Well, it has been four and a half months since I last posted to this blog. Since then I have left my nine to five job behind and am now devoting a significant portion of my time to weaving and making hand crafted fountain pens (more about the pens in a later post). In addition we have celebrated a significant birthday, and our 30th wedding anniversary.
In my “Finally Back to Weaving” post I left you with the comment that I had “ordered a
Harrisville Designs 36 inch, 8 shaft floor loom that I have had my eye on for a long time. I ordered the kit so there will be “some assembly required”! When it arrives and I have the time and space to put it together I will do an un-boxing and share my experience with the assembly for those that might be considering doing the same thing!”
The kit arrived in two boxes which together weighed almost 100 pounds.
One of my helpers, meet Quiggly, he helps with everything…
When I opened the box I was momentarily a little overwhelmed. For a minute I wasn’t sure if I had ordered a loom or an addition to the house! There were a lot of pieces and your first task whenever you are unboxing and preparing for assembly is to insure you have ALL the parts. So I sorted through the entire contents of the packages and check each item off the list.
I found one part that had been damaged in shipping and immediately contacted Harrisville for instructions. The folks there could not have been more helpful (when you call a real person answers the phone). They shipped me a new part right away in a returnable box and with postage to return the damaged part. There is nothing better than working with cheerful, helpful people when pursuing your dreams! And to top it off, the part I returned was one that I didn’t need in assembly until near the end so I didn’t loose much time.
Following the instruction was, for the most part, fairly easy. There were a couple of places where I became a little confused by the “tab A in slot B” instructions where they were describing how to insure that the part was going in place correctly. Aside from that the assembly went without a hitch.
Another helper, Finn. He is exhausted…
The one last difficult part was the assembly of the heddles in the frames. ONE WIRE HEDDLE AT A TIME. I really thought, at one point, that I would never run out of them. But I did and in the end had a wonderful new tool to create with and the satisfaction of having assembled it myself!
As somewhat of a woodworker, my opinion is that this loom is extremely well made. It is hand crafted and finished to the point that there is very little of that left to do with assembly. The instructions said to go over it with finishing sandpaper to remove any burrs that might snag your yarn. I did that but found very few places where it was actually necessary. Well done Harrisville Designs.
Now that I had the loom in place and ready to go I needed a warping board in order to measure my warp. So, I started looking at what was available and decided that paying $150.00 or more for four pieces of wood with some dowel pegs seemed excessive. Why not continue the satisfaction of doing it myself and make my own. I bought some rough cut hard maple (beautiful wood) and dove in. I did a design based upon several that I have looked and cut, finished the wood and assembled the finished product. I have ended up with exactly what I need, something that I am proud of and a very functional tool to go with my loom. Eureka!
So, next time, lets talk fountain pens…