Time for a break until the first of the year. We will be loading up this area over the next couple of days. The table is a prototype for a giant set of tables that we can use to work blankets on.
Before the interior of the weaving shop which houses the Draper loom can be started an attached 15′ x 20′ storage area needs to be completed. Two walls are now finished and a third insulated today. The ceiling needs to be put up after the metal is put on the long outside wall (right) and the centre wall is done. After this then storage units need to be built, items put in, and then the work on the area of the Draper and work tables can begin. Work on this goes along as the weather is rainy outside…usually at least a few hours early every morning.
Board and batten construction involves placing lumber – usually one inch thick – vertically one next to another and then placing a smaller size board over the crack between the two. Lumber will shrink over time so what was once tight will invariably open up. Insulating the shop that houses our Draper Model D requires that the battens be drawn tight to the board over their entire length. A nail gun does this very well due to the speed at which it drives a nail, instantly snugging the two together. With farming done insulation of our workshop, which was built around the Draper, is next on the agenda.
A yarn ball or cone caddy/holder allows you to place a center-pull ball on top of the wooden stake so that as you load your loom the yarn cake/cone feeds as you go along. Buying a used loom you often get all sorts of other paraphernalia: books, magazines, yarns, winders of all sorts, etc.. This came with our 90″ Leclerc loom. It needs the addition of a disc that sits on top of the based, between it and the ball/cone, and can spin as required as the yarn is removed. I will need to make one of these as it is missing…
This 90″ Leclerc loom had its original home in Letellier, Manitoba. Settled in 1879 its first residents came from Quebec and the USA at the invitation of Father Lacombe. This loom was used by two aunts to make vestments, altar cloths, and other church-related items.
While loading the 90″ loom to bring it home there were extra pieces that did not match the loom. While unloading I set these aside. It did not take long to realize that these were the parts to a vertical warping mill. It is built by Leclerc and needs to be refurbished but it is in great shape. It now retails for $750 but came free with the 90″ loom…
Leclerc’s 90″ Loom was first manufactured in 1937. It was a 4 shaft counterbalance loom and looks for all practical purposes like a Mira, the major differences being that it has two sets of treadles and an overhead set of pulleys to support the shafts. Dubbed the Double Loom 90″ in 1952 it was replaced by the Kebec 100″ loom in the mid-1960’s. A Fanny-like hinge was an added option beginning in 1980 along with a 120″ option, and in 1982 it was again refashioned into the Kebec II, which remains in production today. Its current price starts at $8,500+.
Yesterday I arose at 1:30 a.m. and drove six hours south to buy a 90″ Loom. I took my time. The roads were near-well deserted. I brought with me a sheet of plywood that I strapped to the deck of my truck to serve as both an extension of the bed, knowing that the loom would stick out over the end, as well as to protect the loom from the bed itself. I first laid out a tarp, and then a piece of construction weight plastic sheeting, wrapping it first in the plastic and then the tarp. I would have done so in spite of knowing that it was supposed to rain on my way home, which it did.
It cost $333.
Here is its page on this site:
A woman who is now in a retirement home donated her Nilus Leclerc 45″ Fanny loom to the Manitoba Weavers which had been in storage. I was asked if I could find hardware for it since these had become lost. I said that I would be glad to see what I could do so my wife brought it home six hours north from Winnipeg when she returned from a work engagement there. In transit she discovered that it has a strong odour, which I suspect is from smoking? We put it in storage in a protected shed for now and once winter sets in I will bring it in a piece at a time and reassemble and refurbish it. All of the parts of the frame itself look to be present.
The finish on the wood will have to be stripped and refinished. Overall it is mechanically in good shape, but the finish is worn in many places from numerous causes.
The reeds are rusted and will be discarded; the heddles are in fine shape.
This is what a Leclerc Fanny looks like when it is properly assembled. I suggested that if the project comes out well that someone donate a reed and then that the club raffle it off?
Over the past three days we put down plywood, wired, added electrical boxes, insulated, sheeted plastic, and panelled a building that for years has been in the works, namely, a dedicated weaving studio. Complete with a loft it will be able to accommodate several people in a simple, wooded setting of solitude. Electricity will be able to be switched between a generator or better yet, 12 volt rechargeable batteries with a solar panel. The kitchen will be meagre but adequate. And there is an area for washing up and personal needs. While not completed, it is now at a point that can be easily heated and worked on over the winter to be fully finished. Much of the building materials used here are personally made or scrounged in keeping with the self-sufficient nature of weaving itself.
And as of last night…
While a Fraser rag cutter looks like a high quality tool, its $500 price tag is a bit ridiculous. It also looks slow and a bit awkward to use by oneself.
I like the concept of the Saori fabric cutter…
I am going to have to give some thought to making a similar box using heavy Exact-O knife blades to cut 1 1/2″ denim strips, I think that the basic Saori cutter design is very sound, but will probably require two people to feed a leg of denim jean material through this correctly. It would be fast and uniform though. Give me a few nights to work on this.