Plans for making a counter-balance loom

(click the image to get the full-size version)
I have been working on this for months, but now that I will be building one at this residency I figured it was time to formalize all my scribblings into something anyone could follow… I may try to make a video to support it, and develop a make-your-own-reed method too! Well, thanks for your support!


10 Responses to “Plans for making a counter-balance loom”

  1. sribeubeu Says:

    A really big thanks for sharing all these informations. Now, I just need to buy some woods

  2. Burn Says:

    Hi Travis,

    Thanks so much for posting some plans of your work! I’ve been looking for something like this and have been keeping an eye on your endeavours hoping you’d put something like this together. And now you have!

    I’m putting a weaving program together in Kenya for people who are marginalized by the community (orphans, disabled, widows, etc). I like what you do and, if you don’t mind, will crib some ideas from you.

    When we get around to trying out your plans, I’ll let you know, maybe even send you a picture of the end result.

    Thank you!


    • Travis Meinolf Says:

      Best comment ever, B! This sounds like a great project and any information I can provide as you develop it, just let me know. Thank you and again, I would be honored to help however I can.

  3. Jan Thune Says:

    I have a 4 harness counterbalance loom. How do I make of the most of tying up the 4 harness? I have only done 1-3 and 2-4 or retying with 1-2 and 3-4. Am I missing something in making the most of tying up? Thanks……Jan

  4. Travis Meinolf Says:

    try a direct tie-up to get a feel for what different combinations of harnesses can do! Hopefully you have at least four treadles, just tie one to harness 1, the next to 2, then 3, and 4, and then step on two treadles each time. you can do a simple twill by doing 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-1,… or a 1/3 twill by just stepping on a single treadle each time. I always recommend Deborah Chandler’s book “learning to weave” for people who want a complete reference of all parts of floorloom weaving. I hope this helps!

  5. B Nicol Says:

    This is great. I’m going to try it out. The parts list says 6 lams. Most looms I’ve been reading about since you got me hooked on weaving with your index card loom seem to have 4. I’ve zoomed as close as I can on your photos but I can’t see where 6 lams fit. I’m confused.

  6. mary Says:

    I recently inherited an 80 some year old counterbalance loom. I’ve taken it apart and oil every piece before putting it back together,my problem is: how long should the ropes be on the pulley’s and then from the pulley to the shafts and then the shafts to the treadles?
    Anxious to get weaving on this beauty. Appreciate any help.

    • Travis Meinolf Says:

      best is just to fudge it at first, get those harnesses hanging so that the eye of the heddle lands right where the warp will be, and the pulleys are halfway between the top of the loom and the top of the harnesses.
      You can stretch a string from the front beam to the back beam to find where the warp will land, set it up with your first project and adjust when the whole thing is threaded!
      enjoy and good luck

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