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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Box Tape Loom now comes as a kit!

What’s included:

1 - 8epi Heddle
1 - sami sword shuttle
1 - metal apron rod
1 - Take up dowel
1 - warp dowel with apron rod pocket
2 - loom sides
1 - loom back
1 - loom bottom
2 – ratchets w/covers
2 - wood washers w/covers (other end of dowel covers)
2 - pawls w/ covers and short dowels
(there will be a total of 6 Covers, only 4 are shown in the image below)
Warping instructions
and a few patterns to get you started

What you will need:
Wood Glue
fine sand paper or steel wool
Black sharpie (to touch up any edges)
Your choice of finish
4 bar clamps or any method you choose to hold your loom together while it is drying.
No nails are required.

To begin building your tape loom you will want to check that you have all the parts mentioned above. Sand all parts to your satisfaction. Using a sharpie touch up any missing black color on the edges of all pieces. Next wipe down all the dust from all your wood parts. The more dust free your parts are the better your finish will be. Now using the finish of your choice put a finish on all parts. Be cautious of the edge tabs if you are using a thick finish. You want to be sure that your loom will still fit together even after you’ve put your finish on. I generally do not put a finish on the edges until the loom is completely assembled and the glue has dried. This is entirely up to you. Let your finish dry using the recommendation given for the finish you’ve chosen.

Using wood glue and a paint brush, brush glue on all the edges between the tabs (but not on the top edges of the tabs). Do not over glue.

Now you can assemble your loom. Place the loom bottom in front of you as seen in the image below (having help is good here) Place the back of the loom with the design facing out on the back side of the bottom (the short side with the tabs) as seen below.

Now place the left side of the loom onto the back and the bottom as shown below.

Place the warp rod in the top side holes making sure the apron rod pocket falling forward as you see in the image. (the cloth part of the warp rod should look as it does in the image below) Then add the take up dowel (this is tricky by yourself) and while holding all this in place add the right side of the loom and snug everything up.

Next clamp gently so you have free hands and put the heddle in place making sure there is no glue in the heddle slots or anywhere that the heddle may inadvertently get glued to the loom. One the heddle is in place adjust your clamping so that when you look on the inside of your loom there are no gaps and the heddle moves freely up and down.

This is how I clamp when I build a tape loom.

In the following images you will see clamps, however you will not start the instructions that follow for 24 hours so that you can remove the clamps.

Now that your loom is assembled and the glue is dry you will finish assembling your tape loom. The ratchets go on the left side of the loom and both ratchets will point in the same direction as you see in the image below. This is important so take a close look. Place a small amount of glue on the inside of the hole that is in the ratchets and then push them onto the dowels that are sticking out from the warp and take up dowels. Be very careful not to get too much glue onto your ratchets and accidentally glue them to the side of your loom. We just do not want the ratchets to move at all on the dowel, only the dowel itself should move once your ratchets are glued properly into place.

Next locate your to pawls and the little dowels that go with them. Take the little dowels out of the pawls and place a small dot on the cut side of the

Take the little dowels out of the pawls and place a small dot on the cut side of these dowels and place the cut side into the holes on the loom. Let these dry very well before proceeding to the next step. Very important….

Once the glue is dry you can proceed to placing the pawls onto the dowels. The top pawl faces this direction.

And the take up rod pawls faces this direction.

Once you’ve placed the pawls onto the little dowels place a very small amount of glue inside the little cover and push it onto the little dowel to cover the end so that the pawl will not fall off. Let this dry. You might want to check while it’s drying that you haven’t accidently glued the cover to the pawl itself by rotating it back and forth gently. Just be sure you haven’t put too much glue into the hole but enough so that the cover does not fall off. And finally glue the covers onto both ratchets and both wood washers as seen below.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Some fun Handywoman weaving tools

I've not posted in a while but here are a few things hot out of the workshop. 😏

Friday, May 19, 2017

Personalized Boat Shuttles

So finally I've made time to get a listing for personalizing boat shuttles.  Since us ladies/gents love to go on weaving retreats or just gather together and weave here is a great way to keep track of your handywoman shuttle.  Get it engraved!  Get one for yourself and once for a friend.  I'm thinking this will be perfect for Christmas when you are looking for that perfect gift for the weaver in your life.
Here are my first orders.  and they turned out great.  Both are for Cynthia's how perfect is that?!?...:)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Handywoman Shuttles

So here are all my shuttles, some new some old designs.  Oh and now I will engrave your name on your shuttle if you'd like for a small fee.  :)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Handmade Warping Cone Holder

Made this yesterday..well made two of them.  Special request and I enjoyed making them so much that I'll be selling them in my shop.  So here is a new Handywoman weaving tool!!!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Laser Repair's in Houston Texas

I have to give a shout out to CNC Warehouse in Houston Texas.

I had been searching high and low for repair service in the Houston Texas Area and even with months of on and off Google searches these guys never came up.  Then one day while looking for something entirely different I found them!
I gave Scott a call and low and behold someone answered the phone!!!!  There they were all the time and I finally found them.
Not only did Scott send someone out like within a day they got my machine up in running for me. Oh you just do not know how happy that makes me.
After speaking with Scott a bit I found out he sells laser machines, he also sells CNC machines...  I can tell you I will be making a purchase as soon as I've saved up 1/2 of what I need to make the purchase.
Super fast, super friendly and right around the corner.

So...to sum up...take it from me, if you are looking to purchase a laser machine try and find it locally.  You will need parts, you will need repairs and if like me you are not mechanically inclined...YOU NEED HELP!    Go to their website and check them out.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The perfect Shark HD4 with Extended Bed Workbench

Finding the perfect table for your new CNC isn't as easy as it sounds if you do not have unlimited funds that is for sure!!!  I looked for about a month for a table I could afford that would be sturdy enough for my new machine.
As you know my machine arrived yesterday :)  YAAAAAAAAAAAAA
and I still didn't have a table for this monster so...  using all the clearance lumber I purchased a few years ago and another $85.00 I made one!  Whew that is CHEAP I tell you!
I used these plans here:  Sturdy Workbench but I used the wood I had in my garage for the most part so I used 2x6 instead of 2x4's.  I also changed the size.  My workbench is 38x64" to accommodate my new monster.  :)  These plans ANYONE and I do mean ANYONE could make this bench and even if you didn't have scraps it will be much cheaper than buying one I assure you.
So here is my new monster bench!  This bench took about 4 hours to make even with me going to the Home Depot for the plywood.  Quick and cheap!

I'll give updates when I get my machine on the table! 

and so here she is :) 

My new buddy, Shark HD4 CNC with extended bed

Oh look see....my new favorite tool has arrived.  I've got a table to build today for this monster machine.  I spent the entire day yesterday rearranging my garage so that this CNC will have plenty of room all the way around.  (pictures soon)  I am so excited to show you the pallet!   :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Small improvement on my benches.

So since I make benches mostly in pine I decided to change the size of the handles on the legs.
Here is the new bench.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Why my Etsy shop is "On a short break"

Sometimes people write me asking when I'll be back or complain that my shop is closed that I'm just "teasing" them.   So who is Handywoman and why is her shop "On a short break"?

Oh how I wish there were two or three of me but of course there isn't and I do not have any helpers.  My husband has his own job so  I'm a one woman show.
I don't have an office help, or a cleaner, there is no one to design the product I want to sell or to write the manual.  I don't have anyone to write build instructions or to help in my daily work.

I'm an over 50 year old woman that is over weight and that has a progressive disease trust me when I tell you I'm going as fast as I can.  I close my shop so I can restock so that every day isn't a mad rush, or so I can make that idea in my head a reality.  It takes time to design new items for my shop and oh how I love to be able to offer new weaving or spinning tools.

My day.....

I wake up in the morning (thank God for that).  As I drink my coffee I update my order to do list and enter my orders into a system I use to track the taxes I'll owe at the end of the year and make shipping labels and thank you cards. (I feel it's always important to thank your customers!)  I then take my list and tape it to my garage wall and begin making the ordered items.
Everything is hand made so  there is A LOT of saw dust which I have to vacuum up frequently during the day so I don't drown :) .
Sometimes I have to let glue dry on one project while I start another.  Then once all my orders are made I work on getting a finish on them so then I'm off to waxing and buffing or putting on a poly finish.
While my finish is in between coats I begin packaging my orders that need to ship that day and this is always a mad rush for some reason, the good thing is I created all the labels and thank you cards while I was drinking my morning coffee.
Once I've gotten all the orders out that were on my shipping schedule ready, I drive them to a shipping location.  (The post office can not be trusted to pick up packages, they often forget!!)
Then I get on with finishing orders that will go out the following day as well as making extra's so I have some items in stock and ready to ship.
Then finally I need to clean the garage (and it's a mess!) so I will have a clean place to work the following day.
Sometimes I close my shop so I can restock or even more fun work on that idea I had for a new product.  I am fairly quick at making those ideas into a reality but it does require time to create a prototype so improvements can be made and then finally writing build or use instructions or both.

So there you have it.  I am the designer, the purchaser, the manual and build instruction writer, the book keeper and secretary,  the logistics manager, the manufacturer and finally the janitor.  Well "finally isn't actually completely true because I'm also a wife and house keeper and trust me that takes time too.  I'm just a house wife that wants to make weaving tools for you at a price that is affordable.  That's it, that is my entire reasoning for working so hard; oh.... but I am also very happy when I get kind words in a review, some days that's what really keeps me working hard so keep them coming.

You can follow my adventures and see what I'm up to by clicking "follow" on my blog.  I generally am not so wordy and you might get ideas or find a tool you just couldn't live without.

All my best,

New stuff! Rare finds in wood turned into boat shuttles and a squirrel cage yarn swift finally in production!

I'm always on the look out for beautiful wood.  I LOVE burls but my sources rarely if ever have this wood available in anything other than tiny little pen blanks.  Some of them like Camphor burl is rare to find.  Oh and when you cut into this stuff, the aroma that fills the air is amazing.  My garage never smelled better!  So you get bang for your buck, or bucks :)  Yes it is very expensive and since my goal is to offer tools for weavers and spinners that don't break the bank you might wonder why I'd try to find it and make weaving tools with it.  Well, I'll still offer the lowest possible price and I do believe that even those of us of meager means also deserve super nice stuff!  Oh anyway here is my beautiful new super slim rigid boat shuttle. (I'm working on an inkle boat shuttle too and will update with pictures once she's all shiny).

Oh I did mention my new Squirrel Cage Yarn Swift is now available didn't I?  Well yes it is and I'm super excited about it.  I posted pictures of my prototype and I was not happy that the cages were not the same wood as the frame and well it was a bit wobbly, not bad and I will find a home for her but this one is the final product and will be available in my shop.  So without droning on here she is.