Jano Loom Frame Reassembly

With the wood frame and the metal fittings finished I decided to use new hardware rather than the old hardware which was clean, but unable to be polished because of the extensive rust on much of it.  Needing to restock my screws and bolts on my farm anyway I bought the items in greater number than I needed for the loom alone…

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Before…

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After…

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…much nicer.

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Maple For Jano Beater

The beater on the Jano is not directly attached to the loom’s frame itself as are later models.  Instead, the beater is simply set on a piece of round metal stock that protrudes inwardly from the lower cross beams.

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Since Janos are no longer produced I had to look for someone else who had a Jano in order to request basic dimensions.  Here is an exquisite set of drawings done at my request by Bob Bellaires, whose wife, Jenny, owns a Jano and operates Daisy Hill Weaving Studio.  He made a very well engineered stand with treadles for her Jano loom which can be viewed, here.  Thank you for your drawings!

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In order to fully restore this Leclerc Jano loom I need to build a new beater.  I do an extensive amount of woodwork; building the beater is not a  problem.  Getting the wood to match the loom is the greatest challenge.  Winnipeg has maple, but it is six hours away.  Checking with my local cabinet shop yielded a 4″ x 6″ x 3′ piece of maple.  This is more than enough material for this project 3x over.  The cost was $24.

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…kiln dried clear maple…

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…partially planed…

 

Loom-Demon Rust

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Someone recently quipped to me that the greatest threat to weaver’s looms was rust.  They said this in regard to ordering a new reed for the Leclerc Jano I am restoring.  I wound up ordering a 22″ reed made of carbon steel – $42.  We live in a very dry climate averaging 16″ of rainfall a year.  This makes it suitable for farming small grain…and not worrying about your loom reed if it is kept indoors and heated in the winter time.  Of course not everyone keeps an heirloom or an oddity-of-a-loom in a heated environment, let alone their home.  A couple years ago I was shown a loom that I enquired about.  I was in a deserted farm house that had its windows broken out.  It looked like the raccoons and coyotes had had their way with it.  Redeemable?  I offered to perform a funeral for it.  And sometimes I see ads on Kijiji for looms complete with its photo in a barn.  You’d have to go look if you were interested, but corrosion will most certain have taken its toll on metal parts minimally.  These are not treasures, they are junk.

The loom I am rebuilding has a need of reworking all metal due to rust.  There were 461, 9 1/2″ heddles on four harnesses.  Two hundred and sixty of these were wire heddles.  Original?  Probably.  And these are a solid mass of rust.  There is no way to recondition these.

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On the other hand two hundred and one are made of aluminum flat metal.  These I scoured, came out perfectly clean, and are ready for reinstallation when the harnesses are ready later today.  I am short 39 heddles for weaving 1 warp thread/dent on a reed trimmed down to 20″ @ 12 dents/inch.  I’ll start there…

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A Word About Linseed Oil

Not everyone weaves equally well.  And in fact, the whole notion of weaving well is in and of itself nebulous.  Does weaving well mean producing a bolt of cloth that is indistinguishable in its technical perfection from that which can be woven on a machine?  Does weaving well mean to be able to choose patterns and colour combinations that elicit?  But what should these elicit?  Colours and patterns rarely draw the same same response from any two people.  And when they do, what does that mean?  Two people agreeing that some certain colour combination is superior may show nothing more than an agreed upon form of xenophobia, genocide, classism, oppression, or psychosis/psychopathy!  Does weaving well refer to the weaver’s physical dexterity…the manner in which their body interacts with the loom?  Are those who better-articulate what they do when they weave by nature better weavers because they can structure the weaving process in their minds in a more orderly fashion than those who do less well at this?

Howard Gardner‘s work, Frames of Mind was published in 1983.  It proposed that rather than possessing one overarching intelligence, humans have multiple intelligences.  At the time he proposed eight: musical–rhythmic, visual-spatial, venal-linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic.  Each of these expresses itself in one way or another when we weave.  Everyone, says Gardner, has all of these intelligences, but in varying degrees, and no two people have these to the same degrees.  When it comes to weaving, most of us know people to whom we turn when we have a specific question regarding a specific aspect of weaving – design, colour, pattern, verbal explanations, how to situate your body, etc..

When it comes to the loom itself as a tool, weavers need some understanding of this aspect of their loom in order to be able to weave at all.  This understanding would involve a combination of these: visual-spatial, venal-linguistic, logical–mathematical, and bodily–kinaesthetic intelligences.  When looking to understand how best to restore the finish on the Leclerc Jano loom upon which I will work today I turn to an expert in primitive wood finishing, Donald Newell.  Newell’s book on finishing wood is classic, although not in the area of looms, his expertise is in pre-synthetic preservatives as applied to gun stocks.  But in spite of his book being about another tool, his insights into the nature of wood preservatives – and in this case linseed oils – is timeless.  I print it here for the interest of anyone working to restore an older loom and who wants to apply a natural finish and steer clear of vanishes and lacquers.

[*Gunstock Finishing And Care: A Textbook, covering the various Means and Methods by which modern Protective and Decorative Coatings may be applied in the correct and suitable Finishing of Guns and Rifle Stocks.  For Amateur and Professional Use, Donald A. Newell, 1949]

An Intimate Look At A Jano

This is a Leclerc Jano loom…

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I bought it a couple of weeks ago for $70.  Friends went and picked it up.  My wife brought it home two days ago when she returned from a working trip to their city.

It is still very sound, but badly in need of refurbishing; it should come back to fine working order.   The Jano was the first table loom that Leclerc marketed.  It came out during the depression and was designed to meet the need for home weaving machines when people could not afford larger floor models.   From the Jano came all later Leclerc table loom models.  This is just a record that I can use to stimulate my own recollection once the wood is stripped and refinished, and the metal is polished and painted…

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