Rubbing two sticks together

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Probably not high enough magnification. If you really want to surprise your friends get one of those full sheet magnifiers from the stationary store.


1954 my mom got me a magnifying glass for my birthday to see bugs better as i stuck them on pins ' (do kids still do that?)
anyway, l lit a 5 acre fire on the hill side where we lived in Santa Cruz California. Got my name written in the Fire Chief's big book.
was in Santa Cruz in 2004 on business. stopped and checked. yep Name still there in that book! still made me feel "BAD" too!
have used a loop for years as a fire starter. still a "bad boy" i guess!
 

Tom A Hawk

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1954 my mom got me a magnifying glass for my birthday to see bugs better as i stuck them on pins ' (do kids still do that?)
anyway, l lit a 5 acre fire on the hill side where we lived in Santa Cruz California. Got my name written in the Fire Chief's big book.
was in Santa Cruz in 2004 on business. stopped and checked. yep Name still there in that book! still made me feel "BAD" too!
have used a loop for years as a fire starter. still a "bad boy" i guess!
:rolleyes: I had a similar experience eradicating a nest of bees in the woods. FD had to be called.
 

Loyalist Dave

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When I was in the Boy Scouts this adult dressed as a plains Indian had a bow and drill and spent about 3-5 minutes getting enough smoke for an ember he blew into a flame. At the time I thought that was pretty cool. Now I found out the Plains Indians didn't use a bow and drill and simply twirled a stick between their hands on a fireboard. I know you are supposed to use different type woods but anyone good at this and what type wood do you use?

You might consider this technique instead

Castaway (movie) Fire Technique

LD
 

waksupi

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Here is my hand drill vid. About 30 - 40 seconds to coal formation.


That's pretty much how I was taught to do it. Then I started to wonder, why am I transferring the spark rather than just developing it in my shredded cedar? I found out it works fine for me,
 

Tom A Hawk

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When I was in the Boy Scouts this adult dressed as a plains Indian had a bow and drill and spent about 3-5 minutes getting enough smoke for an ember he blew into a flame. At the time I thought that was pretty cool. Now I found out the Plains Indians didn't use a bow and drill and simply twirled a stick between their hands on a fireboard. I know you are supposed to use different type woods but anyone good at this and what type wood do you use?
Apologies Red Owl. I neglected to answer your question. For the hand drill I have the best success using a basswood hearth board and a mullein spindle. Some folks have good luck with golden rod, horsetail and yucca. The secrets to success are; 1 - maintain contact between the spindle and board, don't let heat out, 2 - use your upper body weight to bear down and apply downward pressure on the spindle - not the arms alone. and most importantly - 3 after several failed attempts you should wait at least two weeks for the blisters to heal....😉This technique is rough on the palms at first.

Using thumb loops on a cord can also be helpful and prevents having to reposition your hands from walking down the spindle as you spin.
 

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Yes, the can bottom needs to be polished with abrasives like polishing brass rifle parts.
would 4000 steel wool work? and what was required to prep the fire board to use the YACCA / CENTUARYPLANT STALK. and what kind of wood is it? and does the bottom end of the spindle have to be rounded before use.? if so how do you do it? as you can see I am very interested in trying to do it.
 

Tom A Hawk

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would 4000 steel wool work? and what was required to prep the fire board to use the YACCA / CENTUARYPLANT STALK. and what kind of wood is it? and does the bottom end of the spindle have to be rounded before use.? if so how do you do it? as you can see I am very interested in trying to do it.
I would use fine emery paper and a paste metal polish. Sorry, I am not familiar with the Century plant.

In general, the thickness of the board should be about the same as the diameter of the spindle - about 3/8" - 1/2". With a mullein spindle the end becomes flat during spinning no matter its initial shape. The stalk has a pithy core and sometimes a coal will form in the spindle.
 

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Well this site is supposed to be about historical correctness. All the non-PC stuff is interesting but I wanted to gain skill in the PC methods. I think Thomas Fitzpatrick (Mountain man) got separated from his outfit and ended up "rubbing two sticks together" to start a fire. In any event, I'd like to see if I could do it. Sounds like the spindle or drill needs to have a soft density and the fireboard a hard density. One or two grains of black powder- maybe in the bird's nest would seem pc and might help.
 

Tom A Hawk

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Well this site is supposed to be about historical correctness. All the non-PC stuff is interesting but I wanted to gain skill in the PC methods. I think Thomas Fitzpatrick (Mountain man) got separated from his outfit and ended up "rubbing two sticks together" to start a fire. In any event, I'd like to see if I could do it. Sounds like the spindle or drill needs to have a soft density and the fireboard a hard density. One or two grains of black powder- maybe in the bird's nest would seem pc and might help.
No Sir. Both need to be soft wood. As mentioned previously, for hand drill my heath board is bass wood and the spindle is mullein. No black powder is required.
 
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What a great thread! Learned a lot. Did you, Tom A Hawk, see the Anthony Hopkins film where he and his companion were being stalked by a grizzly bear? And he made a fire with a lens he fashioned from ice? I've always wondered if that would actually work!
 

Tom A Hawk

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What a great thread! Learned a lot. Did you, Tom A Hawk, see the Anthony Hopkins film where he and his companion were being stalked by a grizzly bear? And he made a fire with a lens he fashioned from ice? I've always wondered if that would actually work!
Yes it will work - if you can find clear ice. Actually, a plastic sandwich bag filled with water can be used to focus the suns rays.
 
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No Sir. Both need to be soft wood. As mentioned previously, for hand drill my heath board is bass wood and the spindle is mullein. No black powder is required.
So, basswood no problem, where does one find mullein stalks?

Second question, would yucca stalks work? they are hard on the outside but soft inside as well.
 
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