Here are some videos showing how to make a bow drill fire. If you are new to bow drill firemaking, watch the last two videos on the page first, which show getting an actual fire. Then go back and look at the other videos, which show how to do the steps that need to be done before you are ready to make a fire.
Detailed instructions with close-up photographs on how to make a bow drill fire are shown on the web page The Bow Drill Fire Kit.
The Firemaking Videos
The video below is an introduction to making bow drill fires.
The video below is the second part of the introduction. Shows the bow, the cord (550 paracord), the drill, the handpiece, and some other stuff.
The video below shows how to start a new hole in the base board for a bow drill fire. Content: I start a new hole by making an indentation for the drill. Then I explain what the next steps will be, which are burning in the hole and then cutting a notch (these steps are shown in the next videos).
The video below shows a student starting a new hole in a Xanthorrhoea (grass tree) base board for a bow drill fire.
The next two videos below show how to put the drill onto the bow.
The bowstring is wrapped around the drill spindle so that the drill is on the outside of the string. That is, if you drew a straight line along the bowsting (not including the bit that wraps around the drill itself), the string is between the bow and the drill. This prevents the string from cutting into itself while you are drilling. Also note that the string is wrapped around the drill so that the upper part of the string comes off the bow towards the end you are holding. This makes it easier to control the bow.
The video below shows me burning in a hole in the fireboard. This is done before cutting the notch. Shows the stance used for making a bow drill fire, and how to burn in the hole.
The video below shows a student burning in a new hole in the fireboard, using a grass tree (Xanthorrhoea) fireboard and drill. Demonstrates: Learning the stance for the bow drill fire, drilling action, burning in a new hole.
The video below shows me cutting the notch for a new hole in the fireboard, using the Western Redcedar fireboard and drill.
The video below shows a student cutting the notch for a new hole in the fireboard, using a grass tree (Xanthorrhoea) fireboard and drill.
In the video below I show how to make a tinder bundle ("birds nest") from oakum fibre. Contents: Describing oakum tinder, shows the pulling apart of a Banksia serrata flower to use for tinder (shown in more detail in the next video), then the making of a small tinder bundle with the oakum tinder fibres. The tinder bundle I make here is smaller than you would use if it was really critical that you got a fire, but I like to be stingy with the tinder when I am practicing.
In the video below a student shows how to make a tinder bundle ("birds nest") from native Australian materials. The core of the bundle is made from dry old flowers of Banksia serrata, Old Man Banksia. Also used is dry dead leaves from Pteridium esculentum, Bracken Fern.
The video below shows a student drilling using the kit shown here. The drill and base board are made from Western Redcedar.
In the video below I make a bow drill fire (coal and flame) using the kit shown here and a tinder bundle constructed from locally growing native Australian materials (as made in the video above). The drill and base board are made from Western Redcedar.
The video below shows a student making his first bow drill fire using a grass tree (Xanthorrhoea) drill and fireboard. Demonstrates: Body position and drilling action, getting coal, transferring coal to tinder bundle, blowing tinder bundle into flame, starting fire.