August 6, 2012 8:09 am | by

…still so excited about my week of weaving in July.   Looms.   I think I see an addiction forming.

The Harrisville 4 harness arrived on Thursday – in kit form.  In plain english, that mean two boxes filled with parts, loads and loads of parts.  Recognizing that assembly is not my strong suit, I scheduled Jim for a fun Sunday project.  My plan:  Jim puts the loom together, while I watch.   The promo info from Harrisville indicated that the assembly would take anywhere from 5 to 10 hours to assemble.  Realizing that I had an experienced handyman doing the job, we planned on the short side of time.   The real plan went something like that…

The “unpacking”

With parts inventory in hand, my job was to unpack, unwrap, and count all of the pieces.  I sorted and counted everything and placed each part onto a scrap of paper indicating what it was, and how many were supposed to be there.  Harrisville did a great job of bagging and tagging the screws and washers so that I didn’t have to take out my tape measure.  There were a gazillion.

As I was unpacking and tagging the metal parts, Jim was sanding and hand rubbing each of wooden pieces with oil finish.  ‘mmmm smelly…. and sticky.   …and loads and loads of wooden pieces.  Two coats of finish on SEVENTY-SIX wooden parts!  I’d asked Jim if he wanted to take home the instructions on Saturday night to look them over… no we’ll be fine.  Didn’t know about the oil finishing requirement!

We’re now at about 3 hours.

While the finish is drying, we’re off to Lowes to find extra chains and hooks for the treadles.  I wanted more than are shipped with the looms.  Found the chain at Lowes, and the hooks at Michaels.  Awesome!

It’s time to start putting it together.

Laurel and Hardy.  The 2 Stooges.   etc. etc. etc.   The drill isn’t in the truck.  Harrisville included a nice heavy duty screwdriver.  Jim assures me that it will be fine.   I’m armed with the assembly manual – my job is to read the directions to him.  He’s grabbing parts and hand driving screws.   …paying no mind to my nice little parts labels.  With the feet screwed to the uprights, and the braces attached to the castle, I began to select and pass the screws to him as I read.  We’re out of the 1 1/2″ screws.    Halt progress.  Count up the number used in the directions and discover that Jim has used up all of the bigger screws in places where they should have been 1 1/4″.  Remember the missing drill?  Out come the wrong screws, in go the correct ones.

We’re back on track.  Time for the pulleys.  We’re supposed to apply soap or candle wax to all of the pulleys – 20 of them.  We don’t have any candles, and the only soap I have is “soft soap”.  …hmm.  Sentsy.  I have this great Sentsy aromatic thing at the shop.  The sent is wax based.  The pulleys smell like they just came back from holiday in Hawaii, but it worked great.

Next up, the “breast assembly”.  Remember my challenges with direction?  Well, this particular part is assembled upside down, and then righted and placed next to the loom.  The part numbers are clearly indicated, UNTIL you start to put them together, then they’re hidden.  There’s this great little sheet of removable labels to mark parts – which we didn’t use.  We have NO idea what we are building.  Would be nice if there was an exploded picture of the loom to refer to.  I have to stand with the directions and the parts facing the same direction before I can SEE if we are doing it correctly.  Jim is hand screwing the parts together, and I’m questioning everything every step of the way.  No, I don’t think that’s right, are you sure that’s 6C and not 6D?  …and so we proceed to screw and unscrew the parts for about 15 minutes.  He hasn’t killed me yet.

We lived through that and installed the side braces and beams.  It’s now beginning to look like the loom I remembered from my class!  Getting excited!  The treadles are a piece of cake.  The harnesses are next.  I ordered 2 extra bundles of heddles, so we have 100 to install on each harness – without tangling.  After the first one, I understood the process and it went very smoothly.  We’re at 7 hours now.  Good thing we had a good breakfast, because there hasn’t been any lunch.

Suddenly starved… Pizza in the plaza.  We’re now at 8 hours.

On to the lamm and harness installation.  Check and Check.  I had Jim crimp the eye hooks so that the pulleys wouldn’t come off if in case I tromped the treadles and beat my weaving like a wild woman later.  The cloth and warp beams are next.  Check and Check.   Install the beater and reed.  Check and Check.

We’re nearing the end!  Attach the wheel block and the beater pin.  Check and CHECK.

8pm.  It’s done!  Clean up and store the loom.   Folded.  Look how nicely it fits into the corner!

I’m going to love this little loom!

…oh did I mention…  during cleanup, we found that really useful exploded picture of the loom.  FINE.

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  • Robin says:

    It’s amazing that you 2 are still married. LOL Love your postings.

    • Caroline says:

      …as I see it, the key to a good marriage is the ability to understand each others shortcomings, and loving each other in spite of them!

  • Tracy Reynolds says:

    I loved reading your story and am very jealous that you got to take a class with Deborah Chandler. I have been dying to tell you about the most amazing loom my mother found two weeks ago. My mother and father went to a consignment store in Cape Coral that sold mostly clothes and a few furniture pieces. They spotted a weaving loom sitting on the floor that was warped with some pretty dated looking yarn and it was covered in cat hair. They didn’t know if it was any good or not so they didn’t buy it. My mother called me later that day to tell me about it so I could check it out. I kept asking her questions and she couldn’t even tell me if it was a rigid heddle or a multi shaft. I had to wait two days before I could get to the store. I got to the store when they opened the doors and was praying that it was still there and it was. I about died when I saw the sticker price on it…$50.00 discounted to $39.75! It is a Schacht 15″ 4 shaft table loom and it is in great condition (a brand new one would cost $585.00). It was literally covered in cat hair and dust and I took it apart and hand washed everything and it looks great. I do need to replace the steel reed, shaft cords, and I need more heddles. I also want to get a boat shuttle. I am going to try and come to the store one Saturday so you or Joan (if she is there) can look at it to see if I need anything else. I saw that Joan is teaching a mult shaft class but I am not able to take time off from work during that time because we acquired a bank and the data conversion is during that time. Hopefully I will be able to attend the next session. See you soon.