Try mullein for the drill
Douglas Fir was favored out West and comes to us here as Christmas Trees
Balsam Fir has worked for me.
If the black char you are producing is not fine - like flour - try a different wood.
Technique is pretty important. I've seen people get a fire with pretty lousy material but super touch and speed.
Two sticks that fit pretty well together side-buy-side can be tied together = "hearth." Crack between = "notch."