I've just recently acquired an old (1934) counterbalance floor loom. It's homemade, 4 shaft and I would like to tie it up for a plain weave. I would sure appreciate any instructions or helpful hints anyone might have. The weaving width is only about 14".
Your question is very broad. Do you have two treadles? four treadles? Does your loom have lamms?
Tieing up for plain weave just means that you tie the treadles that will give you alternate threads up and down. This will depend on your weave structure. If the warp is threaded in a straight twill draw, you just tie one treadle to shafts 1 and 3, the other to shafts 2 and 4.
The loom has 6 hand levers and an extra lever that is connected to the brake on the back beam. There are some old strings leading from these levers to several pulleys attached to the frame of the loom beneath the shafts. There is a single rod about 12 inches above the shafts and two separate large pulleys are attached to the rod and are about 10 inches apart. Two smaller pulleys are connected to each of the pulleys by a string threaded though the pulley mechinism. I am assuming this is where the counterbalance is supposed to occur. But I just can't figure out how to make it happen. I could send pictures if that would be helpful. I read that the loom had to be warped in order to balance it. I am in the process of replacing the heddles and will warp it then. Thanks for any advice or recommendations you might have.
Thanks Laura, but my problem is my lack of experience with the counterbalance function of this old loom. Have you any experience with that type of loom.
Your pulley description sounds like a counterbalance tie-up, but your comment about the hand levers is confusing. Are these levers on the top of the loom or are they actually treadles for your feet to use? Yes, photos would be helpful.
the levers are in a position that would indicate they would be manipulated with ones hands. They are attached to the frame directly in front of the shafts.
Hi Joanne, I'll try to upload a couple of photos to help clarify my befuddled description.
Here is a photo of the loom (I hope) Not having much luck uploading.
Well, I am not Smarter Than a Fifth Grader and can't figure out how to upload my photos. The link above will take you my web album with three photos of the loom. Hope it helps unscramble my befuddled description. Thanks for you help.
This is not a standard counter balanced loom. I hope you can find someone who can help you with it.
some major changes have been made to the loom. Maybe it was a very small loom originally, but the original frame is extremely short. And all those extra pulleys on the board do not make any sense.
Thank you Joanne and Laura for your comments. I don't know a lot of history on the loom except that it was homemade in 1934. It must have functioned at one time. It is a rather crude piece in a way but still beautiful. Is this type of loom still manufactured?
Yes, counterbalance looms are made today, but they are not like yours. You can read about them here:
Thanks so much for the link Joanne. I took a quick look this morning and I think that is exactly what I've been looking for. At least that will give me a general concept of how it should work. Lynn
Just wanted to say thanks again for all the great suggestions on getting my old loom working. I posted a couple of new pictures with new heddles and a warp on. Even thought it will never replace my big floor loom it was fun to get it functioning again. Here is the link for the new photos.
Hello! I am very pleased you posted pics of your loom. I picked up an old counterbalance loom last month. The guy said it was from the 1930s. I looked at many counterbalances and none had the two pulley system mine has until I saw you loom pics. Yea!
My loom is a 4H, 4T counterbalance floor loom with the two pulley system like yours. Do you have two treadles?
I am waiting for new texsolv cords to arrive while I finish up cleaning my loom. She was VERY DIRTY AND RUSTY! So now I am thinking about how to tie up the lamms to the treadles. Any ideas?