Alright, everything is built.

In this step we’re going to cover a few finishing touches to our kit.

Then discuss how to properly get this fire going with these least amount of effort possible!

All of the pieces you should have at this point are laid out in the picture below. No, you didn’t miss the step for the “Catch Pan”. This is simply a thin piece of wood that you can grab out of your shavings pile you have from shaping down your hearth board or spindle.

STEP 1. LEFTY OR RIGHTY?

  • Choose where you’ll place your hole.
  • If you’re right-handed, your left foot will hold the board in place (as pictured) and vise versa.

STEP 2. PLACING THE SPINDLE

  • You’re going to create a small indentation for where you spindle will go.
  • You want to be roughly half a spindle in from the edge of your hearth board.

  • And a thumb width in from the end of the board.

STEP 3. THE DIVOT

  • Choke up on your knife and carve a divot into your hearth board.
KNIFE TRICK: Choking up on your knife is a great knife technique for your survival arsenal as it gives you a lot of dexterity for your cuts. Hold the back of your blade, with the sharp side facing out (as pictured).

  • Only a small divot is required.
  • As you burn in your board (which you’ll learn shortly), your spindle will fit snuggly into the divot.

STEP 4. SETTING THE DRILL

  • Have the ‘eraser’ end pointing away from you.
  • The string should be in the middle of the spindle.

  • Twist the spindle down and away from you.
WORK SMARTER: Make sure your spindle runs along the OUTSIDE of your string. If the spindle runs along the inside you’ll be losing 3-4 inches of space on either side of the stroke. Making for shorter, less efficient strides.

  • Keep turning until the spindle “snaps” into place.
  • From there, pin the spindle to the bow with your thumb.
  • (From this point I will refer to the spindle as a drill).

STEP 5. GET INTO POSITION

  • It’s important to be in the position as shown above.
  • This allows you to put the required pressure to get the fire going, while not expending too much energy.
  • Try to keep your board mostly parallel, and shoulders parallel to the hearth board, with your foot perpendicular to the hearth board.

STEP 6. PARALLEL

  • When running your bow back and forth, ensure that it’s parallel with the ground.
  • You also want your bearing block to be parallel.
  • If not, your drill will continually “flip out” of your bow.

STEP 7. “BURN-IN”

  • You’ll only have to do this once to break in your new kit.
  • Begin with short strides to get started.
  • You’re not going for fire here, only smoke.
  • The purpose of this step is to simply make your pieces “marry” together to make it more efficient for starting the fire.
  • If you hear squeaks, it means you don’t have enough downward pressure, or you’re starting to lose your 90 degree angle on the bearing block.
SPEAKING PACE: You won’t need a lot of effort starting off. You should still be able to converse while you’re doing this because you’re not going for fire yet.

  • Once you’re done, your ‘pencil tip’ should be slightly burnt.

  • Your bearing block will also be slightly burnt.

  • CHOCOLATE BONUS: You’ll know if you’ve got a good set if the hearth board has a chocolate-colored charcoal (as pictured).

STEP 8. IGNITION NOTCH

  • Score two lines away from your divot hole.
  • Visualize this as a pizza slice. Your divot hole is the tip of it.
  • Down the side of the hearth board, you want it to widen out a bit. So it has a pyramid shape to it. With the top of the hearth board being the top of the pyramid.

 

  • Carve out your ignition notch.

  • This is what it should look like once you’re done.

Okay, put your hearth board aside.

Let’s move on to the next step.

We’re just about ready to get this fire going.

But there’s one small step we’re going to cover next that will make it much easier for you to get the fire started!

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