You will need a wood saw with a mitre box and an electric drill, preferably powered not battery run ( I burnt my cordless
drill out on this). I used 2 x 2 Meranti, as its hard wood, and doesn’t weigh too much and is easy to get hold of. For a 7 foot loom you will need just under 20 foot of wood. I used flat head nails
as I couldn’t manage making all the pegs by myself, and split/cotter pins would have cost too much. I also used long
bolts so that I could take it to pieces for storage.
Please note the diagram measurements are approximate and will need adjusting for your own loom. I don’t possess
a work-bench so was working on the kitchen floor, the only almost level place I could find.
Measure out your hypotenuse, (mine was 78 inches with the ends cut at 45 degrees). This is the length of the outside
edge of the wood. (As I already had a 3 foot loom to use as a prototype, I measured the smaller loom and divided the top length
measurement by the side measurement to find out the ratios. I then divided my 78 inches for the top, which was the maximum
length of wood I could get in the car, by the side length ratio to find out the approximate length of the sides. I added 2
inches for the width of the wood to one side piece. You can do this much easier by using 2mm graph paper and plotting it out,
even if you have to calculate it as a quarter of a square. My husband found this process quite amusing, but it does work!)
The shorter pieces were approximately 56 inches long, with one end cut at an angle to butt the longest piece.
As you can see from the diagram, the sides are not the same length as I wanted to have the strongest join possible
on the right angle join, so the width of the wood had to be deducted from the shorter piece. Check that everything fits together
properly and you have the 90 degree angle and 2 x 45 degree angles, but do not join at this stage. You don’t even need
to drill the bolt holes yet.
Now comes the fun part! I already had a 3 foot loom to work from, so the spacing between the nails along the hypotenuse
was marked out and drilled at half an inch. This spacing allows thicker wools to be used in weaving without making it too
difficult to use the side pegs/nails, which will be closer together.
To make sure that everything balances, work out from a center nail. I didn’t, and have had to add one.
Now you are going to start drilling, and this is back-breaking stuff, as well as seriously threatening the existence
of your drill if you don’t take it slowly and give the drill time to cool down! You can then put the nails in, being
careful not to split the wood.
Once the hypotenuse is done, count the number of pegs you have, and this is exactly the same number of nails/pegs you
will have down each side. The corner nails/pegs are part of the count for each of the 3 sides. The spacing between the nails
will not be half an inch, but less, which is why I say the distance between them is irrelevant.
Once again drill the holes, then tap the nails in. You can glue them into position if you want, and if you can get
hold of 2 different colour nails, either alternate them, or make each fifth nail a different colour, as this will help you
pick out any mistakes you might make in the weaving. Otherwise red texta on the wood will do the same job.
Once the nails are all in, using a metal drill bit, drill the hole for the bolts. You will probably go through a couple
of nails, but that doesn’t matter. Then bolt it together, and you are almost ready to go.
I was going to build a stand for my loom, until an artists easel came on special, and the price was cheaper than the
wood would cost to buy. They have since come down further in price. You will need a full-sized one and some clamps to hold
it firmly in place.
Sand everything down very carefully. The last thing you want is your yarn catching on the loom. Some looms are then
painted and varnished, and become real works of art in their own right. It’s a matter of personal choice.