After many years of borrowing a friend’s loom, I decided it was time to construct my own.  Below the cut you can see the result!

Materials:

Tools:

  • Chop Saw (you could totally use hand tools for this project)
  • Electric Sander Thingy (technical term)
  • Hand tool for wood carving
  • Dremel
  • Brad gun
  • Drill
  • Drill bits (one small, one slightly larger than the bolts)

I got my inspiration for this project from a post on Weavolution by user sarahnopp. She spent slightly less on her project ($27), but I went with oak (because it seemed right).

Something to note going in, I AM NOT A WOOD WORKER.  I’ve done a couple of small projects, but I’m not an expert by any means.  On the other hand, this project doesn’t require a lot of wood-working expertise.

Step 1 – Measuring

I took the 4′ board and measured out the following five pieces. Each piece used the whole 6″ width of the board.

  • Two pieces 2″ long – for the tension bars.
  • Two pieces 4″ long – for the risers.
  • One piece 33″ long – for the bulk of the board.

measuring-diagram

This left a remainder (in grey above) that was used for practice pieces later.

Step 2 – Decorating

skimotifI was sitting around at a friend’s house with my piece of wood (like you do) and doodled an ring-chain motif from an Iron Age ski found in Finland (see figure from Ancient Skis of Central Finland by Janne Vilkuna, Fennoscandia archaeologica I (1984), pg 36). After doing the doodle, I realized I hadn’t pre-sanded the piece, which precluded painting the motif on (my original plan). Having thwarted my own plan, I decided to carve the pattern into the wood.  Because that seemed easy and straight forward.

Have you ever done done wood carving?  Because I hadn’t.  I headed up to Captaincy with my board and cheap tools (last used for soapstone carving) in hand and a grand plan to whiz right through the carving.

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Attempting to whiz

About 20 hours of carving later, I was about 80% done and ready to drive back south.

Step 3 – Cutting

Back in town, I headed over to the old pater familias’ garage to take advantage of his advanced wood-working tools (all hail the power tools).

I used the chop saw to cut the the board into six pieces (the main length, two risers, two tension bars, and a piece of waste).  Using a small drill bit, I drilled starter holes for the bolts. Then I sized up the drill bits and drilled holes slightly larger that the actual diameter of the bolts.  I sanded the risers and tension bars using a medium grit sand paper and then fine grit sand paper to make sure that there wouldn’t be an issue of splinters snagging on thread.

20160910_103952
Look how nice and neat!

Using the dremel (for the first time), I cleaned up my hand carving and finished the rest of the motif. This did not go amazing.

20160910_105547
I started from the bottom and ended up here.

Once I was content with my dremel work (read:sick of the dremel), I drilled a pair of holes on each end matching up to the holes I drilled in the tension bars.  To do this, I lined the tensioning bar up with the end of the main lenght of the loom and marked the holes I had drilled previously. I then drilled a pilot hole and then a hole slightly larger than the diameter of my bolt. Holes drilled, I finished sanding the main piece.  Last step was attaching the risers about 4 1/2″ from each end with wood glue and brads.

Let everything dry, and BAM! a loom!

20160913_232151
Ta-Da!!! So proud.

I’ve been using the loom about a week now, and I’m pretty pleased with the result!

festal-missal-savoy-c-1460PLEASE NOTE: This loom does not match any of the medieval depictions of small band looms that I have seen. The majority of the depictions I have seen are two tall uprights with the weaving strung between them. There are also depictions of box looms in the later medieval and early modern (Renaissance) period.

Image of a band loom from a festal missial of Savoy, c. 1460 (The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, KB 128 D30)

 

 

 

One thought on “My New (budget) Loom

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