How to Make A Survival Cord Drill and Pump Drill

Hand-powered drilling tools have been used for millennia. Many of their variations are used as friction fire starters, but the technology is applicable to boring holes in certain materials such as wood, bone, stone, and pottery as well. With a bit of patience and will, you can have a fire source that predates your existence and also drills holes for many various purposes.

The Iroquois and pueblo Indians were known to have used a ‘pump’ drill (like the one below) with many different types of stone tips for drilling.

A stone, wood, or pottery weight was attached to a shaft with a hafted drill. A wooden board, with a hole in the middle, is slid over the shaft and a cord is attached at the ends of the board and on top of the shaft.

The fellow over at primitive technology made a great video of how to make and use a cord drill and pump drill. He shows a great tutorial of using a corded drill to bore a hole in his crossbar, and then creates a pump drill from there. He also shows two different types of flywheels, one made from rock and the other from clay.

Take a look at his video, and here are some still shots to give you some ideas to create your own.

Have patience, take the time to practice, and experiment with your different drill bits as well as cordage. Get creative, and good luck out there!