Making The Kit
We’ve made our bow, check. We’ve made our bearing block, check. We can set those to the side. Now it’s time to start making our kit. Split this into usable sections (you can use your knife). This cedar’s a relatively softer wood, which is what you would use for a bow drill. Often when I’m making my kits, I’ll go ahead and split them with a knife.
There’s an easier method to do that. This is probably about a four-inch log. I’ve got about a four-and-a-half inch blade. It’s not reasonable for me to expect that I’m going to be able to bang straight through this without taking a risk by hitting just the tip of the knife with the billet. What I want to do is show you a quick technique to get through this and protect your knife, which is a huge resource.
I’m just using a billet. That’s about as far as I want to go with that. I don’t want to really bang on my handle or the very tip of that knife too hard. I think that it would handle it but don’t want to risk it. You can see I just don’t have enough left over to get that through. I’ve still got to get it started, but it hasn’t split all the way down. I want to take advantage of some of these imperfections in the wood. I can do that by just billeting off the edge. I might want to take advantage of that since I have it. I’m actually going to come quite a bit closer to the edge because I want to split those two off.
By doing that I’m essentially making myself a couple of wedges that I can use. I can clean these up a little bit. Sharpen that and make it nice and flat. Same for the other one. Just enough to get it started into the wood. Then I can put my knife away, come back to this split that I started. Using my thinner wedge on one side, I can start pounding it in to open that up.
Once I get one side pounded in, I can come over to the other side, and pound in that wedge. Sometimes it takes a little doing to find out how it will fit. It might need to be sharpened a little. Your wedge may start to split on you at this point.
Just to get through the knots if you have them. Then take this and make your actual hearth board and spindle.