Part 2 of this series is a short video on a type of bow drilling I came across a few years ago called the Egyptian method (Egyptian hieroglyphs have depicted this method).
I like this set up as it does not put the cordage under a great deal of strain (the cordage is wrapped a number of times around the drill) and it is good for learners as the drill piece does not ping out if the set up becomes loose.
Have a look at the video and try it out for yourself.
My next video in this series will be on my technique I use with a more modern bowdrill set up.
I started researching this summer the recent history around Teine Eigin (Gaelic for ‘rubbing sticks together to make fire’) on the Western Isles of Scotland (where I grew up). Up until the early 19th century records have shown that in times of animal disease (such as cattle with Need Fire) and at particular times of the year, such as the Beltanefestival, fires were lit on these Westerly Scottish Isles using fire by friction methods.
Instead of writing full step-by-step articles on the different methods, I decided to experiment with video. I have read of many different set ups that were used for Teine Eigin so I will film some of the methods I use and explain the steps I follow to create fire.
This is the first video in the series and it covers how I use one of the simplest, yet sometimes seen as one of the hardest to master, methods of lighting a fire – the handrill.
Part 2 in the series will look at the bowdrill but focussing on the Egyptian method.
I have been bushcrafting on and off for most of my life. Growing up in a remote village on the Isle of Lewis off the west coast of Scotland I was free to get out and about as a boy and really explore my surroundings. I saw this sometimes then as a lifestyle that was stuck in the past: I remember wishing for all those modern gizmos and ways of doing things I saw advertised on the television.
But now, aged 47, I really appreciate that upbringing, even though we did struggle at times. When I teach outdoor skills to kids these days I see the effect on them; having been sat in front of a TV or computer for most of their lives they are afraid at first to explore or take risks outdoors, but with a little bit of encouragement and support it is great to see them discovering a whole new way of learning.
One of the tools I use in that learning process is the ‘force of fire’.
That force of fire can be made in many different ways but my favourite is Teine Eigin – Gaelic for rubbing two sticks together to make fire. Nowadays bushcrafters know this as bowdrill or handrill (though there are many other techniques, such as the plough) but what many do not realise is that this method was used in certain areas of Scotland up until the middle of the 19th century. I wrote a recent article where I put some good links to this tradition – Bushcrafting at Lews Castle College.
This summer I plan to explore some different methods of making fire by rubbing two sticks together – Teine Eigin.
Here is my intro video to the subject.
This is my first video with commentary so I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions.
Cheers, and I will be back over the summer with more articles on these methods in detail.