Posture and technique for bow drilling


A couple of weeks ago I posted a video in which I talked about the component parts of a bow drill set, including different approaches to bow drilling and a number of different materials that you could use for each of those component parts.  I followed that one up with a video showing how to make a bow drill set.

In this video I talk about posture and technique for bow drilling, as well as show you!  I used the sycamore hearth board and spindle that I made in the previous video.

Getting your posture and technique for bow drilling right is really important, it goes from being difficult to not!  But the journey getting there can sometimes be challenging.

When you approach bow drilling a couple of things are important.  First up you need to be in the right frame of mind.  It’s really important that you’re calm and relaxed .  Your mind needs to be calm so that you can focus on the task ahead and your body needs to be relaxed so that you can work with minimum effort.  (I first came across this concept when I was studying tai chi with Ho Kyung, but it’s as valid in this situation, in fact it’s useful advice in most aspects of life)

When you’re working on your posture and technique for bow drilling there will be times when you don’t feel particularly calm or relaxed; when that happens stop and go for a walk, make a cup of tea, or whatever you like really, until you’re feeling ready to try again.

Secondly, don’t worry or stress when things aren’t going as well as you’d like.  It’s inevitable that you’ll hit obstacles, but persevere.  You need to stick at bow drilling and not give up.  With that said, if you keep doing the same thing and getting the same result, you probably need to step back and think about what you’re doing and what might need changing.

The next video on this topic is likely to be about fault finding when it doesn’t work out as you would have liked.

We teach the correct posture and technique for bow drilling on the IOL Bushcraft Competency Course.  You can see loads of photos from this course, as well as all of our other courses, on our Facebook page.


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About Gary

Lead Instructor at Jack Raven Bushcraft, teaching bushcraft, wilderness and survival skills to groups and individuals.

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