This is my latest tutorial. You’ve got written directions and a video on making a rock handhold for your bow drill kit.
Watch the video above to see me make a rock hand hold for a bow drill kit
Making a rock hand hold for your bow drill kit is a whole lot easier if you find a rock that already has a depression in it. In the video above, I take you from gathering raw rocks to making a hand hold.
You need to watch the video to see where to look for your rocks. I also show you how I choose the rocks. And you’ll see exactly how to grind the rock into a usable hand hold.
I have been all over the world making friction fires. In my travels I’ve found that the hand drill is a lot more common than the bow drill. The bow drill is a lot more complex and has more stuff to either find or carry with you.
The bow drill takes five pieces: 1) the bow, 2) the spindle, 3) the fireboard, 4) cordage and a 5) handhold. But, the hand drill only takes two: 1) the spindle and 2) a fire board.
There are two main drawbacks of the bow drill compared to the hand drill: Cordage that is durable enough to use on a bow drill is often hard to find. And finding a suitable hand hold can be even harder. In fact, making a hand hold is such a bother that I have a small hand hold in my big survival kit.
Most of us can gather materials in the wilderness and bring them back home to work with. So, I’m going to write this post with those people in mind. If that’s the case for you, beginning your friction fire education with the bow drill probably makes the most sense.
The most time consuming process of making a rock hand hold is grinding the socket. I’ve found that using another stone and simply spinning it in the hand hold is the best method. I’ve seen people use a stone point anchored in the end of a hand drill or bow drill spindle. That works well, but I’ve found it’s hard to anchor my stone point and mine always get crooked when I apply a lot of pressure.
There are two important things to consider when selecting rocks to make a stone hand hold with. The first thing you want to look for is a rock that already has a hole in it. Then all you have to do is make the hole bigger.
The second big thing to look for is a soft rock. You’re going to be doing a lot of grinding and you want the grinding process to go as quickly as possible. One of the best stones I’ve found for making a quick (under an hour) hand hold is hard, fine grained sandstone. Sandstone is easy to put a hole into and if you find a rock with really fine grain, it won’t wear your spindle down.
There are other things you can use to make hand holds for your bow drill kit. As I write articles about them, I’ll add those links here.
This link will take you to the main fire page with all my fires posts.