Works for me

beaming CT & TS

Work progresses. The photo shows me beaming the warp for CT & TS. From left to right in the photo the colors are royal, bleu, peacock, emeraude, lavande, magenta, and mauve pale.  The blends going from the royal to the emeraude just pull my eye in every time.

I now have the warp threaded through the heddles and reed, tied on the front apron, and tested for threading and tensioning problems, and in between 4 hours of shoveling today (yes – 4 HOURS – we got more than 18″ of snow between 6AM and 5PM today) have a bit over 30″ woven so far. 

CT's wrap on the loom

Weavers might find something else in the first photo interesting.  (Non weavers: you may want to bail on this section.) This is the back beam of my Macomber loom.  Some looms have a built in raddle, but not Macombers.  And since I always warp back to front, a raddle is essential.  I tried several different strategies to hold the raddle on my back beam, none of them great.  Then I hit on the solution that makes perfect sense for me – Irwin Quick Grip Mini Bar Clamps.  They’re designed to be easy to manipulate with one hand. You can see one on the right side of the picture.

I clamp the raddle to the top of the back beam while I spread the warp.  Then when I’m beaming, under tension using my warping valet, the raddle can’t stay there.  The rubber bands that hold the threads in the raddle sections chafe and stress on those threads – not good.  So I simply unclamp the raddle, slide it down to the outside of that back beam, and re-clamp it.  Works like a charm thoughout the beaming process. I leave the raddle and lease sticks in place until the loom is all threaded, then again quickly release those clamps and slide the raddle off.

We all find tools, tricks, and tips that work for us, sometimes from other weavers, sometimes dreamed up from thin air, sometimes, like this innovation, the result of perusing the tools in my basement and seeing something in a new light.  I had to buy a second one – a pair is needed – but for the size I use they’re less than $15 each.  Since I use them every single time I beam a warp, the investment is well worth it for me.  Your turn: what’s one of the unconventional tools you use in your weaving?

2 comments to Works for me

  • Oh I use clamps for the raddle but I put it on top of the castle. It’s the easiest spot for me and something I’ve done since about the 3rd time I warped my first loom. The Murphy loom. I was delighted to find out Louet builds in a raddle on the back of their loom castles. I don’t think I use any unconventional tools but I do love those Command Hooks by 3M (the removable variety) and i put one or two on each loom to hang scissors on and such so I don’t have to go digging in a castle tray.

    • Peg Cherre

      Theresa, my height and arm span – both small – would make it uncomfortable for me to have the raddle on my castle. The back beam works way better for me. I made a hook from thick brass wire that hangs on my high castle to hold my scissors, but the Command thing sounds like a great idea. In fact I may try to find one that’ll hold a piece of paper…to this point I’ve taped little notes to the castle – not nice to the loom. 🙁

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