Nuances of Hand Drill Fire Starting

A lot (~ .0000376327 % of the population) of folks can make fire using a bow and spindle friction kit similar to the one shown above–compared to those few who can make fire using a hand drill method (~.0000000000000000000879532222147 % of the population). I am hoping to add a few more to the latter group–not that it will help the percentages much.

Previously, I have made posts and shown clips of making fire using different kinds of materials–some which require different kinds of hand drill techniques. I have tried to describe these techniques thoroughly enough that I felt these techniques could be duplicated by those who wanted to. But nothing beats actually seeing the process. I have had requests for better videos specifically displaying the finer points of this kind of fire making. In response to these requests, I have made and am posting here now several video clips that I hope will better address the requests.

Here are two clips that cover two of my main techniques in brief as requested by several followers of my blogs. There are also more clips with greater detail at my other blog link below.


I just added this clip next clip. It is a technique learned long ago, that I don’t use anymore. I’ve heard it called The Spirit Hands or Spirit Walking Hands Fire Method, which has some ties to Native Americans, but I don’t really know how or why it is called that. It is a good and viable method with the advantage that the spindle never stops spinning, giving the benefit of less loss of heat during the brief pauses between spin sequences than with my usual spin method.

There are three reasons I don’t use this method anymore. One is that the spindle never stops turning.  Yep, that’s the same as the advantage mentioned above. This method takes more exertion to use, partly because you never stop spinning. At my advancing age, I need those pauses to get a second of rest between spin sequences. Without them, I both lose my breath, and my muscles give out. This was not always the case but it is now.

Another reason is that it hurts my bum wrist with all the twisting required. The third is, it takes a lot more inward isometric tension to keep my hands from riding the stick downward as naturally happens using my normal method. It may not sound like a big thing, but it is all I can do to get an ember now; the extra effort makes it, if not impossible for me to sustain, at least makes it unpleasant to do so. If ever I had anything to prove regarding this, I just don’t anymore. Lost my fire? Nope, I got over a hundred ways more fire than your average bear.

Speaking of Bears, there is an American Indian legend or myth or story from one or more of the tribes of our Southern States that goes with this Spirit Walking Hand Drill method of making fire. Although I have been unable to run down the remnants of stories from my youth, it has something to do with how Bear was the keeper of Fire, and got negligent and left Fire unattended while he was playing, presumably with other Bears, and it took a while to remember and come back to get Fire. Fire was pretty put out about the whole misadventure and ran off from Bear to sulk, and some Humankind from said tribe(s) kid-napped or fire napped or otherwise absconded with Fire. The Humankind was thereafter able to call forth Fire by Spirit Walking using this method–or something like that.

I know. Don’t kill the messenger. I was not there, and as previously stated, I am still scratching for details from fading childhood stories. It made perfect sensed then. Or did it????

But those learning hand drill methods should learn the Spirit Hands Method. If you can do it without any problems physically, you may like it better than my other methods–because the continuous turning, though requiring more exertion will make an ember faster. If you can maintain it.

Spirit Walking Hand Drill Technique

Click Here for More Clips


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s