I mentioned the fact that I would be happy to babysit her at my house if nobody else could use her. You see, we have no more room at the center, and she would have just gone into storage again. I said however, that I did not want to be a "Grabby Grabberson", and that if anyone else could use her, they were to have first choice.
Nobody else wanted her, she is in rough shape you see, having been in storage for ages.
That evening, as I was cleaning and oiling the breast beam, I thought, wait a minute, this is longer than I thought it was! I pulled out the yardstick, and sure enough, there were several inches of beam beyond the end of the yardstick! I had my hands on a 44 inch breast beam, which means a 36 inch weaving width! Not quite as compact as I thought!
In fact she is identical to the loom I babysat last year for the center. I had finally gotten that one moved over when a space came available! Oh well, I will fit her in somehow I suppose, you can't have too many looms when you are a weaver.
I continued to clean and oil the loom parts, and I ran across several pieces of old masking tape. I had learned to dislike masking tape, when I ruined a quilt by leaving some on in storage. I kind of feel the same way with it on wood. Here let me show you.
I carefully scraped this piece off without any oil on it, which I think is the way to do it. Look at the beautiful wood underneath!
I continued cleaning an oiling the pieces that I had, but I wasn't happy with the results. Usually, I am perfectly happy to leave the looms as they are, you know preserve the patina and all. But this time, I just wasn't happy. ( I could be because off all that beautiful wood I was finding under the tape!) So I pulled out a piece of sandpaper, and tried it on an inconspicuous section, just a light sanding, then I oiled that section. I was so pleased with the results that before you know it, I had done the whole beam! There is still plenty of character, not a total face lift, just a cleansing mask, if you will. (Besides, I have never seen a floor loom on the "Antique Road Show" anyway! I don't know what I was worried about!)
On the left, lightly sanded and oiled, on the right, just cleaned and oiled. I think I will take my time, and sand and oil the whole loom.
There is lots of missing hardware, cords and even the front beam take-up handle and the back beam crank are missing, so it will be awhile before you see Ms Emily (in honor of her former owner) in action, but when you do, she will be a beauty!
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina