Tag Archives: loom

Linseed Oil As A Loom Finish

Linseed oil is important enough that it qualifies to receive its own attention.

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One of the first known drying oils, linseed oil is obtained from the seed of the flax plant – Linum usitatissium.  Oil content varies from 32% – 43%, the quality and quantity depending on the variety of seed, where it is grown, and the climactic differences that vary year to year.  The plant is mostly grown in Canada, Burma, India, Russia, Uruguay, Argentina, and the USA.

Its oil makes an excellent natural wood finish in both raw and refined states.  Raw oil contains quantities of mucilaginous matter – waxes and grease.  These will tend to remain active…the mucilaginous matter will never dry. Since raw linseed oil will remain wet for long periods of time it is never used by experienced wood workers other than for very specialized purposes.

Old Picket FenceBoiled linseed oil is not actually boiled, but is heat treated.  It also contains added drying agents.  Properly prepared boiled linseed oil gives more protection against moisture than raw oil.  There is no other oil that imparts to wood such a beautiful finish as boiled linseed oil.  It is known world-over as the finishing oil without peer.  There is no contest that this item will give extremely fine finishes for indoor woods and should be seriously considered for fine wood work.

The case against using it is related to its relatively low moisture resistance.  It does pass moisture freely.  That makes it one of the reasons it is used both indoors (where the wood can swell and contract in response to internal humidity) and outdoors (where applications on new wood allow the wood to continue to freely expel moisture, instead of bubbling the finish).

Boiled linseed oil is superb as a weaving loom finish, intensifying the beauty and conditioning the wood all at the same time…easy to apply and dry in a couple of days.  Apply light coats only with a paper towel.  Yearly light applications will deepen the grain and further condition the wood.  Always wear protective gloves.  Dispose of towels outside only, preferably by burning or in an air-tight covered garbage container; saturated rags can spontaneously combust.

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Leclerc Nilart – Dismantling, Cleaning, Polishing, & Refinishing

dsc00001I spent the day hauling in various parts of our Nilart loom.  I started with scouring the heddle support bars on the harnesses using 0000 super fine steel wool.  The loom is in great shape.  Nevertheless, these bars are steel and as such subject to corrosion.  Dust and grime also accumulate…in this case 42 years worth.  While it did not seem significant, once I did this, the heddles slid back-and-forth like they are now on ice skates!  I also lightly sanded the wood on the harnesses and wiped on a light coating of boiled linseed oil…my favourite natural finish.  While the finish on Leclerc looms is nice, it is far from being a fine-furniture grade.  Some of the wood’s roughness is from an incomplete sanding on the wood, and some is from roughness on the part of the varnish application.  Sanding with fine sandpaper and then rubbing with linseed oil makes for a smooth-as-glass finish.

The reed was likewise tarnished and grimy.  Steel wool worked off the worst.  Then with a new polishing wheel I worked in between the reeds.  It came out incredibly smooth.

Before scouring…

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After polishing…

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I went on to the larger pieces of the loom, sanding and finishing…

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The canvas on the front take-up reel was dirty…

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…and got washed; the rear one will be done tomorrow when I dismantle the rear beam apparatus.  And then the metal parts were scoured…

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It’s coming out quite nicely.  There is no reason to not do this.  First of all an evaluation of all parts should be made…better now than when I load up my first warp and find out that there is a problem, that’s for sure!  But just the prospect of alleviating any unnecessary friction in a loom that works 12 shafts will surely prove to be a benefit in the end.  Better now than later.  Today the windchill was -35, so it seems to be a great time to do this.

And it is turning out beautifully.

A 12 Shaft Leclerc Nilart Loom Will Be Here Soon!

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Status: No Longer Produced
Mechanisms: Jack, Countermarche
Shafts: 8, 12, 16 (60″ only)
Weaving Widths: 45″, 60″
Features: Treadles can be attached to front of loom for 8 and 12 shaft, treadles can be attached to rear of loom for 12 and 16 shaft, back beam folds for storage, 8 to 12 and 12 to 16 shaft upgrades and jack to Countermarche conversion kits available, Computer-Dobby 12 and 16 shaft versions (in both 45″ or 60″) produced.

Nilart Assembly Instructions

Nilart Drawings And Parts List

Nilart 8 Shaft To 12 Shaft Conversion

Leclerc Loom History

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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Warping The Loom

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cross ties
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laying the warp through the harnesses
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tying up the cross sticks
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cross sticks installed, cross at the back of the loom
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installing the raddle

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centring the warp on the raddle
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counting ends to the half inch
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beaming the warp – after the warp is laced, heavy paper is used on the rear roller to keep the warp strands from wrapping in on themselves unevenly and creating uneven warp strands as one weaves

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teasing out warp strands at the front of the loom
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using a teasing stick
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tensioning knots and winding the warp

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grouping of heddles and threading with a hook
grouping of heddles and threading with a hook – using 4 harnesses to assist spreading
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threading reed – 3 stands/2 openings
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tying in the warp

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