firestarting instrument

Joined
Oct 2, 2005
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405
So, I am talking to someone about making me a multi-tool item that can also work in my bow/drill firestarting. My question is straight forward. I know I do not need a special tool and can use bottle caps, hard wood, etc to hold the top of the drill. However, my question is as follows:

What diameter and depth should the divot/socket be in my METAL for this task? Are there basic optimal specs for this chore? I have seen some knives on the web that have a "french divot" for this chore. I have read of socket "hole about half an inch (1.3cm) deep"...kinda deep I think? And, 2-2.5cm diameter? I don't want it to be an innefficient tool at this task but at the same time do not want to loose a low profile and be carrying an unusually thick item.

Thanks in advance to those that know.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
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You will have a certain amount of latitude if you carve the end of the spindle. From what I have read and seen about 1 inch diameter is about average for the spindle (although the one I used was about 3/4 of 1 inch)

If you have a pre made socket on the tool, I think it would be trivial to carve it to fit well.

Cool idea by the way. I also drew some plans for Leatherman once that allowed the parts of the tool to come apart. It was basically a car/escape tool that would allow you to shatter glass and cut through the body as it had tin snips instead of pliars. You could pull the parts into 2 pieces and there was a fire steel in one and a striker in the other to make a fire if you crashed during cold weather and needed to wait for EMS etc. They wrote back and said tooling was expensive and that they would show it to the engineers but I never heard anything back from them :( Oh well, on the next projects (of which I have many ;) )
 

mewolf1

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Oct 24, 2005
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Temper said:
You will have a certain amount of latitude if you carve the end of the spindle. If you have a pre made socket on the tool, I think it would be trivial to carve it to fit well.

Cool idea by the way.

All you need to be sure of is that there is no resistance on top. The pic shows a pretty dramatic tip, but like Temper said you have a lot of latitude.
In this case size doesn't matter much.

spindlesocket.jpg

Sorry guys, I need to resize the image:eek: :eek:
 
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I went out today to have a play around with a firebow from scratch, everthing went well except for the bearing. I am limited here with the woods I can find as I am right in the middle of an industrial area(Its mostly Willow which is a poor buring wood to start with and some half rotten hardwoods of unknown origin). Lets see you bearings and spindle points, there has to be something I am missing :mad:

I got enough smoke to pass myself off as a case of Jerkey, but as I was losing a lot of friction in the 'so called' :eek: bearing I didnt actually get a coal this time.
 
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A shot glass makes a good bearing. The fork of a green branch can be used as a bearing, too. A horseshoe rasp or wood rasp is an excellent tool for quickly shaping the ends of your spindle. The spindle should look like a sharpened pencil...pointy end up, eraser end down.

I've used willow and it will work, though it is difficult.
 
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Yeah, I'm looking for field expedient materials and its difficult. Its hard here to find shells or decent stones to make them from. What I wanted is to be able to just pick this stuff off the floor. Thinking on it though, the people that use these technologies probably carried them around with them after spending probably weeks looking for the best possible combination (Like the Bison rib, or perhaps a shell of some kind)

It's just a little dissapointing is all. :)
 
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Temper said:
...the people that use these technologies probably carried them around with them after spending probably weeks looking for the best possible combination (Like the Bison rib, or perhaps a shell of some kind)...
Thus, my interest in having this ability incorporated into a premade item.
 
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Yup :D

I was thinking (Always painful) that a Thimble may work pretty well. You could dig out a stick and insert it or just hold onto it (might be awquawd though)
 

mewolf1

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Oct 24, 2005
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11,888
Temper said:
I went out today to have a play around with a firebow from scratch, everthing went well except for the bearing. I am limited here with the woods I can find as I am right in the middle of an industrial area(Its mostly Willow which is a poor buring wood to start with and some half rotten hardwoods of unknown origin). Lets see you bearings and spindle points, there has to be something I am missing :mad:

I got enough smoke to pass myself off as a case of Jerkey, but as I was losing a lot of friction in the 'so called' :eek: bearing I didnt actually get a coal this time.
I am fortunate that there is lots of materials here to use. Basalt is one of them. Lime stone, deer bones, antler, and shells. Yes when you find something that will work, carry it with you. In an emergency( I haven't had to do this) I suspect that it might take a bit more time and effort but results will come with tenasity and the skills to make fire practiced at home.
halfofmybisonribbow.jpg

theotherhalf.jpg
varioussocketsspindles.jpg
 
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