Although I would love to keep the Finlander Barn Loom as pristine and original as possible, I do need to do a couple adaptations to make it function better for my own use.
I looked back over my loom scrapbook and see that I now have owned 34 looms in my lifetime! That means somewhere along the way, I have gleaned bits and pieces of innovations from different loom configurations to know what I like best for weaving under certain circumstances.
-There are adaptations you make to the big heavy rug looms.
-There are adaptations you make to the small portable table looms.
-There are adaptations you make for looms with fine thin fibers that maybe snarl or snag on each other, like mohair or silk yarns.
I've added things like a bicycle rear view mirrors to be able to aim underneath and check the progress, making sure that I didn't skip any rows of intricate patterns of overshot or boundweave. I have added things like magnets to hold tips of scissors or large long weaving needles to darn in loose ends. I have added cup hooks to hang little printed cards of weaving patterns to follow. Over the years I've added and done things to looms to make them more "usable" to me.
Now it's time for a couple little upgrades and updates to this Finlander Barn Loom.
First, the old fraying sisal ropes needed to be removed.
I replaced all of the ropes with good strong cotton sash cord, meant for hanging window weights on old windows. It does not stretch like clothesline or twisted ropes. Once it is tied at a certain height or length, it stays that way.
Next, I added a good heavy handle that my friend Jim Burkett makes. It is made from very heavy solid steel pipe. Not only does it make it easier to grab the beater, but adds packing weight to the beater as well.
The next improvement I had Steve help me with. "Sectional Warping" means I can put a large amount of warp on the back beam using the easiest method, without having to wind long warp chains on that big warping reel. That is a tedious long process and subject to tangles and snarls and mistakes. By using the sectional warping method, I will be able to pack 40 or 50 yards of warp onto the back beam... when we are done with this improvement.
Steve carefully constructed four new sectional rakes, by drilling in holes every 2" on center. We added the oak pegs cut from 3/8" dowels.
Now I can pack on a bunch of warp and get ready to weave a whole big batch of rugs.
The turning motion of the back beam was kind of rumbling and rough where the ends slide down into cradles on the frame. We added some PVC vinyl slides to the cradle sections to make the back beam turn more smoothly.
Now here's one little nifty thing that I discovered, that I don't even need to improve! While I was weaving the last rug on the loom, I realized my little scissors needed a resting spot. Usually I just glue a magnet somewhere onto the loom to hold the scissors by the tip. But on this loom I discovered a nice little hole on the wedge used to hold the bench seat into place. Perfect for a scissors!
I am also going to replace the string heddles sometime down the line. What is there now will work fine. Either I will order up some really good strong seine twine from Sweden and tie my own, or I may just order the right sized texlov string headles and put those on. But for right now, like I said, what is there will work fine.
Now it's time for me to get off my blog, and go start the warping process. I already have the tubes of warp on the rack and the tension box clamped to a saw horse. I'm ready to start winding on. ....as soon as we get that cranking handle thing figured out.
AS SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION... I sell a DVD on how to do the sectional warping process. It can be a daunting task to someone the first few times they attempt it. My DVD is a nice reference to look back to again and again if you are trying to sectionally warp a loom.
I sell it on eBay:
HOW TO WARP A SECTIONAL LOOM DVD
HOW TO WARP A SECTIONAL LOOM DVD
Just is case you wanted to learn more about sectionally warping a loom, I think that my DVD is pretty helpful.