Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ten Shaft Counterbalance Loom

Recently, a friend who is also a weaver, offered to give me a Swedish counterbalance loom with ten shafts.  She owned it for many years but had never used it.  She just wasn't inclined to getting it up and running when she had other looms that she loved. She knew I liked to restore looms that might be useful to me, so that is how I got started with my most recent project.

I had never heard of a counterbalance loom with more than four shafts until she told me about hers.  I made arrangements to go see it in May.  It interested me, so I told her I would take it but would have to wait until July, when I could have another friend look at it, because she knew a little bit about that type loom.

This is how it looked when I picked it up at the beginning of last week.  It is basically put together correctly except for the treadles.
View from the back of the loom.
Drall pulleys, with five levels.  I know very little about how this works at this point.
Another view of one of the pulley systems.
The beater is hung with this gadget.  It moves forward or back by turning the knob.
 The other side of the beater adjustment hardware.
 Me and the loom all packed in the van.  It fit better than when I picked up my Cranbrook loom.  It is a little bit smaller, and a whole lot lighter.
After getting it home, I started working on cleaning the smaller things first, since they were the easiest to get out of the van by myself.  I wiped everything down well with a damp rag so I could assess the condition of the wood.  Most everything was in pretty good shape, so I decided to just clean up any of the wood that would not be touching the yarn.with some Old English wood cleaner.

This is the pile of lamms, shaft bars and lease sticks after cleaning.
The beater, breast beam, back beam and knee beam all touch the yarn, so I lightly sanded the finish and added a coat of polyurethane.
A wire brush was used to remove any loose paint and rust on the hardware. I sprayed it with Rustoleum to protect it before reinstalling it on the loom.
Bob gave me a helping hand reassembling it this afternoon.  I still need to install the lamms and treadles.  I put some poly on the treadles, so my feet would slide on them, and with the high humidity today, they needed more drying time.

The stringing of the shafts, treadles, cloth and warp beams are going to have to wait, since I need to order Texsolv cord and heddles.

The rest of this week will be taken up with getting ready for weaving demonstrations in the craft barn at the Antique Flywheelers show at the end of the week. Stop in to see all the demonstrations of the different farm equipment, saw mill, blacksmith, threshing, grinding flour, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and so much more. Here is a link for more information:
Antique Flywheelers show


  1. Hi Jenny! SO glad to see a post here. It's been a while and you have been busy! 10S CB Loom! That's amazing. I'm so happy to see another restoration project going on at Daisy Hill. Can't wait to see your updates! So good to hear from you again. Hope you and Paul are doing well.

    Tom Z. in IL

  2. I meant Bob. Sorry Bob! ;-)

  3. I saw this ad on Rav and thought of you Jenny. Not sure if you're in the market for these kinds of parts but they are pretty specialized.

    1. Thanks Tom. Everything but the pulleys and horses was sold and I already have them.

  4. Happy New Year Jenny and Bob. Hope 2017 brings you new adventures and discoveries in weaving.

    I now have a CM loom too. Toika. These looms are necessity, simplicity and perfection all rolled into one.

    Happy Weaving.
    Tom Z in IL

  5. I am curious about this loom. Did you get it finished and weaving? I want to turn my 4 shaft counterbalance loom into 6 shafts, so I can do Swedish rug weaving patterns that call for 6 shafts. Do you thing I could put that type of pulley on my loom and have it work? I have a Leclerc Mira that I would really like to add two shafts Any directions or suggestions would be really appreciated

    1. Nancy, the Mira has roller pulleys, and doesn’t require the height that this loom needs for the pulleys and horses. You would also need two more lamms and treadles.

      Technically, if there is room on your loom for those additional parts, you could attach an extension to the castle so your loom would have more height.

      Laila Lundell’s Book, The Big Book of Weaving explains how everything works together. I wouldn’t do any changes before reading it. In the meantime, enjoy all that your wonderful Mira can do with four shafts.

      Have you tried the wonderful four shaft Rosepath or rya rugs yet? I made blog posts about both a while ago. I’m not sure of the dates, but you should be able to find them with the search box on my blog.

      I have been trying all the options on my Julie loom. Right now, I am working on a ten shaft wool blanket. I’ve woven with four, five, six, eight and now ten shafts. Thank goodness for Lundell’s Book or I never would have figured it all out!