Monday, June 27, 2016

Oh the Dust, oh the Rust, oh the Dry, Dry Wood!

Yesterday, I was looking at my week and it was going to be full of grandchildren, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  By the evening however, the week had substantially changed.  Cousins visiting cousins elsewhere, kids doing overnights at friends houses, chores getting done earlier than expected. All these things worked together to have only Monday evening and Friday afternoon with the kiddos.   That is quite a change, and it sometimes leaves me wondering what I am going to do, since I had not planned anything.

I quickly of course came up with a plan.  I washed a bit of one of the Museum of Appalachia's fleeces, and when I had gotten it done and my drying racks were full, I decided that I wanted to go on an errand that has been at least 1 year in the making, possible 2 years.

Very near the Appalachian Arts Crafts Center there is an antique store, one of the big ones!  More than a year ago, I saw a 4 harness Cambridge floor loom out on the front stoop, exposed to the weather.  At the time I was not interested in it,  I had more than enough looms, one of which was a 4 harness Cambridge,  so I passed it by, wondering how it was going to make it out in the elements.

Several months later I went thru a period of loom removal, for some reason I did not want any loom in my house that did not belong to me.  I may also be because I had 7 floor looms of all shapes and sizes.  I quickly got down to a reasonable 3 floor looms and I was happy.
I would still see that loom now and again and be so sad to see it in the heat and rain, fading, drying out and rusting, but I did not need a rug loom.

Notice the crank on the back beam!

Then about 2 or 3 months ago, I read a blog about a weaver who wove these really nice rugs, and I started to get interested in rag rug weaving again.  I thought about that loom, but I thought that it would be in really bad shape by now, just in case though, my friend Lou Ann and I went by to look at it.  It was rusty and dusty and dried out.  However, there was nothing warped and it was strong and sturdy, it was also 4 harness with the treadles mounted in the front, which is how I like them to be.  Still I thought, this rug thing might be short lived, I'll just borrow the "tiny" Cambridge we have at the Center in the annex, and take care of this silly rug weaving notion.

I did that the very next Tuesday, and I had that little loom up and running within a day or two.  It needed some adjustments, but all in all it is a nice little loom.  I rummaged through my stash of t-shirts and came up with several color combinations, and I basically had so much fun, I was sad when the warp was finished!

The Small Cambridge is a nice little loom, but that's just it, it's little.  It is too narrow to weave any wider than a 27/28 inch width.  So, I thought again about the full size Cambridge at the Antique store, and I made up my mind.

I texted Lou Ann this morning and I said, IF the loom is not in terrible irreparable condition and IF the seller will come down to my price, I would go get that loom today.  Those are 2 pretty big ifs, and I was not sure at all how it was going to go.

Long story shortened just a bit, the loom is not in terrible irreparable condition, and the seller did come down to my price!  I took the poor loom apart and loaded it into the pickup truck I had brought just in case, and raced home to beat the possible rain this afternoon.

Dear One was home when I got there and he laughed when he saw the loom, and then he helped me move it onto the front porch to get it out of the sun and rain.

Rusty heddles and bars

12 dent reed
Here are the rusty heddles and and there are rusty nuts and bolts too, but they are not badly pitted.

I was sure this was going to be a 15 dent reed, they always are when I get a loom, but this one is a 12 dent!

 The breast and back beam really need some attention.  I will wash off all the dust, lightly sand and then slather on the Danish oil.

This is one of the uprights, dry and cracked.

Here is the underside of the treadles, and this is where I get a glimmer of hope, I know that  once I have washed, sanded and Danish oiled, all this dry wood, it is going to gleam!

I have heard of a product at Home Depot that is supposed to work wonders on rusty metal, you can be sure I will be checking that out later on this week.  All of the cords of course will need replacing after their months in the sun, and I will be double checking cord lengths all around.

This afternoon, I will be taking apart the small Cambridge loom that is up in the Studio and bringing it down to go to the Center tomorrow.   I will then be moving the big Cambridge up there, with a little bit of shuffling of looms of course, to take it's place.

Looks like my week will be busy after all!

Until next time, Happy Crafting, Tina


  1. Lucky loom, I am happy that you decided to bring it home and restore it to working condition. In gratitude I bet the loom performs beautifully for you. Looking forward to seeing her all restored.

  2. I think that loom has been waiting for you. I'm so glad you are saving it from the elements. rugs!!!