Tag Archives: refinishing

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.

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Warping Board Reconditioned

A warping board came with the second loom that we purchased last spring.  It was a homemade board, and roughly made, which is really all that anyone needs.  I have the greatest admiration for people who make their own weaving equipment/tools on any level…

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There was a problem…the pegs were loose.  I used it a couple of weeks ago for the first time.  The more warp I loaded the more the pegs bent toward the centre of the board.  This condition did not render it unusable, but it made for the warp to want to work its way off the pegs as I progressed.  I knew it had to be fixed; it was too good to throw away.  I began by removing finishing nails that held the pegs in place.  The nails were too small a diameter to do any real mechanical good, I’d have to replace them with larger diametre common nails on the rebuild, which while not as aesthetically pleasing, would actually exert a great deal more mechanical advantage.  I planed the disassembled frame itself.  Then I dadoed the ends to form an actual joint at the corners which would stop it from transforming from a rectangle into a parallelogram, and consequently of compromising the warp while it is in the process of being loaded.  I trimmed the original wood glue off of the pegs, mixed epoxy, coated the holes, set the pegs back into place, and used new 2″ common nails in new pilot holes to anchor the pegs.  Overnight the epoxy solidified nicely.  I also trimmed the bolts in the corners to a shorter length so that they would not interfere with loading any warp in the future.  I started treating it with boiled linseed oil, which dries to a hard finish; it brought out some of the beauty inherent in the wood on this board.  This frame will be hung on the wall in the Weaver’s Loft once it is ready to house weaving equipment.  I am really pleased with how this turned out…simple and beautiful.  Certainly an example of all that is needed to start to be successful in weaving.  I will build another warping board that is heftier and which will accept a larger warp this winter.

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Loom Refinishing

Today I was told that there would not be a serial number on this loom by Leclerc…the photo that I sent to them told them that it was over 50 years old.  Varnish that old becomes brittle.  I am using furniture stripper on it, then lightly sanding, then applying a coat of boiled linseed oil.  Here’s the before and after.  I’m pretty happy with the outcome.  It will take time, but that’s okay up here.  And more coats of boiled linseed oil will be required, and will darken the wood both now and in years ahead to a lovely golden hue…

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…original…
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…stripped…
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…oiled…
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…before and after…