I've been asked to make this loom bench for a local weaving group, but I'm
really skeptical about whether it will be strong enough for persons who are
a little heavier. Any thoughts or advice about construction to make sure i
t will be sturdy enough for use? Types of wood, etc?
Looks like dowels or pins are holding the seat in place. I'd use a 3/8"
bolt and some method that it could not fall out it the seat is tilted or
No shown, but I'd also have a beam under the seat itself to eliminate
flex. . Be generous with the width of the feet too. It looks like it
could flip if you pushed back.
On Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 6:06:40 PM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
I'm really skeptical about whether it will be strong enough for persons who
are a little heavier. Any thoughts or advice about construction to make su
re it will be sturdy enough for use? Types of wood, etc?
Thanks for the advice! I'll do all that. I have some rough oak that's an in
ch thick that should look pretty good when I run it through the thickness p
laner, but what dimensions would you suggest for the tenon going into the f
oot? Would you make it a through tenon?
Being married to an avid spinner and weaver, I am going to do my best to try to talk you out of
using oak, ash, or any other open-grained wood. Looms, loom benches, spinning wheels, and
their associated gear are almost always made from close-grained woods such as maple,
beech, or cherry, and for a reason: fibers can snag on open or coarse grain.
Make it out of maple. The weaver in your life will thank you.
Stupid question? What accounts for open versus closed grain? Although I
can sense what you mean by some specimens I have laying around, how
would you describe the difference between the two categories more
precisely? The difference is apparently not directly related to soft
woods versus hard woods.
Most soft woods are considered open grain, as is oak and ash. Cherry
and maple are closed. Botanically speaking it has to do with the way
the cell structure is formed as the tree grows. That is the extent of
my botanical knowledge about it. . Plane a piece and you can see how
some are tight and full while oak will have some valleys. It is like it
was formed by a bunch of straws banded together with all those spaces
If you were to use oak it would be best to use a grain filler and a
finish like a few coats of poly so it is smooth and won't snag the wool.
A lot, yes, but by no means all, because the surface will still be somewhat rough. Ed's right,
if you use oak you should use a grain filler before finishing.
It's less work to use maple, though, and it will be a better match to the rest of the spinning
and weaving gear besides.
Open grain has openings in the surface. Closed is more like a piece of
glass, no openings.
If you rub stain on open grain most of the stain collects in the
openings of the grain. Rub stain on maple and not so much collects
I'd be worried that it would rack sideways into a trapezoid, ripping
those tiny little screws out of the corners of the board between the
verticals and collapsing onto the floor in a splintered heap.
Some kind of cross-brace is required.
On Friday, August 19, 2016 at 9:34:11 AM UTC-5, Joe Gwinn wrote:
Strength is really my concern but mostly with the mortise and tenon joint.
I'm skeptical about the strength of that joint to hold under serious use. A
bout racking, it does have the cross brace that's held on with screws and I
assume glue. That looks pretty strong to me. I've also seen a design with
a stretcher and peg (like a trestle table). That would be strong as well. I
appreciate your thoughts on this.
Trestle-table design would work - there is a long history there.
Found this on the web. Looks quite well made:
Could be used as a model.
I made a step shelf for the kitchen to hold heavy pots up off the floor
under the wall-mounted book shelves, for added storage space. It was
made of poplar, and used connector bolts and cross dowel nuts to hold
the pieces together - very strong, and the piece can be disassembled if
If one uses a Forstner bit to go partway through, it's easy to leave
the face of the board having the cross dowel unblemished.
I'm wondering if the Schacht loom bench uses cross dowels.
Have you googled "weaving bench"? There are a _lot_ of photos of such
benches from various sources, which should give you a better idea of
what details are needed and how they go together. If you look closely
you'll see that some use half-lap or full-lap joints for the feet
instead of mortise-and-tenon.
You might find this discussion to be of interest:
On Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 10:30:36 AM UTC-5, J. Clarke wrote:
J, That's a great discussion. Thanks for the link. The person wanting the bench has an idea about what it should look like. I think a trestle stretcher is an acceptable modification but not sure how much more than that.
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