Dianne Betts’ Barn Loom

I saw this loom on the FB page “Barn Frame Loom Discussion Group”. The person who posted it, Dianne Betts, was gracious enough to get measurements for me so that I could make a fairly accurate modeling of it.

As with all of the drawings that I post, use it, share it, give me credit for drawing it, but do not sell it!

And please consider dropping a donation to help me continue this work.

be well


Barn Looms, sometimes also called Great Looms

While there is no set designation for what is a “barn loom” it’s generally agreed that it is a loom that is built like a barn (large beams, pegged or tusk tenoned) and due to their bulk generally get shifted out to the barn or attic when they stopped being used. The variety and ingenuity expressed in these (usually) one of a kind constructions is a testament to human creativity that should not be lost to history.

So I am making 3D CAD drawings of any and all that I can get Pictures of, and am very grateful when the owners will accommodate me when I ask for Measurements.

The drawings of the rocking reed loom (below) will be available for the asking later this week on my web page. send me a request and I’ll send you the link… If anyone reading this has one they love and would like to see it drawn up you can email me with pictures at: kaisaerpren@gmail.com. and I’ll ask for measurements that I need to make it up. (or if you hate it but want it drawn up anyhow) 😉 sincerely yours,

A Rope Making Machine

As with all of my drawings: copy them ,Use them, share them, DO NOT SELL THEM! and please consider giving me a donation at the yellow “buy now” button… And Like and Follow my blog to see what I’m doing next.

so I turned these pictures (above) into these drawings (below)

I found pictures of this one on the internet, attempting to backtrack to the original poster got me stuck in a loop where the picture on a site went to another site and back to the first site etc etc… If anyone recognizes this, contact me and I’ll put your name on it.

you will quickly notice that the drive gear is bigger on mine than the original. the original looks to be 1:1, I drew this 2:1. if you want 1:1 contact me ad I’ll redraw this for you.

The front and back are identical but for the 2 extensions, I suspect the extensions are to brace this against posts or in a narrow doorway. but they also serve to capture the spacers that hold the face in place.

These spacers have to lock into/onto the back plate, hold the front plate in position without pinching the gears, or letting the face get to loose…

this is accomplished by simply pinning them into place.

I can envision several ways of making these, one is to turn the profile on a wood lathe and carve the posts. But you need to use your hardest wood for the posts, and carving lignum vitae is tough…

Another is to cut 2 pine or poplar disks a bit bigger than the 5″ Ø finish, draw the 4 1/2″ Ø ( R 2.25″) circle and drill holes for the posts you will make from some very hard wood, white oak, live oak, lignum vitae all are good choices. Then assemble the 12 posts, the center 1″ post, and 2 discs with glue and or pegs. then turn, shave or sand the discs down to the 5″ diameter. The hardest part of this part is the hook, it must have a hook to grab the yarns.

In use that little peg is used to secure the fiber for twisting… I can think of several ways to incorporate a hook instead… can you?

edit: not the angle specified in the above drawing… it is wrong!!! that angle is 45°… sorry

I think that the best way to make the big gear would be to make make a sandwich… the middle (filling) is hard white oak, live oak, lignum vitae etc.. pick one, that will have the teeth cut into it, glue up a pie of it, Using 1.25″ thick material, a R5.625″disc made up of 30° wedges with the wood grain running from center to rim all around. To layout the teeth, on good paper , draw a 4.5″ Ø circle and mark the center for a 1″ Ø hole, along the outer circle mark off every 1 3/16″. these marks locate where you will later drill 1/2″ Ø holes. From those marks you will make arcs to the left and right at a R 7/8″, these will be the faces of your teeth. (see sketch). Then you can adhere the paper to your wood for a very accurate layout. Now drill the 1/2″ holes, and the saw the teeth with a jigsaw or on your bandsaw. Split that line so there is less cleanup to do later. or cut on the “inside” of the line. Loose teeth rattle, not usually a problem , fat teeth jamb and have to be filed down…

Then your “Bread” can be any reasonably durable material that you have around , make 2 discs 8 3/16″ diameter with a center hole of 1″. and your toothpick to hold it together will be a hard 1″ dowel left long for the crank…

Two in One Broom Machine

The original of this is owned by Mark Hernig at Kick and Stitch Brooms. He did the hand sketches that you will see, and provided the critical dimensions for me to make the CAD drawings so that anyone building this will end up with a working machine.

this construction can be easily be broken down into 3 parts, the stand, the vise, and the barrel/tensioner set up. if you already had a kicker you might want to make the first 2 parts alone.

the stand is a stout frame with angled legs.

the clamp is thick strong jaws with a lever closer:

and the barrel/tensioner is a symphony in simplicity. symphony meaning that there are a lot of parts that come together elegantly!

the stand is the simplest part and can be either hardwood or softwood:

4 legs: 2″ x 2.5″ x 36 1/2″ with a tenon on one end, note angle

2 ends : 2.5″ x 3.75″ x 20″ with 2 mortises

2 cross pieces 2.5″ x 3.75″ x 15.25″ tenons both ends and mortises opposing note angle of mortises

use a strong softwood or a hardwood for the jaws, you should probably use hardwood for the rest but for the lever which could be a “tubafor” (2″x4″)

I’ve drawn the jaws as if you bought 8/4 lumber and barely scrubbed it flat… A 7.75″ x 48.5″ hard (SYP or old Doug Fir plank) slab will do one side…

The 3/4″ x 2.5″ x 6.75″ keepers/feet should be obvious. So should be the 1″ x 5.25″ x 16.875″ lever holder. to make it work you need to hold the jaws in their closed (with a broom in there) position to locate the pivot point on the lever. the lever could be a 2×4 or a 2×6 30 or 31″ long cut a graceful curve for the clamping action.

the vise also needs a jaw pad, I call it a pad but it really wants to be the hardest material you have, rock maple, or osage orange.

If you want iron jaws seem my drawings/post of a stand alone broom vice.

The brake and barrel assembly looks most complicated, but we can break it apart.

separate it into support, brake, and barrel

the support is 2 boards of 3/4″ stock with some holes in them. these (in the final assembly) can be screwed or nailed directly to the legs of the first assembly.

the holes lining up is the only critical aspect of these 2 parts.

the spool and brake cut as shown, mount the 1″ dowel in the sides, and slide the spool onto it, thenyou can use these to layout the concave spaces in the brakes to match the spool, also then to mount the single screw in the pivot point.

the barrel could be made from a log 9 to 10″ in diameter and 20″ long… It would be a lot easier to make it of 2 pieces. A tube and a collar so to speak.

as you can see here, there are several ways to glue up a tube so that it has the space we need up the center. and the collar can be cut out and then drilled for the center hole and for the knob holes. through the collar there needs to be a hole drilled for a bolt to tighten down on the broom handle that had probably want to be drilled before assembling the barrel.

Last detail is the ratchet mechanism.. you can buy or find a piece of iron @ 1/8 to 1/4″ thick and cut it out.. or you can find a 10″ used dull sawblade and just make a bigger hole in the middle, maybe cut the points off. and drill 3 or more holes to fasten/screw/nail it to the collar.

put it all together and you should be ready for years of use.

until then be well

stay safe

Ft Mifflin shingle project update

after spending months pursuing a log that I did not get, I stopped by a tree service operation this past Monday to ask about getting some white oak from them. while the responses I usually get are along the lines of “don’t bother me” their response was “how about a truck full?”

there may be a couple of pieces in there that aren’t white oak… but gift horse etc…

this’ll keep us busy a while..

be well

stay safe

Broom Making Machine 1

Broom Making Machines, or presses, or apparatussessess, apparatii, apparatus… Aside from the factory made ones, The variety and ingenuity expressed in these (usually) one of a kind constructions is a testament to human creativity that should not be lost to history. So I am making 3D CAD drawings of any and all that I can get pictures of, and I am very grateful when the owners will accommodate me when I ask for measurements.

I have several sets of drawings that I am working on, this is just the first one that I have “finished”. The original of this is owned by Mark Hernig at Kick and Stitch Brooms. He did the hand sketches that you will see, and provided the critical dimensions for me to make the CAD drawings so that anyone building this will end up with a working machine.

I feel that it’s important to keep in mind, that while one is making a “reproduction”, the originals were frequently cobbled together, or made to fit, so I feel that being entirely slaved to precision that doesn’t exist is not conducive to good work. the original makers made things to fit, both themselves and the other parts, you should too.

There are 3 main working constructions: a table to work on with a handy little drawer, 2 uprights and the top, which support a barrel to hold the broom stick while tying the broom corn on, and support the spool of cord or wire and the tensioning mechanism.

Lets start at the bottom!

4 legs cut at an angle, about 19 1/4″ long by 1″ thick more or less. Stretchers (cut to fit) all around about 2″ above the floor. Then an apron:

Nail it to the work table top standing up about 1/2″ (so the top is 1/2″ down making a lip all around the top. and don’t forget some runners for the drawer.

The uprights are a bit complicated, the back edges taper from the shoulder at the bottom to the top by 1″. the the front edge tapers back going up 1 1/4″but starts at different places left and right. The left part also has the arched cut out, probably because the user got tired of scraping their arm on it while working. Note the holes are in alignment (centered the same) but are different sizes. but both top holes are 1″ for a 1″ dowel, or you could use 1 1/8″ or 1 1/4″ dowel rods and make the hole fit.

the top is only critical for keeping it all held together.

the barrel is a bit complicated if you don’t have a lathe. no worries though, I have a way around that.

If you do have a lathe you can bore the center hole, and then make plugs to mount it for turning. if you need to glue it up from smaller stock I suggest that you glue it up with a hole already up the center. the following illustration outlines several methods of accomplishing this.

and having glued up material thick enough to get the fattest part out of, you can just carefully carve it into shape, keep in mind that it only has to be good and round right where it passes through the uprights. A bird’s mouth glue up self registers when you put rubber bands or tape around it. and can be made from 2 x 4’s

If you cut these steps into the bird’s mouth joint pieces, half of the shaping will be done for you. make some half round templates and you can then rasp them into shape. The handle holes might be best drilled while it’s still a hexagon. (while it still has nice hexagonal flats to lay it on your drill press)

at the working end there are 2 metal collars, inside and out., they need a hole drilled through for a bolt or something like it, to clamp the broom shaft in place. The holes themselves may be tapped, or you could trap a nut between the layers.

Just behind the head and between it and the upright is a steel plate with teeth cut into it sort of like a circular saw blade. You have to make this out of something, so If you have a dull saw blade around you could cut it out of that, but keep in mind that the diameter wants to be @ 5″, any bigger and you may be scraping your arm on it. There is a pawl or point attached to the upright that engages the teeth to prevent backwards rotation. and a staple like keeper to make sure it doesn’t get knocked loose. see the pictures

Above it all is a twine aligner, for assisting in getting the twine or wire to come straight at where you want it to be., notice the small pulley mortised into the stick.in the photos you can see that it is held in place with a bolt that is padded with several layers of leather to make a friction fit that can also be easily moved by reaching up and pushing the end of it.

Make the drawer any way you like, keeping in mind that this is not fine furniture, it’s a working tool. The pull on the original is a metal ring with a staple holding it to the front.

First post 2021!

Happy new years! here’s hoping!

First thing this year I am hoping to set up this site to be able to sell the odds and ends that I make for craft shows..

So there are some minor changes in the pipeline..

I’m drawing some plans for various crafting equipment. I’ve decided to ask for donations rather than charge for access to them. I will post them Here as well as other places on the internet. I’m thinking I should also make up directions/instructions for the builds… we’ll see how I feel 😉

I am always delighted to make said equipment for some crafter, but there is a delight in making your own too!

Up for consideration! logo’s ! every one has to have a good logo now! I’ve come up with:

I like the second and third best… debating if the third looks best round or pulled into an ellipse.

be well

stay safe

update 1/11/21

Last post (here) of 2020

While this year has been a downer for some and a good year for a few… We have survived comfortably.

The isolation has been an added weight to my mind, yet I always spend most of my time alone any how… (wife at work, kid at school, friends far away)

I have done a lot too: learned 2 new chairs, got the shingle making at Ft Mifflin off the ground, still looking for more white oak of course, re organized my work area at least twice, still not happy with it… , made some tools, should have made more, Didn’t start Tai Chi, didn’t pick up the banjo, didn’t get enough exercise…

It’s been a rough year, but rougher for other people.

I am grateful that most of my friends are well or have otherwise survived the year. I am grateful for Judy and for Greg. And for having a dry an warm place to live and work.

I’m sort of feeling “I love you all” drunk, but I haven’t been drinking…

stay safe, stay well, and please wear your masks in public.


Broom Making “Machines”

Hi: so I have a long abiding fondness for making and repairing the tools that other crafts-persons use to make their crafts. I have made 4 pottery wheels, repaired at least 6 spinning wheels, repaired one “barn loom”, etc…

So recently I started looking at other crafts that extensively use wooden tools… I came across Broom Making…

There is a variety of tools or “machinery” that broom makers might use. And while I can readily find plans online for pottery wheels, woodworking benches, shaving horses, looms, spinning wheels, glassblowing bats, etc. I find NO plans or instructions for new broom makers to make their equipment (nor for me to do it for them 😉 ).

I Did find some really good sketches though, and I contacted the artist/broom maker to ask for dimensions so that I can draw them up proper! He said he would get them to me…

But for preliminary sketches I now have these waiting on accurate measurements to refine them:

And So soon I hope to be able to post plans to make some of these to the internet!

I’ll keep updating this: so stay tuned 😉

be well

stay well


About 35 years ago getting a new inshave was… Not impossible, but expensive and hard to find.

So I took this old damaged drawknife, stuck it in my forge. And I bent it… I pulled it out and let it cool… And the blade was too hard to file to adjust the bevel…

So I’ve never hardened or heat treated it. It holds an edge well, so I expect I never will…

Be well