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To Drill a Hole

Ever wonder how The People made the holes in an elk tooth to decorate a dress or shirt? Or how holes were drilled into stones or wood? Or how fires were made?

Using a stick and twirling it between the hands is a tiresome activity. Making holes using a hand pump drill saves not only time, but, more importantly, energy.

Hand pump drills used cordage, as well as wood and stone to efficiently drill holes into bone, stone or wood.

Basically a simple machine, using the screw and fly wheel, drills were simple to make.

A straight shaft of wood was found and smoothed. At the bottom end of the shaft a stone point was hafted, using sinew cordage. At the top of the shaft, a hole was drilled.

Above the stone point was a flat, round stone which would act as a fly wheel to control the spin of the drill.

A long, flat wooden crossbar, with a hole drilled in the center, was placed over the shaft and above the fly wheel.

Cordage was threaded through the hole at the top of the shaft. The ends of the length of cordage were tied to the ends of the wooden crossbar.
The cordage was twisted around the upper shaft, the hands were placed on the crossbar, and pushed the crossbar down. Causing the twisted cordage to spin the shaft, fly wheel, and drilling point.


The pumping, rather like using a yo-yo, continued until the hole was drilled.