Author Topic: Friction fire help  (Read 1332 times)

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Offline Jakesnyder

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Friction fire help
« on: May 06, 2019, 06:38:14 am »
I am new to making friction fire and I keep burning through my hearth board. I'm using horse weed spindle and white pine hearth board. I get good smoke but before I can get an ember I've went the whole way through my hearth board. Am I putting to much pressure on it? It's almost 1/4 inch thick.

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Friction fire help
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2019, 09:43:04 am »
Jake,
Maybe try a harder hearth board, and some shavings/sawdust in the pit, but I am no expert on that method!  Seems like I saw some instructions on the web a while back.  Have to dig out. My Air Force survival manual and the Ranger Handbook!
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline Outbackbob48

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Re: Friction fire help
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2019, 11:57:08 am »
Jake, finesse not brute strength. :o First just go slow and easy all you are doing is warming up both spindle and hearth board, next watch your notch and build some sawdust, no dust no coal, after you have a good bit of black dust start increasing  speed and down pressure, now hit it twice with max speed and  you will see dust smoking on out side of pile. Stop and let coal build an catch your breath , no hurry coal will last a long time if you built up enough dust. Are using the hearth and spindle that I sent you. Either way you are almost there . I actually had shorter times on my fires when it was 4 deg. and low humidity. Built 4 or 5 fires Sat. and took just slightly a few more passes with wet warm higher humidity. Also got a coal with white pine hearth and giant goldenrod spindle. Horseweed still my favorite. Oh, I am 70 yrs. young so no more brute strength left here >:(. Just work on your technique and remember 3 elements of fire. Oxygen, fuel and heat.  Here is a pic of the 4 degree coal from Feb. Good Luck Bob

Offline aaron

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Re: Friction fire help
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2019, 01:47:53 pm »
Good advice above. I use hearths that are at least 3/4 thick
Ilwaco, Washington, USA
"Good wood makes great bows, but bad wood makes great bowyers"

Offline Jakesnyder

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Re: Friction fire help
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2019, 04:59:39 pm »
Yes outback Bob it is the ones you sent. Thanks for the tips. I'll try finesse.  The horseweed spindle doesnt take much till I start seeing some smoke while the Mullen seams to take a little longer but I guess I had been going brute strength. It's a dying skill. Thanks guys. I'll keep ya posted on my progress

Offline wstanley

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Re: Friction fire help
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2019, 04:13:34 pm »
Probably putting too much elbow grease like bob 48 says - OR - Your heart board is too soft or drill too hard is my guess. I'm not familiar with horseweed, but I usually stay away from any woods that have pitch if your using pine. That's just my practices, not saying that those wood wouldn't work. You should be getting a few coals out of each "hearth" though. Humidity and elevation are big factors of course to consider.

Also, in my 6 years of using the drill method, if I don't see jet black dust piling up, I stop because I will NEVER get a coal. You can get smoke all day and never get a coal. For me it meant I was using material that was not at the proper moisture content.

I use elderberry drill with a buckeye hearth. Both materials for each tool works too. I find that just as each wood has dried out completely, that this is the best time to use these woods for fire making. Too dried out and the wood does not like to make a coal for some reason. I think the morphology of the wood changes and inhibits flow of oxygen??? Just a guess.

Offline Ed Brooks

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Re: Friction fire help
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2019, 04:26:26 pm »
Good advice above. I use hearths that are at least 3/4 thick
Aaron, what Woods do you use? Ive been playing and have been unsuccessfully so far.  Iím in western Washington as well. Thank you. Ed
It's in my blood...

Centralia WA,

Offline Outbackbob48

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Re: Friction fire help
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2019, 04:31:56 pm »
I got a coal yesterday with a NY ironweed and white pine hearth, I have tried ironweed before but it was old and starting to deteriorate. I cut a green one and let dry a few days and worked a lot better. Still seems frail in structure compared to horseweed or mullein, Pith is super soft so ya get a divot each time.  :( Bob