Thought Products Loom cassandra 1

Is anyone familiar with a Thought Products Loom? The model is the Cassandra 1. There is one for sale in my area, and I was wondering if it's sturdy enough to weave rag rugs. It's an 8 shaft, 10 treddle loom, with a weaving width of 40", I guess it can be adjusted to be a jack, counterbalance, or countermarch loom. It sounds really interesting, like it could weave a variety of things, but my main purpose would be rugs. When I did a google search, the Spinning Wheel Sleuth came up with a recent article, but I don't subscribe to it, so I don't know what was written.

I would really appreciate any information someone might have.

Doreen

Comments

Posted on Wed, 09/01/2010 - 21:11

Hi Doreen,

Sounds fascinating.  I hope someone here has info for you.  Can you try it out before buying?  That is often the best way to tell.  See how firmly you can beat with it, check how heavy the loom is and if the warp can tolerate good, firm tension.  Ask the current owner if they have done rugs on it and how hard they have beat with it.  

One other thing, using the search box at the top of the page (right side) see if anyone on Weavolution has written anything about the Cassandra or entered one in the Loom database.

Claudia

Posted on Wed, 09/01/2010 - 22:51

I had a Barbara V (5) 64" 8/10. For me, the loom was simply too high. The breast beam was 40" high and while it did set up in all modes, I found the sheds could have been better but I am terribly spoiled with the sheds on the Louet looms. I did rugs on it but never enjoyed it due to the large heavy beater and poor ergonomics of working on it for someone who is 5'1". Now the Cassandra could be a bit smaller over all and you taller. I would certainly ask the breast beam height. It is a beautifully made loom and if it has been well cared for (mine needed a lot of restoration and I often wonder if I could have tweaked the harnesses a bit better) it might work well for you. 

Posted on Wed, 09/01/2010 - 23:16

The Cassandra is quite a bit smaller than the Barbara. I saw a picture of the Barbara and it looked really tall and just plain big. I came accross an interview with Michael Rohde on WeaveZine who used to have the Cassandra, and he said it really wasn't sturdy enough to get a tight warp for rugs, so that answers my question, but it still sounds interesting, and I don't have an 8 shaft loom..... So I'm still considering it. I can always use it for blankets or shawls, and I would think I could make rag place mats or smaller rag items. I can try it out before I decide, so maybe I'll look at it and see how high that breast beam is. He also said that the Thought Products Co. later came out with the much larger Barbara that was suitable for rugs. Thanks for the info.

I already have a Hammett Loom for rugs, but I thought if I bought another loom it would be nice to use it for rugs too.

Doreen

Posted on Thu, 12/01/2011 - 22:05

Doreen---  What have you learned about the Cassandra.  I am just reaSSEMBLING a " new to me" Cassandra.  The brake system seems to need repair.  The spring is stretched out.  I am not sure how to set the floater shafts and different length cables to the treadles.  Any advice?  Thanks

Posted on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 18:14

I'm wondering if anyone has an original manual that they would scan and send via e mail.  I just bought my loom - I'm the third owner - and there are several pages missing that are critical to the re-build of this monster.

Thanks so much!

Posted on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 21:34

I have a Barbara IV, and while it is certainly sturdy enough to do rugs on. the tension system is not up to it.  I have heard of people replacing the brake drum with ratchet and pawl. and I think that would be the thing to do.

Posted on Thu, 04/25/2013 - 12:45

Can anyone tell me what the IV is capable of? I had thought she was able to do 2 forms of tapestry and 3 modes of weaving - being jack, counterbalnce & countermache, but am now second guessing myself... It would make sense that the #'s after the name refer to how many modes it can accomodate, so maybe it's the V who can do all 5 forms, then the four would be missing one of the weaving modes, but which one?...Leave it to me to take something so simple and end up confusing myself w/it!! Thanx!

Posted on Thu, 01/30/2014 - 12:39

I just purchased what I believe is the Cassandra. A beautiful almost unused loom. Once I disassemble her I'll decide whether to repair the band system or add a more conventional ratchet /paw setup. Still gathering info , but did contact Janet Meany. I'm bringing it home in a couple weeks.

Posted on Fri, 01/31/2014 - 00:56

One thing to remember when you buy a "an almost unused loom" is that if you get a 40 year old piece of wooden machinery and it looks new, there may have been something about it that the original owner found unworkable.  There are exceptions: people buy looms and find they don't have the time; circumstances change; but something that the owner couldn't cope with is a real possibility.  I have a Barbara IV, and the tension, like the Cassandra, has two friction brakes.  The intent was to give an infinitely adjustable tension, but I find it is too fiddly, and will not give me the high tension that I would like.  Having bought myself a bandsaw for my birthday, I will replace the drums with ratchets.

Posted on Mon, 02/03/2014 - 10:30

Fiddly was exactly how I got this loom and I'm sure it sat idle almost all of its life. We will have to stay in touch and exchange pics on a ratchet conversion, but I'm going to give the drums a chance 1st. Hopefully I will be talking to Big White Sofa Dog again soon. I start dissasembly tomorrow to bring it home from the cultural arts center. I can't wait to get started!

Posted on Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:53

Are there any forums or groups dealing with these looms. Info is like nonexistent ... Haha. Mindys 100 year old union is easier to find stuff on.

Posted on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 12:31

I moved the Cassandra home and cleaned her up. I really don't see a problem with the friction system, other than its definately not a rug loom. Should be fine with a little tweaking here and there. She's waiting on texsolv heddles and tie ups now. Should be weaving shortly.

Posted on Mon, 06/29/2015 - 23:05

We recently got a Cassandra, loaded it up and made a 4yd rag rug on it with reasonable results.  In our case, the brakes were really sticky to the point it was difficult to wind at all.  I took the beams apart and discovered that the screws holding the metal ends on had pretty well stripped out the wood, so I plugged in some wooden matches and tightened them up.  I found a couple of splits in the beam ends that required gluing, and add ing the matches started another.  To fix this, I added 3" diameter hose clamps just inside the metal ends to prevent further splitting.  I also cleaned the brakes, and the result is that they wind better, but they still grab well.  I'm not convinced that the existing braking system is stout enough to produce the tension required for serious rug working, but for simple rag rugs, it seems to be OK.  

Posted on Mon, 06/29/2015 - 23:06

We recently got a Cassandra, loaded it up and made a 4yd rag rug on it with reasonable results.  In our case, the brakes were really sticky to the point it was difficult to wind at all.  I took the beams apart and discovered that the screws holding the metal ends on had pretty well stripped out the wood, so I plugged in some wooden matches and tightened them up.  I found a couple of splits in the beam ends that required gluing, and add ing the matches started another.  To fix this, I added 3" diameter hose clamps just inside the metal ends to prevent further splitting.  I also cleaned the brakes, and the result is that they wind better, but they still grab well.  I'm not convinced that the existing braking system is stout enough to produce the tension required for serious rug working, but for simple rag rugs, it seems to be OK.  

Posted on Thu, 09/03/2015 - 23:51

I have a Cassandra that I've had since 1986 having purchased it from the original owner who bought it in 1976 in Somerset, PA.  For two years I was a production weaver for a clothing designer and thought nothing of putting 40 yard warps of 20/2s.  It has such an incredible shed and is so easy on my body.  We did have to take it completely apart to get it up the stairs of our farmhouse but I will take it apart when I leave. I really love my 8-harness Cassandra! 

Posted on Fri, 09/04/2015 - 02:03

have one of  those looms, I have been weavaing on it for years and do not reccomend it for rug weaving. it isn't sturdy enough for the beating of more than one or more rug.   For yardage, etc, it think it is fantasic, I use my  glimarka for rugs, 
I weave with bison  fiber 85 per cent of the time

Posted on Sun, 01/03/2016 - 22:06

Help! My husband and I are trying to get a Cassandra loom together.

We are at the point to attach the harnesses to the topmost pulley. The loom was in pieces and we have the instruction manual, but it doesn't quite show what kind of material goes through the top pulley.

Is it the same coated wire I see used on every other part? If so I don't see which ones to use. They all have the colored sleeves identifying them for attaching to the treadles.

If you have pictures or can give me an idea it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Suzi & Warren

Posted on Mon, 01/04/2016 - 01:33

Send your email and i will take pics and send them to you. Ours is not in operation yet because my wife is always on the union custom. Lol. Im going to get it tied up soon, Rob..

Posted on Tue, 04/07/2020 - 19:44

<p>Can anyone provide anything like a manual (assembly or usage instructions) for the&nbsp;THOUGHT PRODUCTS&nbsp;CASSANDRA. I&#39;ve recently purchased one and it&#39;s a bit more complicated that I thought. Any ideas RE: where I can find a manual would be appreciated.&nbsp;</p>

Posted on Fri, 04/17/2020 - 21:12

I have had a Cassandra since 1986 and have the manual. I would be happy to get it copied (it's on paper longer than my printer) and send it to you at cost. I love my loom and will be sad when I have to downsize out of my farmhouse since it eats up an entire small bedroom! I used to be a production weaver for a clothing designer and found weaving 10+ hours never gave me problems. I love the overhead beater. I do hope you got all the cables and weights too. Let me know about the manual.

Posted on Sat, 07/04/2020 - 22:06

<p>I would be very grateful for a copy of the Cassandra manual or any information. Pictures and the like. . Please contact&nbsp;[email protected]. Happy to pay expences.</p>