Friday, August 21, 2015

Folding, Unfolding and Adjustments to the Harrisville Designs 22" Loom

Due to frustrations others and I have had transporting this guild loom, I wrote up these instructions to try and prevent anyone else having the same problems.  Follow the instructions in the order given for ease of use.  The securing ties may seem like overkill, but they beat the alternative of trying to untangle all the cables and they will make the loom easier to use.

The loom in the photos is not mine.  It may have been modified and might not match other looms of its kind.
Tie shafts securely on all sides to keep them from swinging. (Use two ties per side.)
Unclamp the metal side braces attached to the back and fold the back beam forward.  Temporarily tie to the castle.  The brace will be fastened later.
Unclamp the front metal braces.
The metal braces rest on the screws in the bottom wooden side pieces.

In order to fold the loom, the treadles need to be released from under the cross brace board.  Push the breast beam forward slightly to tip the loom.
The treadles are now able to be raised.
Tie a couple cords around pairs of treadles near the hardware so there is something to lift them.
Unclip the treadles from the cords.
Place the front warp tie bar on top of the breast beam with slack in the tie-on ribbons.
Lift and tie the treadles to the breast beam over the tie bar so the treadles are standing upright.
Pull up on the breast beam to fold and fasten with the side bars and wing nuts. Keep the washers between the bar and wood to protect the finish. Tighten the wing nuts.
Success!  The loom is folded.

Unfolding the Loom

Starting with last instructions, reverse the process.  Make sure the rope is over each pulley wheel when attaching the treadle clips.  Also check the cables and pulley wheels at the top.

Adjusting the Shafts Before Weaving

With the loom unfolded, there may be a couple adjustments needed to get everything level and ready to weave.

Check the shafts to make sure they are level and all at the same height.  The distance from the top of the level shafts and the top of the loom should be 8 1/2".  If everything is level and at the correct height, the loom is ready for weaving.
If the shafts are not level, there are clamps on the cables on the right for making those adjustments. The clamps above the hooks on the shafts are not adjustable, so don't try to loosen them. The clamps on the loop ends of the cables on the right side are adjustable and are used to make the shafts level.

To level the shafts, first slide the clamps up on the cables.

Grasp both sides of the loop and pull one side up and one side down on the cable.  The right end of the shaft will raise or lower.  Adjust it until it is level.  Continue with the other three shafts.
Once the four shafts are level, slide the clamps down to the "s" hooks as tightly as possible to lock the adjustment in place.

One final adjustment may be necessary.  If the shafts are not all at the same height, the adjustment is made with the turnbuckles on the treadles.  It won't take many turns to change the height of each shaft.

Once the height is adjusted, it is time to weave.  Happy weaving!


  1. I just brought home a 22 inch HD 8 shaft. Although I have learned a lot cleaning it yesterday, leveling/adjusting the shafts would have been a real challenge without your wonderful tutorial. Excellent clear descriptions of what to do accompanied by fabulous pictures. Now I can get the job done even though the manual has not arrived in the mail.
    Thank you for all your hard work!

  2. Glad I found your blog. Thank you so much for the info!

  3. Thank you so much for your time and effort spent on this information! It is a tremendous help!!

  4. this has been very helpful, thank you. Do you have any information on the friction brake? I just was given this loom and I can't figure out the brake -- I think there are parts missing or it's not hooked up right. It winds on but won't release to wind the warp forward. thank you!

  5. Hi Deb,
    I am sorry I don't have an answer for you. The loom I showed in my blog post belongs to our weaving guild and it isn't available to look at right now.

    Friction brakes usually rely on a flat metal band to provide the friction on the drum. If the band overlaps itself, the brake won't work. I would check that first.

    Are you sure your yarn was wound in the proper direction on the warp beam?

    There is a Harrisville Design loom users group on Facebook that you could join, post photos and ask questions if you can't figure it out. Harrisville Designs is still in business, so it would be worth giving them a call. Have your loom handy so you can let them know what model you have.

  6. How do you find out what model you have? I think the used one I recently bought is much older than the one in your pictures. I called HD about the pawl that was very stuck and was told to pound from the under side. That didn't work, loosening a screw to the cloth beam did the trick. Now I am not sure about the cord that controls the brake to the warp beam. It seems that it makes the warp beam somewhat tight when it comes to winding warp on. I haven't put a warp on yet.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated.

    1. Alice, I am sorry I don't know the answers to any of your questions. I would suggest joining the Harrisville loom users group on Facebook. If you can't get answers there, contact the company, since they are still in business.