Ah, you thought I’d forgotten all about weaving, did you? Well, no. I’d been waiting for a chance to see a woodworking teacher at The Sawdust Shop about improving my back beam. You may remember that, in the last weaving-related chapter, Our Heroine was stymied because the knots wouldn’t fit into the groove on her back beam. (I consider this a design flaw in the WDL, although it may just be my ignorance.) I went to a woodworker in SF and was quoted $260 to create new pieces to fix this. Right.
So anyway, I went to The Sawdust Shop, where their teacher, Ward, fixed me right up. Here’s a photo of the “new” back beam:
As you can see, he added another 3/4″ piece of wood under each section of the sectional beam, thus building it up without having to redrill all the bazillion holes.
Here’s another shot that shows the built-up beam:
I chose 3/4″ thickness after measuring my loom to make sure that would still fit (it does) and after experimenting with 1/2″ and 5/8″ wood to see if it would produce a groove that was deep enough. 5/8 looked ok, but I went with 3/4″ to make sure. (I did not want to go through this process again for a mere 1/8″.) A bonus is that the back beam is now a but under 2x the diameter as before, meaning I can fit more yarn on and it will wind on quicker.
Here is a side view:
You’ll notice that the pieces of wood (both the original and the new ones) are notched to fit the metal core. I was a bit worried about the gap between the original piece of wood and the new ones, but Ward assured me that it would be OK, once glued, and it does seem to be a pretty strong join. We got longer machine screws and screwed it down, and voila! a “new, improved” sectional beam.
The only downside is that there is now much less clearance to get the thing into the loom. Mike and I briefly thought I’d built it up too much and it wouldn’t fit in, but we fooled around with it and found a way to get it in. Now the only question is how well it’ll hold up under strain. I’m pretty sure it’ll be fine, but I won’t know until I get a warp on the loom.
Which I intend to do, as soon as I finish packing up Lady Di, get her out the door, and maybe make a batch of applesauce. I would really really like to get back to those doubleweave samples! They were fascinating.