Inkle Loom

Inkle loom
The completed loom

I finished assembling the loom. The biggest challenge was finding the feet, which I’d left in another room on the wrong table.  The next challenge is going to be stringing it and setting up the heddles (which go on the upper two pegs on the left-hand side).  And then using it, f course.  But the principal work, of figuring out how to build the thing, is done.

It took considerably more tools, and more equipment, and more materials, than I could have expected.  For one thing, the gluing did not go as expected. For another, I discovered that I had no bits for my power drill to drive screws, so I needed to get one.

News flash: it’s not possible to buy one screw-driver bit, at least not at the hardware store I went to.  You need to buy a kit, and the kit is basically $12 or so plus shipping and handling, and tax.

Because there’s always tax.

Inkle loom
gluing wood together is complicated.

And all of that work results in a loom that I can’t even tell you yet whether it will work or not.  It looks like the looms are supposed to look in the pictures, which is good.  And it looks like the loom is set up properly, more or less.  So the hardware is assembled correctly.

But I’m dubious. I feel like the trunk (the horizontal bar across the bottom, the one with the slot in it, and the wooden bar mounted at an angle) isn’t long enough to create a decent-enough shed to work with.  Or that there’s something or other out of place.  Or that I’ve built this wrong.

There’s really nothing for it but to go to Michael’s, buy some cotton thread, and try stringing it.  That’s really going to be the only way to see if this thing works.

In the meantime, this is my first project executed in wood since the Adirondack Chair finished up a couple of weeks ago.  So it feels good to get my tools limbered up and build something besides a chair out of wood.  It may not be perfect, but it’s close enough for my sort of work.  And it makes me feel empowered, as all completed projects do.

More than that, I’m really happy that I completed the construction of a machine. I mean, think about this.  I built a machine. OK, it’s only got one moving part (the flat block mounted at an angle through the slot on the trunk), but it’s still a machine.  It’s a tool for making stuff — for making ribbon or trim.  And any thing you make that can be used to make other things has a peculiar cachet all its own.

I feel great.


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