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Discussion Starter #1
While on vacation at my cabin I was practicing some survival skills. I made a Firebow (Bow & Drill), figure 4 deadfall trap, and a simple shelter. I took some pictures and thought I would share them here for anyone interested in learning about them.

Some of the pictures did not come out very good so this pictorial may be lacking, feel free to ask any questions if you find this interesting and need more info.

<span style="color: #660000">FireBow (Bow & Drill) </span>
There are five parts needed to make a firebow:
1) A stick for the bow
2) A string for the bow
3) A stick for the drill
4) A bearing block to hold the drill
5) A baseboard

There are other ways of doing this and some woods work better than others. By trying different types you will find what works best. Also you may find that a longer/shorter bow or drill may work better for you
Here is the way I do it.

1) Making the Bow.
I have used both dead and live limbs, either will work. If you use live limbs they will keep an arch shape as they dry if left strung and you will need to tighten the string over time.
When picking out a stick for a bow I look for one with a slight arch shape to it.



If I use a live limb I strip the bark, You do not need to if you don't want to.



If you find one with a "fork" in one end leave the fork on. This will give you a place to tie the string on that side. If there is no Y's (or "forks") I make a notch to hold the string. To make the notch I use the saw on my Swiss Army Knive (SAK) and saw straight into the stick. Next I use a blade and carve in toward the cut on an angle down to the bottom of the cut.

These pictures are from two different bows I made.



Here is another example.



2)The string
After I make my notches I attach the string. I use Para Cord (550 cord) but anything could be used. A braided string or cord is better because it grips the drill better but I will show you a way to get a better "grip" on the drill later.
I tie a loop on one end and slip it into the notch. Sometimes I make a loop on the other end too, or else I just tie it on. You want the string tight but not real tight.





3) The Drill
You want to use a dry dead stick for the drill. You will sharpen each end to a rounded point. I use my knife and put four flat spots in the middle of the drill where the string "rides" so the string grips the drill better.



4) The bearing block
A bearing block is something you hold in your hand to allow the drill to spin freely. It can be anything, a shot glass, a stone with a hole or depression, ect. A 'Y' from an antler makes a good bearing block.
I did not get a pic of the bearing block I used. I used a shot glass. I wrapped it with duct tape incase it broke in my hand.

5) The Baseboard
The baseboard needs to be a fairly flat dry dead piece of wood.
I used an old piece of floor board that was laying in the firewood pile.

I use the awl on my SAK to bore a small hole close to the edge, then I use my blade to make the hole a little bigger.



Once I have a hole I put the drill in and spin it a little bit.



Once I have the hole burnished and the drill is "seated" and spinning nice I use the saw on my SAK and cut a small V shaped notch in from the edge.




Once all that is done you are ready to gather stuff to make a tinder bundle (A tinder bundle is a birds nest of tinder).
You put the notch in your base board over top of the tinder bundle and spin the drill. The friction from the drill spinning in the baseboard makes a fine brown powder that creates an ember that will light the tinder.

I did not make a fire this time just all the parts to the bow & drill but you may be able to see the smoke comeing from the drill.




Thanks for reading, I hope you like it.
Feel free to ask any questions.
-Aaron
 

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Great job Aaron! Thanks for sharing.
 

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Can I call you if I ever get lost in the Rockies?
Great pictorial and pictures, thanks for posting it.
 

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We know you wont go hungry since you are packin HEAT!
Thanks for the write up, I have always wanted to give that a try.
 

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That could come in handy for somebody! Aaron I have caught quite a few trout from that bench on down the MC stream. Nice pictures bring back some good memories. Thanks !!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone, I'm happy to see the pictorial had some interest. I'm thinking about doing another pictorial on how to make a figure 4 deadfall and some other good things to know.


OneLongShot,
I'd rather be there lost with ya.

You can call me but if you have a cell and signal you won't need me.


jec turkeydad,
"down the MC stream"
Are you talking about Taylor Creek (middle branch) ??



.
 

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That was a real nice pictorial,I would really like to see one like that on the deadfall.I have always said I will start a fire like that someday.Keep up the good work.
 

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Hey Tracker
Have you done any research on what types of wood work best. I noticed it looks like you used a piece of dimensional lumber for your base board. Very cool were going to worlds end in two weeks. you know what ill be trying.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Trail Breaker,
You want wood that is hard, but not real hard.
I use my thumbnail when looking for wood for the base and drill, you don't want any that you can sink your nail in easy.
Let me know how you make out, take some pictures.
 

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Very cool!! I made one of those as a kid. I was amazed that I got a fire going with it. Good stuff to know!!
 

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Great job, brings back memories of "scouting" 50 years ago
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks.
I did make a tutorial on the figure 4 a week or so after this one ... I'll see if I can find it and bring it back to the top.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It was lost in the last board clean up but I found it on a hiking board I go on so I copied & pasted it back here today.
 
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