Wildwood Survival website

SURVIVAL
Shelter
Water
Fire
Food
Clothing
Fishing
Hunting
Traps
Snares
Tools
Stone
Flintknapping
Tracker Knife
Cordage
Containers
Furniture
Lights
Hides
Pitch & Glue
Winter
Health
Lyme Disease
Vision
Native People
Emergency Prep
Navigation
Teaching
Young People
Practicing
Music
Humour
More
Wilderness Mind
Site Disclaimer
Bookstore
Booklist
Forums
Contributors
Sitemap
Guestbook
About this site
Use of material
Email me
Privacy Policy
HomeSurvivalFirePumpdrill

A Commercially-Made Pumpdrill

The following photo and movie was taken at the Wildwood Trackers June 2002 meeting. Rob Bicevskis is demonstrating.

 

A pumpdrill is basically a bowdrill operated in a different manner. It uses a drill and fireboard just like a bowdrill. The main difference is in how the drill is rotated.

A pumpdrill works by pumping a cross-piece of wood up and down. This is tied to the drill in such a way that the pumping action causes the drill to rotate first one way and then the other quickly (similar to the drill in the bowdrill). Note the twist in the cordage which is attached to the top of the drill and to both ends of the crosspiece.

A counterweight (at the bottom of the drill) is necessary to provide momentum to the drill. Without it, the drill would lose its momentum instantly because of the friction with the fireboard.

View the move (below) to see how the pumpdrill works.

The pump drill ready to use.

Note that this is a commercially-made pump drill. This apparatus could be time-consuming to build in a wilderness survival situation, unless one had pre-made materials on hand, such as cordage. 

However, once built, this device makes it very easy to obtain fire. It is very easy and non-strenuous to operate.

 

  

This movie is in two parts. The first shows the pump drill moving slowly at the beginning. The latter half shows smoke coming from the drill.

Click on the small photo to watch the movie

Windows Media format (WMV)
320x240, 697 KB