Tag Archives: sanding

Flying Shuttle

A friend learned of my wanting to build a flying shuttle on our Leclerc Nilart weaving loom and gave us a flying shuttle that she had…




This is the shuttle after a light sanding with fine sandpaper and then a coat of boiled linseed oil…we do not know its manufacturer…


…we are very thankful!

Leclerc Nilart Castle Top Repair

When I picked up this Leclerc Nilart the owner was very quick to point out a repair that had been made to a damaged keyhole slot in the castle top.  Hauled home in pieces I set this piece aside and got to it yesterday.  Upon applying a slight pressure to the repaired piece it readily popped apart.  It appear that someone tried to use wood glue to hold it in place.  I am glad that someone did this as it at least kept the piece together with the loom until I could repair it more solidly today.

The first thing that needs to be noticed is the deep check made all the way through the top.  I am much more inclined to believe that the drying out of the wood in this spot aided in the breaking of this piece rather than vice versa.  In fact I would be certain of it.  There is another check in the wood that runs through the other keyhole on the same side of the castle top as well.  Taking away wood from a spot this close to the end of a wet board caused this to happen and the piece to be popped loose.



A repair like this requires more force in order to both reattach the piece as well as to stop the check from spreading.  I could remove the wood in total and add a replacement, stabilized piece, but that would look odd.  I could also drill, countersink a nail, and fill the nail hole in order to add mechanical strength to the top, but I really think that most of the instability has already happened.  I think that a good epoxy will: fill the crack, stop further checking, and reattach this broken piece.  This is the simplest repair that I believe will best serve this loom.

Mixing epoxy I allowed it to harden into a thick paste before applying.  Using my finger I forced it into the crack until it was filled.  I then applied it to both the broken piece and where it reattaches…enough that when I pressed the piece back into place that extra epoxy was squeezed out.  It is very important to wipe off as much excess epoxy as possible at this point.  When dry epoxy becomes as hard as steel and requires a lot of effort to sand off.  Since the under side of the top is not well finished it will take considerably less effort to sand it and make it blend in than on the top where a varnish was used and the repair is much more likely to stand out.  Time to let it set up, then to sand and oil tomorrow…


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…


After polishing…


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


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


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


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.

Restoring Harnesses

Restoring three harnesses required twelve hours of work today; I was in no rush. The easy part was unhooking them from the rollers. The roller ropes were not original and need to be replaced.  All parts of the harness needed to be reworked…wood, screws, brackets, heddle bars, heddles…


Steel-wooling the frames allowed for application of aluminum paint…


Polishing hardware on a buffing wheel restored its lustre…


Each harness holds contained between 324 and 347 heddles.  I removed them from the heddle bars and steel wooled the bars and replaced the heddles all with the same orientation (the ends are different).  After refinishing the wood I reassembled the frames….


Grouping heddles in 10’s I was able to divide them into exactly half, placing each half on their own respective side of the centre heddle bar supports…


I have one more harness to finish tomorrow, then the rollers, and finally the reassembly of the loom and several more coats of boiled linseed oil.

This is tedious and methodical work, and I extremely enjoying doing it.  Not only is the restoration starting to look nice, I am also finding it a great way to fully understand the mechanics of the loom itself…