How far can you go without using modern technology? As a hobby, YouTuber Primitive Technology explores this question by making simple tools from scratch using no modern tools or materials. In the video above, he crafts a cord drill and a pump drill — two primitive tools made from sticks, rocks, and ropes — in order to drill holes… and make a friction fire, though he notes that he prefers just spinning the fire stick with his hands for that task.

I made a cord drill and then upgraded it to a pump drill. A cord drill is basically a spindle with a fly wheel attached so it looks like a spinning top. the middle of a piece of cord is then put into a notch at the top of the spindle. The ends of the cord are then wrapped around the spindle and then pulled quickly outwards causing the drill to spin. The momentum of the fly wheel causes the cord to wrap back around the spindle in the other direction. When it stops the cords are pulled outwards again and the drill spins in the other direction.

I made the first one with a stone flywheel then made fire with it in the same way I make fire with fire sticks. Then I made and fired some clay fly wheels, made another drill with one of the fly wheels and fitted a stone drill bit to the end. This one I use for drilling holes in wood.

I used the new drill to make a hole in a piece of wood. I then put the spindle of the original cord drill through the hole in the wood, tied the ends of the cord onto the piece of wood and it became a pump drill. The cords were wrapped round the spindle as normal but now a pumping action of the wooden cross bar created the same action.

Read more from his site. Also, from Instructables: 7 Methods of Primitive Fire Starting. Fire experiments are also a great conversation starter about fire prevention and safety tips.

Next: How to make rope from grass, Charles and Ray Eames’ Tops, Patrick Dougherty’s Stickwork, and how to make stick twist bread on the campfire.

via Boing Boing.

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