Thursday, May 31, 2012

Weaver's Delight Sectional Beam and Reed Restoration

I started my day off by removing the rust from these two large cast iron ends to the sectional beam.  Bob bought me a wire brush that could be put in a drill.  It worked great for these large pieces.  It was quick, and best of all, I didn't have to soak them in vinegar, or coat them with navel jelly.  The blue painter tape on the left one is covering the brake surface.  I'm hoping I didn't get the surface too smooth while removing the rust, since it is supposed to be a bit rough.

I did use fine sandpaper and navel jelly on the reed, and lots of wire brushing by hand.  I still didn't get all of the rust off, but it should be enough for some rugs.  After I wire brushed the jelly for several minutes, I rinsed the reed with water from the hose.  I did it in several sections, because I don't like the navel jelly drying on the metal.  It turns white, and the metal turns black if allowed to dry.  When I was finished, I wrapped the reed in an old towel to dry it as much as I could and then finished with a hairdryer.  I left it in the sunshine so the wrapped strings around the edges could continue to dry.

 The rust is worse on the ends, with some pitting.  I don't think I'm going to fuss with it much more.  I'll weave with it first, and if it harms my warp threads, then I'll think about cleaning it again or replacing it. 

I also did a bit of sanding on two of the bars of the sectional beam, and the top bar of the beater.  There are still two more bars to do for the sectional beam.  They will all get a couple coats of wipe-on polyurethane varnish to protect the wood and to make it a little easier to clean in the future. 
After looking at a couple of my other reeds, I decided to get some cloth tape to cover the edges of the reed.  I bought the 1 1/2" wide stuff and it went on easily.  If the glue gives out eventually, it can be stuck down again with tacky glue.  The stark white is a little glaring, so it might get a bit of spray paint to tone it down.

Bob found a supplier of square head bolts called Blacksmith Bolt and Rivet Supply in Portland, Oregon, so I may replace some of the overly rusty ones. Here is a link:
Blacksmith Bolt and Rivet Supply
We thought the cost of the 5/16"-18x2 1/2" bolts, at $.27 each with a minimum order of 10 was quite reasonable.  They have a black oxide coating, so they won't be bright and shiny.
Bedtime.  My thumb, arms and shoulders are sore and tired.


  1. thank you for the square bolt source. i have an old murphy counter ballance loom that i restored but a few of the old square bolts had to be replaced. very nice job it is a pleasure seeing your progress.

  2. REED Restoration- For Weavers, By Weavers
    I restore reeds for all types of looms. Any dent, any length.
    Shipping is customer responsibility. Please call to get current turn-around time. I currently have an 8 week turnaround time due to the number of orders currently in line. 614-716-9695 ask for Brad