Toy Piano Counterbalance Loom 2: Construction
The transition from a two-dimensional model to a three-dimensional prototype for a working loom is essentially simple. Most of the provisions for the mechanism are visible in the drawing of the side panels: the tracks for the up-and-down movement of the shafts, the sockets for the front and back rollers, slots to drop in the front and back beams. The two panels were machined from thicker pieces of hardwood using a hand-held router, a bandsaw, and a drill-press, and various homemade jigs to guide the work. The dovetail joints at the corners were arranged to hold the two sides of the frame rigidly parallel.
At one end of each roller is a pipe clamp held in an elaborate wood bracket glued to the side panel, to grip the roller tightly in any position. At the other end of the roller is a series of holes for inserting a lever to advance and tension the warp threads. The pipe-clamp installation grew to seem overly delicate and fussy as construction proceeded – it may require improvement.
The installation of the shafts and their connecting mechanism needed careful observation and trimming to ensure smooth movement in their tracks. The features of the design and construction are evident in these few photographs – more photos are available on request. Note there is no provision for a reed and beater – because the warp will be only about 5 inches in width, beating-up the weaving will be done with a hand-held comb.
My next chore will be to tie about 400 very small string heddles. To transfer them to the shafts, the entire harness assembly can be lifted out of the frame, and one group of shaft sides pulled off the connecting dowels.