Bow Drill Fire – All Natural (includes Saw Palmetto Prep)

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Bow Drill Fire - All Natural (includes Saw Palmetto Prep)

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Bow drill friction fire success using all natural materials from scratch (including the bowstring made from Saw Palmetto).

Several folks have asked how I made the Palmetto bowstring in my last video. Here I show how I make it.

I used Long-leaf Yellow Pine for all main components (ie. Bow, Fireboard, Spindle, Bearing-Block), Saw Palmetto strands for the bowstring, green vegetation as a lubricant for the spindle/ bearing-block, a dead leaf to catch the coal/ ember, and Palmetto fibers (ie. Monkey Fur, Palm Hair) for the tinder bundle. Everything was found on-the-spot. The only man-made item I used was the main blade on my Swiss Army Knife.

If I seem apprehensive it's because I've only done this a couple times and the heat, humidity, and weather factors here in Florida often keep me guessing, ha ha.

Overall, It took about 2 hours (from foraging to flame). Not too bad when working with unproven materials and I did have a couple problems to overcome along the way (a bad fireboard & bearing-block). So, it might seem like everything went really well, but there was some troubleshooting to deal with. I just edited out a lot of footage so it wouldn't be too long and boring. The main objective was to show the cordage preparation and success using it.

Bow Drill Fire - All Natural (includes Saw Palmetto Prep)

Bow drill friction fire success using all natural materials from scratch (including the bowstring made from Saw Palmetto).

Several folks have asked how I made the Palmetto bowstring in my last video. Here I show how I make it.

I used Long-leaf Yellow Pine for all main components (ie. Bow, Fireboard, Spindle, Bearing-Block), Saw Palmetto strands for the bowstring, green vegetation as a lubricant for the spindle/ bearing-block, a dead leaf to catch the coal/ ember, and Palmetto fibers (ie. Monkey Fur, Palm Hair) for the tinder bundle. Everything was found on-the-spot. The only man-made item I used was the main blade on my Swiss Army Knife.

If I seem apprehensive it's because I've only done this a couple times and the heat, humidity, and weather factors here in Florida often keep me guessing, ha ha.

Overall, It took about 2 hours (from foraging to flame). Not too bad when working with unproven materials and I did have a couple problems to overcome along the way (a bad fireboard & bearing-block). So, it might seem like everything went really well, but there was some troubleshooting to deal with. I just edited out a lot of footage so it wouldn't be too long and boring. The main objective was to show the cordage preparation and success using it.

16 thoughts on “Bow Drill Fire – All Natural (includes Saw Palmetto Prep)

  1. If you dig up the stalk of that palmetto, peal it, and boil it, that is
    some of the best swamp cabbage in the universe. Thanks for the video.
    CURRAHEE!

  2. Ha ha, yeah. Saw Palmetto might be a little hard to find where you live.
    How about Hickory bark? I’m sure there’s gotta be some kind of usable plant
    or tree material you can use to make usable natural cordage for the bow
    drill.

  3. This is exactly what I needed to see. I have been goofing around with
    palmetto leaf braids and thought, “I bet the stem fibers are even better”.
    You confirmed it. Thanks a million.

  4. Excellent demonstration of bow drill fire using all natural materials. I’m
    impressed, again. 🙂 You made it look so easy.

  5. Very nice job! Excellent success. Do you do trades at all? I have some
    obsidian from California, where I reside. Would you be interested in
    trading some long leaf yellow pine branches to me for some obsidian? I like
    doing friction fires also. I like to try all variety’s of material. Let me
    know either way if your interested or not. Thanks!!

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