The bow-and-drill method is the most popular among girls and boys alike,
and for this, as for all other ways of lighting a fire, you must have
the proper appliances and will probably have to make them yourself.
Unlike the bow used for archery, the fire-bow is not to be bent by the
bow-string but must have a permanent curve. Choose a piece of sapling
about eighteen or twenty inches long which curves evenly; cut a notch
around it at each end and at the notched places attach a string of
rawhide of the kind used as shoe-strings in hunting-shoes. Tie the
bow-string to the bow in the manner shown in Fig. 75, and allow it to
hang loosely. It must _not_ be taut as for archery.
To the bow must be added the twirling-stick and fireboard (Fig. 76).
Make these of spruce. The twirling-stick, spindle, or fire-drill should
be a little over half an inch in diameter and sixteen inches long. Its
sides may be rounded or bevelled in six or seven flat spaces like a
lead-pencil, as shown in Fig. 76. Cut the top end to a blunt point and
sharpen the bottom end as you would a lead-pencil, leaving the lead
blunt. To hold the spindle you must have something to protect your hand.
A piece of soapstone or a piece of very hard wood will answer. This is
called the socket-block. In the wood or stone make a hole for a socket
that will hold the top end of the spindle (Fig. 76).
The flat piece of spruce for your fireboard should be about two feet
long and a little less than one inch thick. Cut a number of triangular
notches in one edge of the board as in Fig. 76. Make the outer end of
each notch about half an inch wide, and at the inner end make a small,
cup-like hole large enough to hold the lower end of the twirling-stick.
This is called the fire pit. The reason you are to have so many notches
is because when one hole becomes too much enlarged by the drilling of
the twirling-stick, or is bored all the way through, it is discarded and
there must be others ready and prepared for immediate use.