Log in

No account? Create an account
whitewater consciousness -- the journal fellow travellers itinerary meet your guide whitewater consciousness -- the website upstream upstream downstream downstream
notes on the copper loom - when you don't know what to do...
do the next thing
notes on the copper loom
My design:
1/2" series M copper pipe (I bought a 10' piece as it was the most efficient way to build the Mark I loom and have extra for more pieces as needed) -- $12.40
Six 1/2" 90 degree copper elbows -- $0.68 ea, $4.08
Two 1/2" copper tees -- $0.97 ea, $1.94 total
Two 1' pieces of threaded rod (mine is 1/2" x 13) - $1.52 each, $3.04
Four 1/2" x 13 nuts (mine are flanged as that was ALL that was left in the drawer) -- $1.21 ea, $4.84

I also bought a copper pipe cutter ($9.98), so I can make looms and parts for looms and maybe do some plumbing in the future.

Total costs for parts: $26.30 (I don't count the costs of tools into the cost of a project, generally.)

I cut the pipe into the following lengths in the Lowes parking lot, as a 10' length is too long for my truck bed:
Two 4" pieces (rear side pieces)
Two 12" pieces (front side pieces)
Five 8" pieces (three for the bridge and one for each end)

copperloom annotated

oakenking's loom is much longer and uses 3/4" pipe, but I just felt that 3/4" was a bit too big and way too heavy. I may be proved wrong later. I coudn't use his dimensions of a 20" length on the forward sides of the loom (where I used 12"), because my legs just aren't that long, and I know I'll be using this on my lap.

All told, it probably took 15 minutes to cut the pipe and 5 minutes to assemble once the nuts are threaded onto the rods, which are used as tensioning devices. With the nuts snug against one another, the circumference (ie warp length) from the top of the bridge, down to the front beam, under the loom and around the back beam and back up to the bridge is 47.5". If I make the bridge shorter (it's currently 8" tall) that warp length will be shorter. However, I wouldn't start with the nuts snug against one another, as takeup during weaving will make the warp shorter and you need some room to move.

Because the joints are not soldered, the loom is a bit wobbly when you pick it up unwarped. I haven't put a warp on it yet (I just built it yesterday and I was very busy today), so hopefully the tension of a warp will help it be less wobbly. If not... guess I need to learn how to solder copper pipe, because soldering the joints at the end of the side pieces (not the crosspieces) will prevent the wobble. Looking at online instructions, it looks pretty straightforward.

I can make the whole loom smaller as well, by cutting the threaded rod and then making the copper pieces smaller. I don't know how to cut heavy stock like that yet, either, but I'm sure the nice people at the home improvement store will be happy to tell me how and then sell me what I need.

I have vague ideas about selling these on Etsy, but obviously since the design is actually oakenking's, I'd have to see if he has any objections. And even more obviously, I'd have to see if there are any issues that I need to design out. I think that even with soldering the corner elbows onto the side pieces, it would still be compact enough to fit in a carrier bag (sold separately, of course!)

tool bag
All the copper loom parts fit into this zippered tool bag from Lowes with a ton of room to spare.

Tags: ,
i feel: tired tired

10 trips or shoot the rapids
points From: points Date: May 1st, 2012 06:40 am (UTC) (base camp)
With a good wire-brush cleaning and use of flux, the joints should only take a moment to do.

As for cutting the rod, if you have a dremmel, a cutting wheel will do nicely. A sawzall with a fine metal blade will do it even faster. :)

(You're welcome to stop by here sometime if you're in the area to use tools, too.)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 1st, 2012 06:46 am (UTC) (base camp)
I have everything, including a reciprocating saw, but thank you!

At some point I do need to retrieve my sweatshirt, though. :-D
pickleboot From: pickleboot Date: May 1st, 2012 07:49 am (UTC) (base camp)
the soldering is simple, and since you are not doing plumbing work you don't have to worry about moisture. just buy the plumbers solder/flux, a torch, and you are golden. ask me if you have any questions. i have a bunch of pipe cutters that go up to one inch pipes, so it is possible to cut the thicker ones. you can use a sawsall with a special blade, but i also think a good jewelers saw with the right blade works wonders. i can go through and see what frames and blades i have if you'd like- i've got at least a half dozen saws. let me know, or i can order a good one for you and tell you how to make an easy jig. i did do pipe fitting for a bit and a ton of work in copper pipe when i was in art school.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 1st, 2012 08:23 am (UTC) (base camp)
Yeah, the pipe cutter I got goes up to at least an inch. I'm not terribly worried about the soldering either; as you say, it's not carrying water so it doesn't have to be perfect, just tidy. It's the threaded rod I'm concerned about cutting, but it may never happen, either, unless I want something between 12" and 24".

Thanks for the offer, though! I really appreciate it, and I may take you up on it at some point.
cvirtue From: cvirtue Date: May 1st, 2012 11:28 am (UTC) (base camp)
I looked at the post you linked yesterday (the original inspiration, I think it was) and it mentioned some way to get a longer warp, but I didn't understand what it meant. Do you have plans for longer warping?
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 1st, 2012 01:07 pm (UTC) (base camp)
There are several ways. Start with the nuts as far apart on the threaded rod as you can go, or make the side pieces longer, or combine those two, or get longer threaded rod.

The method I think you're referring to, "chaining the warp," means cutting the warp as long as desired, tying a knot in it as the near end and tying a string or tape around it, and then tying the other end of the tape around the other end of the warp at a place where you can create good tension on the warp, and then making a crochet chain out of the excess, to keep it out of the way. Does that make sense?
cvirtue From: cvirtue Date: May 1st, 2012 01:12 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Oh! Yes, that makes perfect sense now. What with all that copper, and the vision of how to make a long warp on an inkle loom, I was envisioning something complex with actual chains... Thank you.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 1st, 2012 01:15 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Ha! :-)

Chaining the warp is how you manage a really long warp on a bigger loom, else it would become hopelessly tangled as you moved it about.
chefmongoose From: chefmongoose Date: May 2nd, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC) (base camp)
That looks very sharply constructed. Good show!
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 2nd, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Thanks! I started putting a warp on it last night, and the tension does relieve wobble a bit, but not enough to suit me, so there will definitely be soldering in the future. Who know that a love of fiber arts would result in the purchase of a blowtorch?
10 trips or shoot the rapids