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Scrap Loom: Now Even More Awesome!

03/28/2009

Hey, weavers: I need some information. I came up with a rather basic idea to improve my loom-o-scraps, ran it by James because his building ideas tend to work out a lot better than mine, then made a third piece to the loom as described below. I figure it has to have some kind of real-loom counterpart, so my question is, what is this thing?

Right now, I call it a “doohickey”. And if you do it right, it’ll make your scrap loom much more efficient. You’ll need a piece of wood about 1 in x 1 in and as long as your weaving is wide, a couple of dowels, some little woodscrew-like eyelets, safety pins or some other small clip, a drill, some way to cut wood, glue, and a hammer.

Wood!
Wood!

That’s right. You can use powertools. That automatically makes your scrap loom -makes anything, really- a hundred times more awesome.

Here’s what you do. Mark the centerline on one side of your 1×1, then mark every half inch (or however far apart the nails are on your loom).

Every 1/2 Inch
Every 1/2 Inch

Dig out a drill bit the same size as your dowels.

Same Size
Same Size

Put some duct tape on it a half an inch up from the tip- this is how deep you want to go.

1/2 Inch
1/2 Inch

Drill holes as marked, stopping when you reach the duct tape. A hint: drills like to walk, so start off slow and dig it a little ditch. Speed up once you know it’s not going to shift over.

Another hint: you want these to be as straight up-and-down as possible, or the dowels will be too close together for it to work. A drill press might be wise; otherwise, take it slow and careful.

Slow Start
Slow Start

I drilled 24 holes every half inch, giving me enough for a twelve-inch-wide scarf.

Holes!
Holes!

Mark your dowels every four inches.

Four Inches
Four Inches

Bust out yer choppin’ tools. I’m sure there’s all sorts of ways to chop of a wooden dowel, many of which don’t even require an electrical outlet, but I used this thing:

Yay Power Tools!
Yay Power Tools!

Chop up your dowels as marked. While you’re at it, cut the stick off around five inches past where the last dowel will go. If you don’t, it’ll be plain unweildly. The five inches gives a nice handle to grab on to.

Round Pegs
Round Pegs

Now you’ve got a stick of round holes and a fistful of round pegs. Squirt some good wood-to-wood glue into the hole, then use the hammer to pound each peg in.

Round Holes
Round Holes

What Happpens When You Don't Use A Drill Press
What Happpens When You Don’t Use A Drill Press

This is why you wanted to drill as straight as possible. If the tops of any of your pegs touch, or are quite close together, it’s going to screw things up. Avoid and or fix this wherever possible. Where my dowels touch I’ll be knocking the edges off with my handy dremel, though I’m not showing that in this tutorial (because I haven’t gotten around to it yet).

With a small drillbit, make some starter holes in the top of each peg, to screw the eyelets into. These will a) keep the pegs from cracking when you screw in the eyelets and b) make the next step SO MUCH EASIER.

Starter Holes
Starter Holes

Eyelets
Eyelets

Screw in all your eyelets, and you’ve done it!

Eyelets Go In Starter Holes
Eyelets Go In Starter Holes

You’ve made a doohickey for your scrap loom!

Ta Da!  A... Something.
Ta Da! A… Something.

Great! you say. So what does it do? This is where your safety pins/leverback earrings/big soft easy-to-open/close jumprings come in. String your loom, then lay your doohickey under the warp.

Every Other
Every Other

Using your safety pins/etc/etc, attach EVERY OTHER warp thread to an eyelet. Now when you want to pick up those threads to pass the weft under them, you just do this:

Under
Under

And if you want to pick up the other threads and pass the weft OVER the threads you’ve attached to your doohickey, you do this:

Over
Over

It’ll save you hours per scarf.

I’m almost done with my second t-shirt scarf, and trust me, this is an awesome improvement. It is perhaps not worth it if you don’t plan on using your scrap loom for more than one project, but a good investment if you plan to experiment for a while.

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