Wednesday, April 11, 2018

My Cranbrook Loom is Getting Four More Shafts

About a year and a half ago, my daughter Carolyn and I took a trip down to Midland, Michigan to pick up an old four shaft Bexell Cranbrook countermarche loom. When we got it home and put together, I realized I could expand it to eight shafts, which means more design options for weaving.

Bob and I went and got some hardwood and he cut all the new parts. We have been working on them for quite some time, while weaving on some other four shaft projects on the loom. Yesterday, the twelve yard rug warp was completed, so it is now time to get serious about the expansion.

Hanging in the basement workshop after varnishing them are the new shaft bars, and upper and lower lamms. The jacks are on the box on the workbench.
The treadles still needed some cutting, so Bob worked on that today.

One of the original treadles is on top of one of the new ones. Bob still needs to cut away a little bit of the new ones and cut some grooves for the treadle locking mechanism.

Unfortunately, the raw wood had some water drip off the roof onto them, so they will need to dry a while before I can put some finish on them.
The locking grooves on the originals look like this.
Bob had to chisel them into the new ones. I went down to the basement and checked them and can  now sand the spots that got wet. The varnishing will have to wait for another day.

These are all maple, like the originals. I'm really proud of the nice job Bob does on them. It isn't as easy working on hardwood as it is making something with a soft wood like pine.
The treadles hang at the back of the loom and are separated by the upright boards to the right of the chains. This photo is from the left side of the loom.
This is what the separators look like from the front of the loom. Towards the bottoms of them are notches, allowing the treadle to swing to one side and lock in the down position.

It is a nice feature for beginning weavers so they don't lose their place in weaving a pattern, and also for children, because it is hard for a small person to hold a treadle down and throw a shuttle at the same time. It also allows any weaver to weave while standing.
Shaft bars, lamms, and jacks are on the dining room table with a coat of paste wax drying, getting ready for buffing. I did get them buffed and they are all ready for installing.
This is a view of the loom showing the jacks at the top of the loom and the chains that connect to the shafts. The gap is where the new ones go. After I get some measurements, I will need to go to the hardware store and purchase the chain.

I will also need chains between the lamms and the treadles. I will price it out and then research a little to see if I could use a cording called Texsolv instead. A lot will depend on the amount of weight the cording can take.

That is all for today. I'm sure I have several more days before the treadles will be done and everything put together. I will be ready to put a new warp on the loom soon though.


  1. I sure do love this woman. I'm so proud of all of her accomplishments.

  2. Awwww, "Grump" Bob strikes again! Great job. Gail Bothwell