by Kurt Folsom
Since it's not always easy to find straight shafts long enough for hand-drill spindles,
a plug of soft, pithy wood can be inserted or lashed to the end of a shaft. This enables
you to use just a short section of material for the lower end of the spindle, using a
long, straight shaft of just about anything else for the rest of the apparatus.
A hardwood plug can be carved on one end thin and shafted to the split end of a wood
shaft like an arrowhead, or carved to insert into a pithy stalk. A wooden shaft could be
placed into the top of a pithy plug. Cordage might be used to help secure it on and to
prevent the plug from splitting.
The use of plugs gives you the best use of materials in a given area as opposed to
traveling to find suitable stalks. Plugs are much simpler to carry with you and to keep