Our second Hattersley loom is at last up and running.

Posted by Daniel Paulo on

 

We bought this loom in April 2018 and whilst it needed a fair amount of renovation, there was only one major problem with it:  it had been run on an electric motor by a previous owner, and for some unfathomable reason they had cut out the cranks for the pedals, leaving only a straight bar for the bottom shaft.  Our number one objective was to restore pedal power to this machine so we had to fashion some cranks and weld them in.  

Loom crankIn this photo our first loom shows how the cranks look on the lower shaft, the rusty bar below is what came with our second loom.

Potentially not a difficult job, but the places we took it to were too busy to be bothered with such a piffling little job.  Eventually it was taken on by a local sheet metal workers.  It took a long time to get this done, the first attempt was welded into the original bar and it was much too wobbly to work.  Months later the second version appeared and it spun very, very true.  

loom in piecesThe loom in many pieces after unloading from the van.

rusty then clean lamRusty lams clean up nicely on the grinder.

 working on beater woodWorking on beater wood, and painting the warp beam flanges black. 

loom shaft before renovationLoom shaft before renovation, some of the wood was saved, and some new pieces were bought.  Even after derusting the heddles were brittle and rough so I bought 700 new ones.

lots of bitsLots of bits...

take up motion

 

 

 Take up motion

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

loom mostly assembled

The above photo shows the loom mostly assembled:

What has been done:

  • New leather straps on picking sticks, across the raceboard and for the cloth beam at the front.
  • New raceboard.
  • New wood on shaft 4.
  • All new heddles.
  • Top lifting springs are automatic car boot openers!
  • The metallic pimply cover that grips the newly woven cloth at the front of the loom is replaced by a strip of heavy duty emery cloth.
  • A handle rises above the latter which is made from a broom handle.
  • Picking sticks sanded and varnished.
  • Various derusting and painting.

And that's just what is in this photo.  All parts painted in a silvery colour were restored by Michael, from whom we had bought the loom.  He had made a start on the restoration some years ago but eventually put it on hold.    

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Suddenly the job, which had seen me renovate every aspect of the loom until I could progress no further without the lower shaft, was moving on quickly.

new crankNew crank in place, pedals on, at last!! 

Even so, the 2-3 days I envisaged the finish the loom became 3 weeks.  I was determined to approach it carefully and thoroughly so even minor jobs could take hours.  The lower shaft was at last assembled and the intricate process of tuning and timing could begin.  It took no time at all to get it 'nearly' there, but going from being able to throw a shuttle to and fro on the raceboard to doing the same thing through a moving warp shed would always be the most precise job of all.

four threadsshed and raceboard

I threaded four threads to get a rough idea of how the shed would look with a full warp.

 

 

A 5 metre warp was made, using colours that were spare, resulting in a lovely vibrant sheet.

warp sheet

beaming the warp

The loom was set for plain weave - 2 Up, 2 Down. There followed much alteration of the timing of the picking and of the shaft movement, and it was very satisfying to see it all come together.  The videos embedded at the top of this page show a point where we'd got consistency and were weeding out any errors.

Once confidence was gained with the single shuttle, I couldn't resist looking at the revolving box, which allows up to 6 shuttles to be woven.  The design of the loom impresses me greater the more I learn about it, and this admiration extends even further with the revolving box.  It is very finely tuned, the process of which has led me to despair on many occasions with both looms (I think I might have cracked it now - need another loom to find out if so...).  This time the box was ready to roll, the only thing remaining was to match shuttles up to specific boxes so they are not too tight or loose.  This itself will take time for all 6 boxes, but we were able to weave with 2 boxes for a short time just as the warp was running out.

right hand shuttle boxRight hand shuttle box before restoring.

 revolving boxRevolving box before restoring.

We have since beamed up a 10 metre warp which has yet to be tied on to the previous warp, and we also have a new 9 dent/inch reed to install.

4 comments


  • Hi Charlene,
    That’s a big question! Mainly because it’s such a big undertaking to get from piles of rust to a finished loom. Determination will be needed, but the satisfaction is huge!

    Both looms and the pirn winder that we purchased were sold as ‘complete’, though neither were particularly so, especially with many of the smaller fittings.

    You could try making an inventory, there are sheets from Hattersley which show pictures and part numbers for every part, and you will need ‘the manual’ which was made for the course at Stornoway. This shows in detail how to assemble and work the loom. I have scans of that part of the manual and maybe could get the parts sheet (which I didn’t have when I assembled the first loom) scanned too. The problem with missing parts is some of them might be irreplaceable, it just depends on what they are. I didn’t use an inventory and just followed the manual. It is brilliant in its detail and I have found so many times that the reason something wasn’t right was because you have to follow it exactly, the manual is always right!

    I guess your loom is assembled? Mine were both made from loose parts, its your choice but it might be easier to dismantle the whole thing to derust etc. Our pirn winder was restored from a pile of rust and the main thing is to get all moving parts loosened up without breaking anything. It can take a long time for derusting fluid to penetrate.

    I made a little rubber mould for the ceramic guides used on the pirn winder as the ones supplied to me were broken and barely usable so if you need some of those let me know. There is the off chance I might be able to supply other bits but its unlikely.

    Good luck!

    By the way I do envy you. Having built 2 looms I’d love to build another!

    Daniel Paulo on

  • Hello from Pender Island, one of the Southern Gulf Islands off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.

    I have recently acquired a Hattersley MK1 and a Hattersley pirn winder for restoration. They have both long been out of working order and have extensive rust. I know there are parts missing. Did you ( Micheal and Daniel) take a parts inventory before you began? Did you take one section of the loom at a time apart or the whole thing? Just not sure the best way to begin? Suggestions?

    Charlene on

  • Hi Micheal
    Apologies for being slow to reply, I’ve only just encountered your comment. You can get the car boot openers here:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Universal-Car-Automatic-Open-Trunk-Boot-Lid-Return-Shock-Spring-Lifting-Device/223790712985
    There are other ebay sellers doing them also, and you would get cheaper (but much slower) if you ordered from China, I hope the corona virus doesn’t interfere with that.
    Thanks for getting in touch and if you need any advice etc I’ll try and help.

    Daniel Paulo on

  • Hi. I am trying to restore a Hattersley number 1 and I was wondering if you could help me by letting me know the automatic car boot openers on your loom, their make or brand as I cant find them anywhere on the internet. Thanking you in advance. Micheal

    Micheal Vallely on

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