For at least two years I have had my eye on a used loom that was on display at my neighbor's shop. The owner had moved to Texas and didn't have space for it, so left it here hoping to find a buyer. But the price was too high. Finally she dropped the price to where it was almost within reach. I checked around and asked the more experienced weavers I know, and they all agreed it was still too high. "Make her an offer," they said. So yesterday I finally called Texas and offered. The seller wasn't excited about the offer, but said she'd get back to me. I guess she made her own calls, I heard afterward from two people she had talked to. Then she called me back and accepted. I dropped off the check today, and made measurements. Now I have to figure out how to get it in the door of my house, but at least I do have a place to put it. This is an 8 shaft floor loom, 50 inch weaving width, made by Norwood back when they were in Michigan, and in excellent shape. It exceeds the width of my existing loom and is much sturdier. I already have several projects in mind for it.
(Click photo for larger view.) They don't make them like this any more. Norwood was sold out to a Finnish company that makes very good looms but only in native birch and without the solid feel of the old Norwood. I plan to make rugs and saddle blankets as well as outer garments for myself on this one. (Picture scanned from a 1993 advertisement, shows a 45 inch wide loom I think, slightly narrower than my new prize.)
I'm also pleased to report that Fiberworks PCW
, a very nice handweaving design software package, runs just fine under the Linux operating system by use of the Windows emulation package. I switched over to Linux a year ago, and the new loom forced me to find a way to get design software going again.
BTW, I have all the parts for the Norwood, including three reeds, but am missing the pegs for the convertible beam to make it work as a sectional beam. I can probably make these myself, but does anyone know of a parts source for the old cherry Norwood looms?