re designing a loom

I have a counter balanced loom (4 harness) . Is is possible to switch the treddles from being attached to the back brace to the front like a jack loom. It is very uncomfortable to have to lift your feet to press the treddles . It slows me down. I have a good wood worker and I believe that I can salavage the treddles. Is this possible or am I overlooking a mechanical principle.




Posted on Mon, 06/04/2012 - 06:13

Very possibly I like a wide shed. I
am using vey bulky materials for rugs and load my shuttles full. Plus the
harnesses have 13 and half inch heddles. They ride pretty low when tied. Thanks
for the reply.

Posted on Mon, 06/04/2012 - 06:45

Thanks for the look. I was
wondering when the change between front and back treadle placement came about. I
feel it will fairly easy to change. This loom came without a front brace though
there are bolt holes for one so I thought I could pull the cotter pins that
hold the treadles on the back and have my wood worker make a new brace for the
front with the holder for the treadles.

Your studio is nice. I too have a separate
building for the weaving, though I also park the vehicle there also. The
previous owner built it. It's 1200 square feet; he finished it inside with high
ceilings, excellent florescent lighting, a large shop heater with a thermostat,
storage, phone and cable. And all this came with a house. My realtor couldn't
understand why I spent more time looking at the garage than the house.

One thing you might want to do is
get a carpet remnant for the looms to sit on. It kind of makes it nice.

Sorry It is time for bed. I hit the save button to many times

Posted on Mon, 06/04/2012 - 09:49

(If this will appear twice, my apologies - the first try seems to have gone off in cyberspace)

In "olden times" in Sweden, not all treadles were attached to the loom. Here is a picture (from Så vävde de, Grenander-Nyberg, ISBN 91-36-00596-7). Maybe you could make something like this, to try the idea out?

Posted on Mon, 06/04/2012 - 18:48

That is an old phot. I have since moved and now have a lovely little weaving space up in a fully finished room, with windows and heat and all those modern amenities :) The Allen loom went on to be a learning loom to another person.

Posted on Mon, 06/04/2012 - 21:21

Hi Vennui,

Jack looms have the harness frames positioned differently than counter balance looms.  On your counter balance loom, the warp threads are straight from front beam to back beam as they go through the heddles. 

But on a jack loom, the harness frames hold the warp one inch (sometimes more) below the front and back beams.  This is why they don't recommend weaving rugs on a jack loom.  It's not possible to create enough tension.  With more tension, the warp lifts up the harnesses in the "at rest" position, which creates a smaller shed for the shuttle.

This photo shows texsolv heddles on my PVC jack loom.  The bottom of the ruler shows where the top of the eye is in the heddle.  The black thread is the level line between the front and back beams.

I think you might have a lot to redesign to get a proper shed on your loom.


Posted on Tue, 06/05/2012 - 00:42

Thanks ,that's exactly what I needed to know. It looked easy ,but I was sure there was a reason looms are made the way they are.

Posted on Tue, 06/05/2012 - 02:41

You might be able to have your woodworker friend attach an extension to the ends of the treadels so that you can press them down easier. 

Or - maybe what you need is a higher bench.  If you sat up higher, you could press down on the treadels easier.

Posted on Tue, 06/05/2012 - 08:24

why does the placement of the treadles influence the action of the loom?

I have met several cb looms with front-hinged treadles, even if most modern Swe type looms have them hinged at the back.

Vennui, maybe just putting what you called a front brace would help? Then you have a place to rest your feet that is nearer to where the treadles hang?

Posted on Tue, 06/05/2012 - 16:54

I had several Hammett counterbalanced looms that were converted from back-hinged treadles to front hinged treadles.  We converted (re-verted?) them to back-hinged because we got a better shed and easier treadling. 

I'm assuming you checked to make sure tie-up cords weren't too short or too long, and you have the right height bench to go with it. 

And, if the beater is adjustable, make sure your warp goes through the center of the reed when at rest. 

And, the reed is about 5 1/2" high for 13 1/2" heddles.




Posted on Tue, 06/05/2012 - 21:43

She had mentioned redesigning her loom like a jack loom, which is why I provided that info.  Changing the hinging of the treadels from back to front would not, itself, change the action. 

Posted on Wed, 06/06/2012 - 10:21

Whether or not it would work would depend on how much effort it takes to open the shed. With the hinge at the back it takes a lot of movement to open the shed as much as you like, but not much effort. If you bring the hinge to the front, you will reduce the movement needed, but you will have to put more effort into that movement. If you are already having to press down hard to open the shed fully, you probably won't be able to open it as much as you would like when you move the pivot to the front.

Put another way, if you want to open a deep shed, that means a lot of movement of the shafts which in turn means either a lot of movement of your feet or a lot of pressure from them.

Posted on Tue, 01/29/2019 - 16:23

I'm struggling with the same issues of this thread.  My new to me Hammett is a large one- I had to add a handle to the beater for a more comfortable reach.  It is set up with treadles hinged on the front, but the attaching iron piece is on the outside of the lower beam.  This restricts the downward track of the treadles, they cannot go farther than the supporting beam allows.  Treadling feels heavy compared the the Hammett of my youth.  There are pieces of stair treads stuck onto some of the treadles, so I know from their position that this loom was used this way in the past.  The lamms center nicely above the treadles in their current configuration.  For easier treadling against a tight rug warp, I might prefer the treadles in the back.  I suppose I could drill more holes in the treadles if they don't fall directly under the lamms.    But the big problem is the shed!  The heddle size is 12 3/8 (bar edge distance).  The lower layer of warp does not lay on the race.  I have not been able to find cord specifics . The two smaller rollers should be X inches from the top roller.  The top of the shafts should be X inches from the smaller rollers.  The lamms should hang level?  slightly slanted up?  Which?  The cords to the treadles should measure X inches to the lamms.  These relationships get into physics beyond my skill level!  On your Hammetts, do the treadles pivot from the outside of the lower beam or the inside of the lower beam?