Building a loom? Why not? :)

As many know or maybe not, I am building my own Swedish loom.

I have a picture here for your enjoyment. :)

 

The cross member you see not seeted are just stuck in part way while I work on the project. I have headle bars and fly-shuttle beater yet to build. Plus some beam holes to drill and lots and lots of sanding before it gets a finish. The beam shafts are not yet cut to length and glued into the beams. Also the pegs are not knocked in tight at this point, just for support. The breast beam is dove tailed onto the posts. The warp beam is held by 3/8" threaded road with those black aluminum tension rod nuts (patented fashener by Lee Valley) which are tightened with a 1/4" - 4" steel lever you insert in a side hole. Also a hidden wooden dowel is used below this between the two wooden members. The joints of each half are mortise and tenon. The treadles look elevated there, they are sitting on a  wooden plank to keep the ends off the cement floor. The corners are on blocking for the same reason. The room there in the barn is unheated so the floor could be damp, and end grain can whick moisture. My shop is heated and the door into it is just to the right.

I think Joanne Hall was right about these large looms not needing any breaking on the warp beam. :)

Enjoy the show. :)

Comments

Posted on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:44

You are making good progress on this!  I'm also envious of your set of woodworking tools.

 

Posted on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:51

It takes years to accumulate good wood working tools unless your lucky to have deep pockets. Which I ain't. ;)

Posted on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:14

will u be posting the plans for this loom on here once u finish it?? would love to have a copy. my hubby too has a wood shop and who knows maybe I could talk him into making me one!! lol Like a saying goes the plumber has leaky pipes and his customers have great plumbing!!

Posted on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 20:19

ReedGuy, what wood are you using to make the loom? Doesn't look like a pine. I was going to make a Swedish type loom until Michael found me a Glimakra for $500.00.  Joanne Hall sells the metal ratchets and paws((GlimakraUSA) for the warp and fabric beams. Looks really nice.............Steve

Posted on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 21:32

Steve, hard maple. ;D

My Texsolv tie-up cord , heddles, anchor, arrow pins and beam rods just arrived today. :)

I also ripped and planed my 16 heddle bars (upper and lower pair) as well. Just have to round the edges and drill 3 holes in each. One on the ends and one in the centre.

Posted on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 22:35

On the bottom bars. For tie-up. It's not neccessary I know. Could just mark the centre and that would do to I suppose. Then it wouldn't weeken the bars would it. ;)

Posted on Tue, 03/06/2012 - 10:35

This year I purchased a drill press for a Christmas present to myself. I have used it heavily on this project. The only way to drill staight holes is on a  press, plane and simple fact. It also needs to be clamped. ;D

Posted on Wed, 03/07/2012 - 21:27

Today I carved up the hand rail of the beater (the top half that holds the reed) and mortised the ends along with the overhead bar. Used a 5/8" bull-nose-bit with half radius to cut the groove for the reed. Used a matched  set of Korean Hollow and Round planes to carve the cheaks, but first ran the bull-nose for a guide groove. Then did some rough sanding with my infatable sanding cylinder. It will require fine sanding later.

I have to clean out the mortises with a chisel and rasp tomorrow for smooth travel up and down the uprights.

This is 8/4 hard maple and the bars are 76 inches long.

:)

Posted on Thu, 03/08/2012 - 16:31

Had to get some more 8/4 maple today and it's so mild out (55F in the shade) that the path to the shop has turned into a muddy slooshway. So, day off. Suppose to tighten up tonight with a cold front. :)

Posted on Sat, 03/10/2012 - 18:09

Just a little snapshot of my progress with the fly-shuttle beater. I have all the main joints cut and cleaned up. Now to make the shuttle boxes, drill the holes for the height adjustment and attach the uprights to the race. Plus attach the fulcrums and depth adjustments for the beater up top. The home made reed fits nicely as it should.

Have a good one. :)

Posted on Sat, 10/26/2019 - 08:17

hello Reedguy,

 

i am trying to build my own fly shuttle beater to attach to my glimakra. I would love to see the pictures on the above page of the system you built. I can t see them - how do you acces them? Could you please send me the pictures of the fly shuttle beater you have made? I can acces the YouTube video, but it is a bit difficult to work out how exactly it is made.  But it looks absolutely wonderful! 

Posted on Wed, 03/14/2012 - 23:03

What a nice job!  I love new wood, and I love new looms..... going into production any time soon?

Dawn

Posted on Wed, 03/14/2012 - 23:39

Dawn thanks,

I have lots of sanding to do the next few days. Beleive it or not, none of the joints have yet been glued up. It's all free standing at this point. That's why there is a little sway when the cord is pulled. The jack's are not yet secured up top, which I intend to do with metal pins. They will also stablize it because at this point the cross member that is pegged across the top is all that stiffens the tower from side sway. I also have to secure the cradle that the beater fulcrum sits in, with some screws. I want to sand first. The beater is done, even the pegs on the uprights that adjust the height. I used 5/16" nylon cord for tie-up of the shuttle boxes. I didn't even use any hooks in the over head bar, I may later. But the cord doesn't seem to slip over the wood at this point to cause issues. The boxes slide on 5/16" bolts that are tightened by wing nuts and also supported by a sliding dovetail at the back. The up rights are secured at the bottom with a snap-lock knob, a square headed bolt that threads into an 1/4" - 20 insert nut (drilled by 3/8" bit). The upright has a 1/4" hole drilled through for the bolt. The picker and the stop strap are just some leather belts I had. That's it in a nutshell.

Thanks all, for following along. :)

Posted on Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:37

I've really enjoyed following your progress on this beautiful loom.  I hope you have as much fun weaving on it as you seem to be having making it!

Posted on Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:46

Hello ReedGuy, like the others have said, It's been great watching you build your loom. Your craftsmanship is impeccable! Thanks for sharing your journey! Frank.

Posted on Sun, 03/18/2012 - 23:08

Thanks all for following along and the many kind words. :)

I don't rush things, as I usually just do a little bit here and there. But most days I'm in the shop during the winter even if much isn't done in any one day.

These looms sure use a lot of wood, you relaize it when it comes time to sanding and finishing. Of course I'm also taking into account all the support equipment that goes along with it. :)

Speaking of winter, it seems more like summer today with almost 70 degrees in western NB. Snow dropping and water flowing. Soon be back bush whacking (thinning trees). :)

Posted on Sun, 03/25/2012 - 14:57

Tied on my roller Texsolv cords with accompanying tie-on sticks this morning. :)

This is a special needle that I crafted from 1/8" brass rod. There is a notch that carries the cord as you pass the needle through the roller holes. Patent pending. (Just kidding of course) ;)

 

Warp roller:

 

 

Cloth roller:

 

Sufficient cord was used to wrap around the beams, then on to within 2-3" of the reed.

Very pleased with my rollers and ratchet system as well as the Texsolv cords as recommended.

Have a good one. :)

Posted on Sun, 03/25/2012 - 16:17

Your loom is very much like a Glimakra loom.  I see that you have not put in the strengthening bolt near the top of the breast beam upright.  This is a weak spot on a loom and is exactly where a friend's Norwood loom cracked.  I have never known a Glimakra loom to crack at this place, but the strengthening bolt is a good precaution.

Joanne

Posted on Sun, 03/25/2012 - 17:02

Hi Joanne,

It's dovetailed there, 2" thickness on the upright. The narrow end of the dovetail has 1" on either side with 1-1/2" on the neck on each side. Very strong, when it's maple. :)

Posted on Sat, 03/31/2012 - 23:58

I'm working from back to front as in The Big Book of Weaving. And I'm using a raddle, where they used a reed. And the reed they used was only for warping , it was removed as is the raddle when beaming is complete.

Posted on Sat, 04/07/2012 - 04:16

This is awesome!! Can't wait to see more.

Posted on Sat, 04/07/2012 - 14:27

I seriously cannot believe how ace this is!  Well done

Posted on Sat, 04/07/2012 - 17:10

One upgrade that will happen later in the year is steel ratchets as recommended by the experienced weavers who suggested it earlier. :) I've also got to try an 8 epi project to see how the heddles behave. I'm not getting the clearance I want as the shafts pass up and down. I have 10-1/2" heddles, I may require closer to 12". This first project was with more set than should have used.

Still learn'n and having fun.

I fulled the blanket and have it air drying between layers of towels now.

Posted on Sat, 04/07/2012 - 19:46

Back in the 70s when heddles were hand tied, the Glimakra Standard came with 10 1/2 inch heddles.  But, Swedish shuttles are also more slender than American shuttles.

Joanne

Posted on Sun, 04/08/2012 - 21:53

Joanne, I should be able to get a bit more shed than I am.  The reed is 4 inches and there is still room for wider shed. My shuttle is only an inch and a half high. I'm thinking, you need at least that to get any amount of yarn on a pirn. One pirn does almost 1 rep of birdseye across 59.5 inches. I think 1 pick shy. Of course that may be off by a pick from one pirn to the next because your not going to be dead on with the yardage wound. Seriously though, I think it's just the crowding in the reed I had. Here's a video. I could probably gain another inch of shed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXJuluEHibE

Posted on Sun, 04/08/2012 - 21:35

How thick are those warp sticks? Mine are much thinner, I believe. I use wood that is sold for repairing screen doors, a type of moulding that is smooth enough and easy to cut into the right length. My warps are generally 12 to 18 yards long so I use a bunch of sticks. Actually one of my looms has a sectional beam and I like that, but haven't bought sectionals for the other two.

Your warp beam has a nice big circumference. This loom looks great.

Bonnie

Posted on Sun, 04/08/2012 - 21:51

Bonnie, the warp sticks are 3/8" thick. I only warpped 3 yards on this first project. I plan on 20 yards for a run of blankets later this year. There's more room on that beam with the sticks in place than I'll ever use. 1 revolution of that beam and you have over 2 feet wound. ;)

Right now I have to get a bunch of other stuff done and get ready for outdoors work that last about 8 months. :)

BTW, that throw has gone out the door today. Someone else owns it now. :D

Posted on Mon, 04/09/2012 - 00:24

The film is not very long, but I did see the shed.  I think the shed is big enough.  It looked like you could maybe have your tension a little tighter.  And I noticed that you need to push the shuttle away from the selvage.  But I am sure you will get these things worked out. 

Joanne

Posted on Mon, 04/09/2012 - 01:56

I used to weave blankets for high-end craft shows and galleries, mostly on 21-yard warps because that was the best I could do with my warping board. Great that your blanket found a good owner!

Your big warp beam is great. I always used sticks because they stay firm and they let me see the colors on the next part of the warp. Most of my blankets were woven on warps that I dyed and the color range varied from one blanket to the next. I had a pile of sticks on the floor by the time the last couple of yards were being woven and am glad that the individual sticks were not very thick or heavy. I had to move my sticks at times because I had a studio open house. Actually I have a somewhat smaller pile of sticks under my warp beam right now and am nearing the end of a warp.

For a woodworker like you, making more sticks is no problem!

With a tightly wound warp, especially with the finer yarns that I am using now (currently 48 epi), a thick stick sort of presses a fold into the warp yarn, especially if it has square edges. I want a smooth, firm package of warp. My sticks have rounded edges on the top face- that's a reason for using those screen door sticks. You might experiment with different shapes and thicknesses, especially if you decide to use a yarn finer than 8/2 cotton.

Bonnie

Posted on Mon, 04/09/2012 - 08:50

Bonnie,

The sticks have rounded corners. A full round stick serves no added function as the warp is not warpped around the sticks, they just pass by the edges. Shadows in photos can be unrevealing. But none-the-less more sticks can certainly be manufactured. The first wrap onto the roller, one stick goes on an octagon face to protect against the tie cords. Then your spacing is more spread. Even those sticks can be planed down further. You certainly could cut a lot more sticks from a board. And yes those are quartered sticks. When you rip a flat sawn board, you get quartered sticks, depending on where the round of the log was you may get more of a 45 than a 90 on the edge, so you set those aside if they misbehave. And actually quartered can misbehave in thin material anyway. Just because it's quartered does not mean it won't bow. Ask any "honest" wood worker. :)

 

Joanne,

Yes, a lot of the pushing of the shuttle is just force of the throw and pull cord length. I also have to use heavier steel on the fenders that come out to the shed exits. Just those little tweaks that one works through. :)

With the crowding of the threads though, some threads would not rise or lower good. And yes tension probably was not ideal, but it was even. The steel ratchets will help. :)

Thanks for everyone's valued input to by the way. :)

Posted on Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:18

I am looking into constructing my own loom as well. I want to include various features that I have come to appreciate in several looms. Are you building from plans? If so, are the plans available? I would love to take a good look at the features you are including in your design. Is it your own design? I am thinking of using poplar as the material and I am hoping to make it 60" weaving width. I like the overall look of your sweedish loom. It is beautiful work from what the pictures tell.

Posted on Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:43

I have no plans ammann58, I just have studied things from the internet. Texts, photos, and others. The only plans I have seen are in Worst and one French set of plans that are not complete and on antique looms.

I'm not much for plans anyway, I like to do my own thing. I can read a whole stack of magazines with plans and never use one of them. :)

Posted on Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:27

I understand. I never find any plans that I like every feature of either. I only use them to get an idea of how the same things are done in different ways.

Posted on Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:35

Just one word of caution when "designing" a loom. A good loom is a "system" not just a bunch of features that one has cobbled together.

When choosing materials and final design,

1. Use materials suited to the forces expected on that loom (poplar just won't do for a 60" loom, while it might make a nice rigid heddle loom)

2. Don't mix features from various loom types.

Jack looms have differend method of operation than counterbalance or countermarche looms and what looks cool on one often doesn't work on the other.

Plans for a loom should be based on functionality and ease of use - and the ability of that loom to produce quality fabric without a lot of workarounds.

Pages