Should the heddles be higher

i bought a beautiful piece of furniture that was called a loom with the description needs a bit of TLC. i thought that meant needed repair. I wasn’t expecting to be the third owner of a loom that nobody had been able to make work. I think that the loom would work better if I raised the heddles so that the warp was in a straight line with the two beams To give a wider shed.

would it be better to lower the beater to widen the shed, or perhaps a bit of both.

I can already hear the comments about buying a loom without trying it out first, Even if I scrap this loom and use the parts to make a better loom I got a bargain. I am amazed that someone  who was obviously a skilled woodworker would build something like this that didn’t work. When I get this loom so that it is a joy to use I will make a post showing all of my modifications. 



Posted on Sun, 05/13/2018 - 12:15

can you post some more pictures?  It looks like you have been weaving, is the shed so small you are having a difficult time passing the shuttle cleanly?  or is your concern the abraision of rubbing on reed/shuttle race?  On jack looms there is a little dip down at the heddles (it isn't a straight line from beam to beam)  clean sheds are whats important, size only matters to pass shuttle.  the warp should just touch the shuttle race.  What you change would depend on loom design - if you shafts are tied up then shortening the cords is easy and reversible.  do you know who made it?

Posted on Sun, 05/13/2018 - 12:55

Lainey's answers were every good. Seeing a picture of what your shed looks like would help. The quickest thing you can do is play with the beater, moving it up and down. How are the treadles tied to the lamms? How do the lamms move the heddles frames?

Posted on Sun, 05/13/2018 - 13:33

Being a skilled woodworker doesn't really relate to making a functional machine; see Andreas Moeller's looms.  What specifically do you mean when you say it doesn't work?  What is the action; jack, CB or CM?  What kind of loom have you used or are comparing this to?  

Posted on Sun, 05/13/2018 - 15:30

one thing that I noticed is that the cloth beam looks like it is very close to the underside of the beater bar.  More than a few yards of cloth on the beam and it looks like it would rub.

just my 2 cents.

Posted on Sun, 05/13/2018 - 20:55

This looks like a jack loom; I don't see any cords.  If that is correct, the warp is positioned exactly as it should be.  Changing the location of the  heddles or beater will not inprove anything.  Without knowing what the actual problem is, it's hard to comment further.  This loom may have a perfectly adequate shed, but if it's not what ypu're used to, you may not realize that.

Posted on Sun, 05/13/2018 - 21:25

Wrong, changing the height of the beater can made a differance in the size of the shed.

Posted on Mon, 05/14/2018 - 01:51

Yes, if the beater is out of position in respect to the heddles.  With the very limited information that we have, that does not appear to be the case.  If the beater is lowered, as suggested, the warp may not lie flat on the base of the reed, and threads may be picked up in error.  Also, the space between the cloth beam and beater, already small(as noted above) will be decreased more.  We don't actually know what doesn't work.  I have seen people try to "fix" what they saw as vague, sloppy treadling on  CM loom because it wasn't like their jack loom.

Posted on Mon, 05/14/2018 - 05:45

Thanks for all your comments.


I have no idea who made this loom.


Here are its faults and what I have done or will do to fix the loom.


The treadles were too close together.


I knocked the wood spacers off the base ,inserted washers and reglued.



The heddle frames stuck in the post slots.


I shortened the frames and made some plastic end bearings as in leclerc looms.


The beater supports were identical.


I made a new lower reed support with a shuttle race track.


The breast beam is 36 inches above the floor.


I sit on an elevated stool to weave. This is comfortable.


The cloth beam is poorly situated in relation to the breast beam. The cloth between the breast beam and the cloth beam interferes with beater travel.

 In the picture you can  see the interference to the beater.

I will move the cloth beam towards the breast beam so that it no longer interferes. This means drilling new axle holes.



The loom is a jack loom with parts bought and/or copied from leclerc.


After reading some of the questions I had another look at the loom.


In this picture with the warp under a good tension the heddle frames are floating about an inch above the jacks.


I think that answers my question. The jack pivots have to be raised to the point where the jacks support the heddle frames and allow the correct downward deflection of the warp at rest. I can do this by redrilling the jack axel holes.


The outer yellow warp threads are selvage lines. I think that the proper deflection should be about half of what is in the picture.


Does that seem right?


Then I will adjust sword length.



This loom is now ok to use,when I get finished with this loom it will be a joy to use.


I will have a beautiful loom with a few extra holes where I have made adjustment.

Posted on Mon, 05/14/2018 - 14:59

I have described most of the faults of this loom in my previous comment.

It suprises me that anyone could make a loom so bad that looks so good.

As far as being used to different looms, I spent a week in Rothen Germany throwing a shuttle back and forth using one of Andreas Moeller's countermarche  looms. I have used and love the counterbalance loom that I described in "my first DIY loom" which remains in Thailand. I have another leclerc jack loom that I bougnt as a pile of lumber from a thrift store for $20 CAD. After a bit of re-enforcing the worn parts and replacing some missing parts it works well.

Andreas told me that he was very disappointed about his loom plan sales in Europe. He said Europeans did not want to make a loom as rough as his looms looked. He had hired a carpenter to build a high end loom using his plans that he could use as a sales tool.

I am hoping to build a loom using Andreas plans but I will be building it in Canada and I will be able to buy hardware not easily availabe in the third world. My loom will have more appeal to the Europeans.