Alder and aspen

beardedhorse
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beardedhorse
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Joined: March 27th, 2009, 6:35 am

April 25th, 2018, 7:20 pm #1

Alder and aspen may grow near willow, chokecherry, mountain birch.   An older friend of mine has had no luck using alder on alder (Ulnus rubra) and aspen on aspen (Populus tremuloides) for bow drill friction fires..   I have success with them.    Aspen is not as reliable as willow, cottonwood or alder.   Maybe he isn't getting enough downward pressure.  He is 84 yrs old.   Red alder is harder than many pines and may need to have the bow drill and hearth scraped of the glazing and re inserted and tried again.  Anyone out there have problems with alder and aspen?  We are using standing dead wood.
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338 winmag
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338 winmag
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Joined: November 8th, 2011, 5:02 am

May 23rd, 2018, 8:38 pm #2

Havent messed with alder much for bow drill fires it's too hard ,especially when there's many other finer woods avaiable ,aspen so so not my favorite but it's often one of the readily avaiable woods at higher elevation ,though i'd prefer mountain ash aka ronan as it grows near the same elevations often times ,dont care for the willows around here either again they will work but more savory lol woods are generally availabe .
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beardedhorse
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beardedhorse
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Joined: March 27th, 2009, 6:35 am

June 4th, 2018, 7:19 pm #3

beardedhorse wrote: Alder and aspen may grow near willow, chokecherry, mountain birch.   An older friend of mine has had no luck using alder on alder (Ulnus rubra) and aspen on aspen (Populus tremuloides) for bow drill friction fires..   I have success with them.    Aspen is not as reliable as willow, cottonwood or alder.   Maybe he isn't getting enough downward pressure.  He is 84 yrs old.   Red alder is harder than many pines and may need to have the bow drill and hearth scraped of the glazing and re inserted and tried again.  Anyone out there have problems with alder and aspen?  We are using standing dead wood.
Alder on alder coal gotten Saturday by Brad Bailey at the Bob Patten Memorial Knap In.   Fireboard could have been thicker.   Took several tries.   Tip of drill or spindle grew a long "Pinnochio nose" on the end.  Another knapper came very close with three tries on the bow drill friction alder on alder fire.   Other species of wood more reliable and take less effort.
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beardedhorse
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beardedhorse
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Joined: March 27th, 2009, 6:35 am

July 10th, 2018, 12:14 am #4

I got an alder on alder coal yesterday.  Had to make sure the bowstring was very taunt around drill.  Added a little dry sand to the concavity to slow down glazing.  Drilled between two thirds and three quarters through a thick (3/4th inch or thicker) board before getting sufficient dust to make a long lasting coal.   Loose bowstring and not enough downward pressure and aggressive drilling will lead to glazing, a lot of smoke and no coal.   There are better woods out there to use that do grown near alder.   We have box elder along the crik bottom on the farm.  It is in the maple (Acer family) and I've gotten coals with box elder but maybe an elderly person (pun iintended) might have trouble with it.
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