Wood Types Used for Friction Firemaking – Australian and Overseas. A lot of people have asked me
about what types of woods to use for friction fire making (for bow drill firemaking and the hand drill fire making
methods). This page concerns the types of wood used for the base board and the drill, as these are the two parts
that actually rub together to get hot and make the coal.
The types of wood used for the other parts of the bow
drill kit are not that important, almost any wood will do for the hand piece and the bow itself. In general
you want a wood that is soft but does not have too much resin in it. I have read in some places that you need
the baseboard and the drill to be of the same type of wood, and in other places that they need to be of
The first time I tried to make a bow drill fire (when I knew very little about it) I tried
to use a Gum Tree (Eucalyptus) stick for the drill and a commercial pine board for the base. I had no luck
at all, after drilling all the way through the base board several times all I ever got was smoke. I have found
that using two soft woods works best (provided they are the right types of wood).