Wednesday, October 14, 2009
3d Jigsaw Puzzle
Two years ago, there was a Craigslist ad for a free loom. I'm not one to pass up such a thing, so I emailed the lady and trotted on over. She took me to the back yard, and showed me a rather dilapidated pile of wood on a tarp. Well, it was free. I took it home, and piled it in the garage until I had the time and space to do something about it. It did get put up on shelves, but well...I kind of forgot about it until we were cleaning out the garage over the past week or so. Then I decided it was time to see if I had a pile of kindling, or something that might be salvageable.
The teenagers have abandoned the living room in favor of playing video games in their own rooms, so I had some floor space available. The guys brought the pieces in, and laid them out on the floor, like this:
And then, I got some crescent wrenches, needle nose pliers, and a rubber mallet, and had at it. It took about four hours (and a bit of swearing), but when I was done I had this!
It is indeed a very sturdy two harness loom. The neat thing about it is that there are no foot peddles. The harnesses change when you beat the reed twice, by way of an ingenious set of gears at the bottom of the loom.
Given this clue, and a bit of paint I found reading "Reed", I tracked down some information on this old loom. It is a "Weaver's Friend" loom, made by Reed Loom Company. Reed started making looms in the late 1800's, and continued up until around 1970. Given that some of the nails on the loom have square heads, I'd say this is one of the older looms. http://www.weaversfriend.com/page1/page4/page4.html
My husband is taking the heddles with him to work tomorrow, since he has access to a way to remove rust. I gave the loom a first drink of oil, and will oil it again and rub it down tomorrow when I get home from work. The change in the wood is already apparent though.
It is in surprisingly good shape, given the neglect it has seen over the years. All the pieces seem in good working order. There are a few splits in the wood, but nothing that seems to threaten the structural integrity. All in all, I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to get this old man up and weaving again!
EDIT: Digging further, I found a picture of the same make of loom here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/2163699690/ . The picture was taken between 1910 and 1915! This baby is about 100 years old.