Loom Refit

Complete warp. Old peg for comparison

Complete warp. Old peg for comparison

It’s time to start the third and final project from my DVD.  First, I would like to use the Lacis Tapestry Loom that I used for the last project, but I want to make a modification to it.  This loom has a cleaver warping board on the back made of textured dowels normally used to hold woodworking components.  My projects from this DVD are 14″ wide and the warps are set at 8 warps per inch with an extra at each end.  As such, I need to wrap 57 warps around some of the pegs and 114 around the others.  I found the included pegs too short to accommodate so many warp threads.  This is an average sett, so I need to find longer pegs.  These pegs come in two basic sizes (locally, at least), the size I already have, and a shorter one.  It looks like I’ll have to take matters into my own hand.

This hand miter saw keeps my saw @ perfect angle

This hand miter saw keeps my saw @ perfect angle

I bought a dowel with the same circumference as the warping peg.  My peg has ridges originally meant to hold glue and grip sides of the hole it’s placed, and my dowel is very smooth, but it’s the closest I could find.  My original peg is 2.5″ long, so I decide to make my new pegs 4″.  These will likely remain in the frame of the loom as the others did, if they’re too long they’ll interfere with the way the loom rests on a surface while I’m weaving.  I have a hand miter saw that is great for these little cutting tasks.  It gives me a surface to cut against, cutting guides to keep my saw at the proper angle, and it’s compact – it even has a ruled surface that I always forget about until after I have everything measured and marked.  At 4″ apiece, I will get 9 pegs from my 36″ dowel.  I need only eight for my warping board on the back of my loom 🙂

Sand ends for smoothness

Sand ends for smoothness

I finished my new pegs by sanding the cut ends with a series of sandpaper, then sealed them by dipping and soaking each end in tung oil.  These cut dowels fit the back of my loom just a tad loosely.  This will work to hold the warp while I measure and wrap it, but when I turn it over to weave they will slide out.  I would like them to remain in the loom as the original pegs would, so I painted one end of each peg with lacquer.  I applied two coats to most of them and three to a few others, it would seem that dowels are not perfectly consistent from one end to the other (a note to self for future endeavors).  The lacquer adds girth to the peg and provides a surface with some grip.  Consequently, the dowels fit snugly but I can still remove them if need be.  With the loom flipped over and the legs on, the pegs don’t interfere at all.

Legs on, the new pegs don't interfere at all

Legs on, the new pegs don’t interfere at all

With my new warping pegs on the back of my loom, I decided to take it for a spin.  I wound my warp for my next project.  The pegs worked great.  It was beginning to seem that I should have made them longer, but in the end, they were just the right size.  I placed an old peg next to the new one to mark the difference in size as it relates to my wound warp.  I find this method of winding a warp a bit fiddly compared to the Navajo method.  Perhaps I’m partial, or perhaps it just makes more sense.  While it’s fast and easy to get all the warp measured and the sheds separated, I find that I have to fiddle with it a lot when I place it on the loom.  I spaced my warp out several times before I finally weaved the header spacing them one last time.  Now I’m tying double half hitches across, and I’ll weave the hem and chart out the design.

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