So I tried a hand operated fire-drill yesterday, but failed.
You guys know what I mean right? It's basically the classic image of someone trying to start a fire by spinning a stick very fast between the hands, while applying downward pressure to help the friction. You cut a notch in the area you're drilling so that dust that comes off falls down into one place until that dust becomes so hot that you end up with a small coal.
Here's an image. Borrowed it from http://blog.makezine.com/. All credit goes that-a-way. I didn't have the patience to make a crude ms_paint rendition of my own. ;)
Why Mine Didn't Work:
I actually expected to fail, otherwise I would have taken pictures.
I think the fact that I'm very very near the coast was a fair detriment to my attempt because of lots of moisture in the air during this time of the year and the fact that the wood pieces I used were not nearly as dry as I would have preferred.
Not only that but my drill wasn't very straight or smooth or easy to work with.
Maybe one Saturday before the fall really comes to So-Cal I'll try to find time to take a drive up to the mountains to find some better materials and I'll make a real attempt I'll take some pictures.
I'll also try other versions of the fire drill with bow and strap to help the process.