It's no secret I've had varied success with the bow drill fire lighting method. I have had some good results with prepared sets, but lots of trouble with strings. Then, at one of the Sussex group meets, we went for a set foraged on the day.
Well that didn't quite work out either. So on to another meet and this time, still using the hearth from the foraged and a home foraged hazel drill, I got an ember, which sadly I failed to blow to flame.
Now forward fast to the bank holiday. I've worked out what tension I need on the string. The hearth is proven, but not seasoned yet and I'd cut a new drill from a piece of green ash at home.
Now, time to get bowing. In the past this has involved a lot of exhausting bowing, often resulting in the ember being extinguished by sweat. But today was a break through day. In next to no time I had smoke a plenty. I thought this can't be true, but yes, I had an ember. I was so not expecting that, that I didn't even have my camera ready. After a short sprint round the house I found it and got this
sadly I was even less prepared and didn't have any tinder. After another sprint round, I found something, but sadly no flame. No problem, I'll get another in a couple of minutes I thought. Well I never expected that to be an over estimate! A quick retention on the string (I am learning), and a few good strokes, another ember. Tinder bundle ready, a little bit of blowing and I had this.
oh, and a very big grin on my face.