DIY Wide Inkle Loom

Good morning!

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I wanted to make an inke loom – or at least an inkle-ish loom. I read that inkles are narrow bands of fabric and I’m NOT going to end up with any of those, lol.

Waste not, want not. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Great ideas!

I used an old, ripped apart maple dresser from the pile by the fire pit.

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Out of it, I ended up cutting;

4 – 15″ lengths (7/8″ x 3″)
2 – existing lengths 33″ (7/8″ x 3″)
2 – 10″ sliders from the slider sections inside the dresser.

They looked like this…
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I hollowed out the slider part (it was only partially clear)…
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We sanded the cut wood to make it new again!

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SO cool how beautiful the wood comes up after sanding :) Very satisfying turning old into new :)

We bought 5 60″ (15/16″ diameter) hardwood broom handles from the local hardware store. Just under 5 dollars each but much better than hardwood dowels! We cut them to size;

6 – 29″ length
4 – 27.25″ length

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I used size #6, 1.5″ long wood screws (countersunk about 1/4″) and glue to put together the loom.

Purchase;
#6 wood screws, 1.5″ long
#8 wood screws (2), 3″ long (for tension dowel)

Each upward support piece (the 15″ lengths) I marked with a line where it should line up with the base (check for square), painted the surface with glue where it would be against the base, clamped and drilled and screwed on from the OUTSIDE of the base. The base is inside and the uprights and sliders are on the outside in my design.

Here’s a little diagram…
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Be careful doing the other side, that the base is on the inside :)

Only one side is complete in the picture, the other is just sitting up against it…
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After completing the sides, let them dry for a few hours, ideally overnight. I’m way too impatient for that even though I know it’s best!

Drill your holes in each base/side peice for the dowels, as follows…
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Again, drill a little countersink with a bigger bit to allow the screws to imbed into the wood. I sanded and drilled the ends of the dowels. You’ll notice some of the dowels are not perfectly straight. I found this didn’t have a big effect on the project.

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Then, beginning with the shorter (bottom) dowels, paint each screw with glue and attach the dowels between the bases. I began with one side and then attached all four on the other side.

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Next, attach the longer (29″) dowels – I stuck one of each into the top dowel position to keep the uprights from pulling together more than I wanted as I attached them from the lowest to the highest.

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Finally, screw your longer (3″) screws into the tension dowel. Don’t forget to drill the holes a little larger first!! We don’t want to split any dowels. The screws need to be screwed with the dowel in place or you won’t get it in later. I’m planning to sink the heads of the screws into the rounded tops I cut off the broomsticks for a clean/knob type look – using 5 minute epoxy – on a day I don’t want to weave ;)

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To create the tension device, drill holes periodically along your slider section. I’m using screws as ‘blockers’ but you could use small nails too. You need two blockers for each side so as you remove one the whole dowel doesn’t sort of ‘jump’ too far.

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A picture of it partially warped…
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I have yet to create shuttles and I have to finish warping and tie the string heddles in place.

If you have any questions – just ask! Hopefully you’ll enjoy this project as much as I have :)

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9 thoughts on “DIY Wide Inkle Loom

  1. What a great solution! My dad made me a beautiful inkle loom when I was about 13 (he was a woodworker), but I found the same thing – how many narrow bands to you really need? I like the idea on yours that there is room for two people (parent and child) to work side-by-side, if desired. Wonderful project!

    • Thanks :)

      My son really enjoyed working on this with me and he’s having fun now learning to weave. I love sharing my ‘stuff’ with the kids, it’s a great feeling!

  2. This is possibly the most curious inkle loom that I have ever seen. For 33 years I have been weaving almost exclusively on inkles and own 8 of them currently. I will be interested to see what you make on this. Last week I posted a list of things to do with an inkle band and am hoping that other weavers will leave more ideas.Please stop by at ASpinnerWeaver.blogspot.com. How wide is the piece pictured here?

    • Thanks, I will stop by!

      The piece pictured is 13″ wide – I’m planning a set of matching placemats. I’m not sure about shrinkage so I’m hoping they end up a nice size. We’ll see :)

  3. What a lovely idea, and a great way to re-utilize resources rather than seeing beautiful old maple wood go to the ash bin.

    This definitely has potential in our house, and I will be saving this link.

    Found you via ravelry.

    • Thanks!

      I love re-using things, it makes so much more sense than buying new and throwing out so much all the time. I love ravelry, it’s the best!

  4. Hi, I just found your blog and this post about the wide inkle loom. I couldn’t keep from writing to ask how it all turned out. I’d love to see some shots of completed wide inkle woven bands. I really love the idea of it.

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