Finlandia -- I need Help

Hello New Friends! 
I find myself the surprised (happy) owner of a loom. This baby has been sitting in a neglected basement for who knows how long. I have begun de-mildewing her and getting things cleaned up but... I think there are parts missing. Where can I get new parts that will work with this loom?

Framing pegs definitely missing, (but I think I can re-create those maybe -- will making some chunks of wood fit in the hole and look pretty be enough?)

the front brake (that metal bar thing) is missing, also the side handle for the warp beam. Where can I look to replace those? 

It's still in pieces, but looks like it has 4 shafts and 4 treaddles.... oh, and are the heddles supposed to be wire? I read that countermarch use string heddles, but I also read that countermarch have top mounted swinging beaters, and the Finlandia appears to be a bottom mounted beater. Do I need new heddles for it?

The reeds are rusted (what's a good reed to get if I can't un-rust them?),

and the tie-cords look doubtful (do I have to get linen?),

and although I refuse to be scared by the "countermarch is scary" stuff I've been reading online.... I do need some help. Sixteen years ago I had limited access to mostly table looms so my confidence is a bit hampered by my ignorance. 

Right now I'm focused on getting it put together (restored, if you will) but I shall soon have oodles of questions on actually using it. Please help me out. I don't even know what sort of information I don't know yet. Smile


Posted on Fri, 10/02/2015 - 21:15

1. Get a copy of "Big Book of Weaving" for the basics of working with your new loom.

2. Varpa is long out of business, but the Finlandia is similar to the Toika Liisa - you might want to contact Webs and see if they can supply parts that will work on your loom. Otherwise, you'll need to make parts yourself - not that difficult if you know the dimensions.

3. The Finlandia came with a standing beater and the possibility of adding a hanging on - like the Liisa. For weaving rag rugs, weavers seem to like the standing beater. 

4. Heddles. The Varpa looms shipped with string heddles in Europe. You may have found one that has been altered by the owner here.

5. Linen tieup cords were replaced in the early 1980's by Texsolv cord - "normal" for the ties for lams, heddles and shafts - and "extra strength" for beam cords. You use the old linen cords as an example and cut yourself a new set from a big roll of Texsolv cord.

6. Tensioning. This loom originally shipped with a ratchet and pawl on both beams. The assemblies are generall custom made for the loom maker. You should start with Toika about getting replacement parts that would fit. Since this type of loom isn't brand specific, you don't have to have the original pieces. Replacing tension wheels or ratchet/pawl assemblies might be fairly pricey. 

7. Rusty reeds - don't spend a lot of time cleaning them if they are pitted and rough. Our most popular reeds are 12 dent - 8 or 10 are also very useful - depends on what you want to weave and what the estimated sett will be.

Posted on Fri, 10/02/2015 - 21:35

I have a Finlandia, if you need pictures. I had a woodworking friend add parts to make it a 12 shaft (came with 4). It's a great loom. Sara, I just did some rugs on it on 4 shafts and the standing beater is nice for this, I think.

Posted on Sat, 12/29/2018 - 23:30

I have a finlandia as well, and have been thinking of replacing my shaft bars with something less bulky, so the frame can accommodate more shafts.  Do you have any insight to offer?

Posted on Sat, 10/03/2015 - 16:34

Thank You Sara and Shawn Smile
I'm sanding out some ugly scars and stains in the frame... if I keep it away from the area where the warp/cloth will be, do you think I can use a linseed oil on the wood? 

Posted on Sat, 10/03/2015 - 19:06

Our Oxaback looms come from the factory finished with BOILED linseed and paint thinner (REAL turpentine may also be used). The solvent pulls the linseed into the wood and won't affect cloth on the loom. This will not work on wood that has already been finished.

Posted on Sat, 10/03/2015 - 19:11

On my older looms and tools (with a finish, even if rough) I use a recipe for "Spoon Butter". Basically a combination of bees wax and coconut oil (1:2). I apply it when the wood looks dry, and buff any extra.



Posted on Sat, 10/03/2015 - 20:15

I used linseed oil/turpentine 50/50 mix on my beams and shuttles. You have to do 2 or three coats thinned with the turpentine to pentrate. Then a coat of full strength linseed. You let set a few minutes each coat and be sure to rub excess off so you don't get gumming. Give it 12+ hours between coats. So apply, rub down after a few minutes, and let dry. Be sure to do it with good ventilation and dry air (heated building), you don't want to breath turpentine fumes. Be careful of the rags, put them in something non combustable. An old dry paint can with lid. I purchased a bottle of turpentine that was sold in plastic 1 litre jugs. Not safe. Only buy it in metal cans, turpentine will each plastic. I could smell turpentine one day and that was the cause, plastic container turning to an ooze. The finish will be skin smooth on the wood. :)

Posted on Sat, 10/03/2015 - 21:20

Sounds good. I want something to re-protect the wood where I've had to sand away the finish to remove stains and gouges, but I don't want to do anything that's bad for the fiber later. I thought I remembered something about linseed oil from when I assebled my spinning wheel kit ... but that was 22 years ago, and not a loom, so I wasn't sure what to look for at the hardware store. Thank you so much for the advice!