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“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

-Henry David Thoreau, Walden


Flame! Fire! How did I do it? First we gathered our supplies.  Dad and I harvested a few Yucca stalks to use as spindles for the hand drill.

 The funny thing about Yucca is that Yucca is not native to North Carolina, but we find it everywhere! I made a batch of charred punkwood as a coal extender.  and then cut an old vine in half to use as the hearth board. Finally I collected Poplar wood curls, Cedar shavings and dead grass for my tinder bundles.

Making a Coal

I took my knife and made a small cut on the hearth board so I could place the spindle down on the board. I started off hand spinning the drill with just a little pressure. This warms the hearth board up. Once warmed, I then used pressure and speed to burn the spindle hole in. Once burned in I cut a "V" shaped notch in the board. Then I spent a few moments warming the hearth board again.  I began to spin with great pressure and tremendous speed and saw a collection black dust building up where I cut my "V" notch.  

Hand Drill Team Method

I kept spinning and I could tell that I was slowing down!  Dad and I decided to use the team method this time.  We took turns spinning back and forth and we saw a red cherry form! That is the coal!  

I placed the coal in my tinder bundle and blew easily while holding the bundle like a baby, I surely didn't want to crush my coal!

To help increase my chances of getting a flame I took a piece of the charred punkwood that I made and placed it in my bundle.  It kept that coal going!

We're getting closer!  Eureka!

Finally my tinder bundle burst into flames!

This is how I chose to make the hand drill fire.

Bow Drill Kit