I recently finished a twining loom for some friends of ours. It took me a while to get everything perfect and to fit correctly but once it was all done I knew it was well worth the effort. It was easier to get it done because I had made one for my mom last year. Even though hers wasn't perfect, it showed me what I needed to change to make this one work better.
The first thing was to cut the pieces to size. I delayed this project until I could get a table saw. I knew I would need it to more accurately cut my pieces. I saved for several months and my dad and I bought it together. My dad also gave me a safety class and he helped me cut the pieces on the table saw to width, then I cut them to length with a hand saw. After sanding, I measured and marked the holes for the bolts and nails. I had to consider the distances best suited for varying sizes of projects on the loom. This can make table runners, rugs, place mats, and much more. I also designed it to be collapsible and quite portable.
After drilling the holes I tried to do some routering. I had routered my mom's to make it look nicer so I figured I would do it on this one as well. I found the router took too much away from the sides and would make it more fragile, so I ended up having to make new pieces that I just rounded by hand.
I used carriage bolts for the loom, so I had to cut square holes with my hand carving tools for the bolts to go into and not twist when tightening the wing nuts.
I carefully hammered in all the nails and tried to get them as perfect and straight as possible.
I then started to work on the parts to hold the rod. I had to modify my design to strengthen the support so I designed pieces to hold the rod on either side. These pieces make it easier to change your twining size as they can be simply pulled out (similar to a dowel), then put back into another hole. Each piece was turned by hand from a solid piece of wood with the dowel on one side and a hole for the eye bolt on the other. Some of the holes had to be off-centered to line up with the off-centered sides correctly. The top and bottom pieces of wood were made with Walnut and the middle pieces were made with Cherry. This enables the twiner to better discern where each piece belongs. After turning the pieces and getting everything correct I put the eye bolts in, four of the six pieces I made I drilled the holes in while they were on the lathe, because they didn't need off centered holes as I had made centered holes with an added inch I had at both ends of the side pieces.
Finally after a lot of correcting and redoing I bent the rods at a 90 degree angle and put on the finishing touches.
My client (friend) was very happy to get the loom and the family was impressed by my workmanship and said it looked very professional. I even included my 'Maker's Mark' and she thought it was great! Over all, it was hard work & many hours to get everything perfect but I was happy with the outcome of this project and hope to get more things done soon.
I like doing things and learning a whole bunch, but I'm finding I have a challenge working on things for such a LONG time. I am thinking about how I can do smaller projects with more instant gratification in between to give my mind a break and help encourage me.
Who am I?
I am a 17 year old woodworker always sharpening my skills and bringing new projects to the table. I hope you enjoy reading about my custom creations, personal projects, and shop progress. Plus you can check out my gallery here.