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A failed fire making attempt 541

No Life Club Posts: 1,211
A failed fire making attempt
« on: September 07, 2016, 12:05:56 PM »
I'm not sure whether failures are okay to be shared or we should only post how we had success. Well, I apologise for this topic if the latter is true.

I was impressed with Sprey's post: http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,67483.0.html
Not only did he succeed, he also recorded/wrote good explanations and instructions.  :tu:

So, most of us grew up reading comics and watching movies where the hero make a fire like Sprey did (the first example that comes to my mind is Tom Hanks' Cast Away: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0162222/). That is why his post encouraged me and during my camping trip few weeks ago, I diligently gave it a try. I failed like a proud general :D :D but here's my experience:

1) I picked a dried a palm leaf stem (i.e. the thick, woody section running in the middle, along the leaf) and carved its thick end like to a canal-shape. This shape would work as an oxygen gate, I was hoping.

2) Found some dry branches lying around. I actually do not know what kind of wood this is. They were quite bleak, white in colour and had been there for quite some time. They were kinda soft and the had a spongy core.

3) One of these branches had a C-shape, to which I tied a rope. The set-up looked like a bow, you can see in the photos.

4) I rounded the ends of a straight branch and was careful not to oil up the ends with my fingers. That one would be my spindle.

5) Since it would not be possible to hold the end of the fast rotating spindle with my bare hands I improvised: First I used the bottom part of a squeezed plastic bottle (the bottom section of plastic bottles are kinda thicker than the rest and also have an indentation (huh?) which I hope would hold the spindle). When the spindle drilled into the bottle during my first attempt I used the open mouth of the bottle. Well, that did not work well, because the spindle frequently would get stuck in the bottle. Finally I used the universal holder of my Primus cooking set, which worked fine. Sprey used a bearing for this purpose which is a very smart idea IMHO. Tough material and almost zero friction  :tu:

6) I put very fine (sometimes to the extent of being powdery) pieces of wood and pine needles at the point of the rotation.

Well, I did not even have smoke.

I guess I tried for 15 minutes and then gave up. I gotta say that it was not a steady and constant rotation. The tight rope sometimes was not able to force-rotate the spingle, maybe because I pressed it down too hard with the Primus handle or it would sometimes get stuck in the handle. Maybe I used a wrong type of wood. Maybe I should have picked a tougher spindle, one without a spongy core. :think: :think:
No Life Club Posts: 1,211
Re: A failed fire making attempt
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 12:08:15 PM »
Here you can see the set-up. The Primus handle has a gap at its end where it grips the pan, that is where I inserted the spindle.
No Life Club Posts: 3,434
Re: A failed fire making attempt
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 02:44:33 PM »
You should've made the title "failed friction fire attempt" then you'd be forgiven  :rofl:

True mastery of friction fire making is having the experience to know what kind of wood(s) to use, and finding them in new environments.

I've spent many hours and tried many local woods, even cheated with some shop-bought Pine dowels, and I have yet to make fire.

The only thing that makes me feel better is the fact that a Naked & Afraid contestant who seems to be a friction fire making expert from the intro, failed to get fire for 11 days with local woods, many of which I've tried as well.....

Friction fire was my goal for 2014.......look where we are now!  :rofl: :rofl: 
Global Moderator Point Of No Return Posts: 37,401
Re: A failed fire making attempt
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 03:13:51 PM »
Keep trying. --> Bow Drill Tips?
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,076 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: A failed fire making attempt
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 03:21:55 PM »
Of course failures are acceptable- we all fail on things at one point or another!

This is a forum about discussing things, and if we only talk about things that are successes, I'd have a hell of a lot less posts, and I'd have to change the name of the site to blowingsmokeupyourass.org and that's too long for me to remember....


Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,168
Re: A failed fire making attempt
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 03:45:44 PM »
Keep at it.  I've also tried for some time before I was finally successful.  I bought wood from the store and was unsuccessful.   

Its a combination of downward pressure and speed.  The balance between the two with certain wood combinations is where you'll find success.  The good news with bow drill fire making theres room for error and still get success.  Dry wood however is very important. 

Heres a interesting video of a guy with a totally unorthodox method.  Read his comments as he says he's found success with woods that most say you cannot.  He has some good videos on his channel.

Esse Quam Videri
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 54,069
Re: A failed fire making attempt
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2016, 04:04:55 PM »
Trying is a good thing no matter if you succeed or fail :cheers: Cause if you keep trying and learning from your mistakes then eventually I believe you will succeed :tu:

I have always been interested in friction fire making but never really tried it much myself so good luck :salute:
No Life Club Posts: 1,211
Re: A failed fire making attempt
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2016, 10:12:14 PM »
Thank you for encouragement, guys!  :salute: I'm gonna check those links out  :tu:

@Gerhard 11 days? 2 YEARS?!?!  :ahhh :ahhh And here I was thanking for encouragement :D :D

@Grant ROFLMAO that's an awesome domain :D I'm glad you didn't pick that one :))



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