much on a drizzly November evening in a dark hemlock forest..
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Offline JDHasty

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2017, 08:43:21 AM »

Offline mossy8352

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2017, 09:54:21 AM »
I recently watched this video and he makes it look so easy, he also has other videos on the same subject.


Offline Okanagan

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2017, 08:29:45 AM »
Personal opinion and perspective:  Though I carry at least three ways to start a fire and have a lot of experience in bad conditions, IME it is almost impossible to start and sustain a fire on the West End in late Fall using gear from pockets and pack.  With a vehicle, axes, chainsaw etc. it can be done.   Keeping a fire going is harder than getting it started out there after two months of steady rain.

I want to know as many ways to start a fire as possible, using as many techniques and materials as possible, but I'd bet against anyone using friction to get a sustained fire going within an hour on the West End in late Fall after a week of rain, using only knife, pack saw and perhaps a pack hatchet.  I.e. I'd not plan on friction fires in Western WA survival situations.

My nephew might be able to do it but there aren't many folks who can.

Learn all you can about friction fires, practice till you get good at it-- and carry a lighter, flint and steel and matches.  :)




Offline pianoman9701

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2017, 09:41:19 AM »
The drill and hand plate should be of a hard wood type such as oak, while the base plate should be of a softer wood such as fir.  As you start working the bow (very fast), the friction and heat builds up on the soft base plate , and the softer wood becomes hot ambers. Then it's dinner time.

A grain or two of sand in the base helps intensify the friction and heat.
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Offline NRA4LIFE

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2017, 10:17:50 AM »
Carry 2 Bic lighters.  Problem solved.
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Offline pianoman9701

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Re: Making Fire...Rubbing sticks
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2017, 10:27:48 AM »
Personal opinion and perspective:  Though I carry at least three ways to start a fire and have a lot of experience in bad conditions, IME it is almost impossible to start and sustain a fire on the West End in late Fall using gear from pockets and pack.  With a vehicle, axes, chainsaw etc. it can be done.   Keeping a fire going is harder than getting it started out there after two months of steady rain.

I want to know as many ways to start a fire as possible, using as many techniques and materials as possible, but I'd bet against anyone using friction to get a sustained fire going within an hour on the West End in late Fall after a week of rain, using only knife, pack saw and perhaps a pack hatchet.  I.e. I'd not plan on friction fires in Western WA survival situations.

My nephew might be able to do it but there aren't many folks who can.

Learn all you can about friction fires, practice till you get good at it-- and carry a lighter, flint and steel and matches.  :)
:yeah: and lint wax.
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