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Crafting For Those Dedicated to Experimentation

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Restoration

The Great Clean and Drag

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Some of you might remember my Loom from last year.  If you don’t, a gracious lady donated this heavy, metal, therapy loom to me.  At the time she thought that she would be moving to Maine, that fell through but she will be spending the Fall in Spain and walking El Camino, and so she was worried about transporting this monstrosity.  Her kind offer was met by great gratitude on my part.  I then set about trying to make sure that it would be in the best working order I could manage.  I spent the entire month of July 2016 scraping off old paint, trying different methods of rust removal, adding new paint, buying a new stainless steel reed, getting the heddles in order, and so much more.  Along the way I learned everything I could about the loom, along with NEVER SCRAPE OFF OLD PAINT, JUST PAINT OVER IT.  (lead content concerns, no point in courting cancer)

I left the loom to the mercies of my detached garage, the door doesn’t seal quite right and it is right up against the woods so, like all of the garages in the region, it tends to get mice.  At the end of 2016 I still could not get each of my treadles to move independently.  I utilized every trick I knew of and a few I begged off of guild members and still could not get the last two to move separately from each other.  I spent the winter brooding over it, and for most of the summer did not get around to doing anything with my loom.

Then early in September, my last weekend before the colleges I work for started up again, I dragged my big loom into the sunlight.  Now over a year later I looked at her again.  I need to touch up the paint, see if I can get some of the rust off of some of the springs, and warp her up to make some rugs eventually.  What I did accomplish was  enough for me, for now.

I wiped her down with Clorox wipes, making sure to pay attention to anything that looked like it might be detritus, and let her dry while I tried to get the painters tape off of the treadles (don’t let that sit on wood for a year, just not a good idea).  Then I took a cheap little hacksaw to the part of the treadles that looked like they were sticking.  My beautiful yellow loom snapped that hacksaw like it was plastic, luckily it snapped in the wood and didn’t cause me any injury.  Okay, so that isn’t going to work, oh well it was only a couple of bucks.

Next I went to the files I had purchased.  They are supposed to go into an electric drill, but, my cordless drill is not very robust and I cannot figure out how to change bits in my father’s old drill.  However, by hand I managed to hack and saw through some of the wood and loosen up the treadles, bit by bit.  After a half an hour or so of going over the top, up through the bottom of either side of both of the sticky treadles I began to move them at cross purposes, one up one down, several times very quickly.  They loosened up enough that I was able to get them each moving very freely.  I cannot say for sure if it was the naval jelly last year, the hacking, or just the sheer fact of trying to move them independently, but I am very happy to say that my treadles now work on my loom.  At least they did a couple of weeks ago.

Once I had her treadles moving as they ought I turned my attention back to tying up her harnesses to the appropriate treadles.   I had some Texsolv cord from last year that was anchored to each harness and then tied to the treadle, but not properly since they did not have freedom of motion at the time.  This was an awkward motion since I had to reach quite far back with my foot in an attempt to reach the point where I could push at the Texsolv to move a heddle or two.  Now I attempted to tie up my heddles to the treadles the way they were meant to be.  Okay, so my loom was on it’s side and when I turned it back over my treadles are almost flush to the floor and not really able to open a shed.  Oh well, at least they are threaded through the treadles and it is just a matter of taking up the slack so that they treadles are appropriately in the air and able to jack up the shafts.

By this point I am certain that you are wondering why I am going to all of this trouble right at the end of the season.  After all she is just going to go back into the external garage again, right?  Nope!  I managed to clear out a lot of my college stuff, it’s only been 10 years, from the garage under the house.  Now my beautiful yellow loom is living in my attached garage, yay!  There isn’t really a lot of room to warp her up so I do not know if I will have time to get her set up for Rugs before I have to start putting the car in the garage, but at least now she won’t have to worry about mice.

Hopefully next year I will be able to get the external garage cleared out and sealed up appropriately.  Until that time, I will get to look at my loom and hope that I get a chance to make up some rugs this winter.

Happy Crafting!

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Big Project Update 4

The Loom is now complete!  I cannot believe how well it turned out.  The pedals still do not work but I managed to rig up some Texsolv Cord and Arrow clips (that are specific to the cord) so that I am able to treadle with them.  I did have to tie them up in a 1, 3, 4, 2 pattern instead of 1, 2, 3, 4.  When I tried tying them up straight from 1-4 then I could not press down on 1 enough to get a good shed (lift the yarn enough to pass the shuttle through).

Before the next part, I have to give you some background information.  I live with my mother on almost 2 acres of land.  We are surrounded by a bit of forest.  The house is built into a hill, which really helps avoid flooding, with a garage under the house and another detached garage.  We use the garage under the house for the car (we share one between us), and have not been using the detached garage for much of anything since my father died 7 years ago.  This is why my weaving has stalled.

While we have not been using the garage, other creatures have decided to move in.  Specifically there are some PVC pipes on a metal rack that a family of mice has decided to move into.  This was actually alright with me for a little while, I set out traps and would play music to keep them away thinking that the traps would get them overnight one of these days.  This worked long enough for me to get a bit of a sampler project done, then one day I looked up and found a face peeking at me out of the PVC pipe.  Well that was the end of my weaving until we get someone in to get rid of the mice.  My bravery only goes so far, telling a patron that I am pretty sure is high that they need to leave the library, keep it down, watch their language; Fine.  Telling a patron that I know is drunk that they need to leave the cashbox right where it is, and taking it out of their hands; Fine.  Mice around when I am trying to relax and concentrate on my weaving; NOT FINE!

Weaving Sample 1Weaving Sample 2

I managed to get these twill samplers woven (it’s a fraction of what I wanted to do but a decent start), and as soon as someone has been in to see about the mice I will put a topcoat on my loom and start planning for next year!

Spring Weaving will be a blast!

Happy Crafting

Big Project Update 3

I cannot believe it!  The loom is almost finished!  For Reference, this is what the loom looked like when I started:

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This is what the loom looks like now:

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I still have some work to do with the pedals, the two furthest to the right do not seem to want to work right.  It is amazing what a little hard work, primer, yellow paint, and Feed n’ Wax will do for a piece of furniture.  Please note, I did paint the heddle rods inside each frame, I did not prime these pieces.  That was a big mistake.  I think it is simply the fact that I did not add primer and that the heddles are metal, but the paint has been flaking and chipping since I began putting the heddles back on.  I believe now that they are on the rods the chipping will slow down, but it is something to be aware of.

Since this began life as a therapy loom there are weights on top of each heddle frame, I will not be keeping them there but I did want them painted to match the loom.  I am so very excited to see the loom this close to being done, I have a semi-gloss topcoat that I will be putting on…well I intended to get it done soon but Mom is so excited to see what this device can do the final gloss might wait for the colder months!

Big Project

This is where I admit that I have been Pre-Scheduling these posts so that I am able to have content each week!  Lol.  If I did not do that then I would have 20 posts in 2 weeks then it would be 3 months until I get back to it.   That being said, by time you read these posts I hope to be done with my project, but stay tuned to see how my summer went!

I promised myself I would do a number of larger projects this year.  Due to circumstances I think that my larger projects are going to be:

  1. Get the paint/rust off of my ‘new to me’ loom and heddle bars; repaint it and reassemble it for use (probably next year)
  2. Make sure that I have enough projects ready to go for a set of classes 1-2 a month (1/week if I can swing it) for the public library!  Very exciting

As a refresher, this is what my Loom looks like.

It is a bit hard to tell from here but the bar on the bottom that the pedals are attached to is completely rust covered and there are rust spots all along the paint.  Not pictured are the weights that came with this loom, since it was a Therapy Loom.  The heddle bars, pictured left, are not supposed to be that color, they are completely rust covered.

I just started this last night and since then I have managed to get the heddle bars completely cleaned off and one side painted for 7 out of the 8 heddle bars.  The 8th is being used to hold the good heddles, 734 total.  Tomorrow, if it is not raining, I plan on painted the other side of my first 7 heddles.

I have also begun trying to get the paint and rust off of the weights that come with the loom.  They are in pretty bad shape and I thought they would be a good place to make any mistakes.  Using an attachment to a cordless drill I am able to get the paint off quite quickly.  Within 30 minutes I had the paint off of one side for 2 of the pieces.  The rust is in there a little more deeply than I would like and so after I get the paint off of all of them I will get to work on the rust.  After they are cleaned off to the best that I am going to get them I plan on putting Rustoleum Primer and a topcoat of Yellow paint.

This is a huge project and I am a bit intimidated to get started with it, but I hope bit by bit this gets done this summer so I can have a fall and winter of picking out yarns to use on it next year!

Happy Crafting!

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