Monday, October 28, 2013

For Sale: A Rare Beauty


Let me share my weaving friend with you.  This is a Woolhouse Tools Gertrude Loom, number 61, who I call Emmatrude. We met for the first time July 11th, 1998 and we have spent many, many happy hours together.

Built by John Low in his workshop on his Armstrong property in the Spallumcheen Valley, BC. John has been building fine weaving equipment since 1977. He would go to a wood lot and select his birch trees, have them cut and milled, then air dried for one to two years. All wooden parts are made by John and there is very little metal. The large Gertrude looms are numbered and so as John moves towards the gradual closure  of his business and into retirement, these looms will become exclusive. In fact, most owners like to get to know the number above and below their looms to feel a part of the continuity.  { in my case, number 60 is a 16 shaft and lives in Lumby, BC, and number 62 is a drawloom and lives on Whidbey Island, Washington}

As I explained in my previous post I have decided to sell this loom as she's not getting the attention she deserves anymore.... and its not her fault.  Weaving on her (or treadling to be more precise) seems to aggravate my lumbar spine where I have some disc issues.  Okay, enough of my whining and let me give you an introduction to her.

She is a  45 inch weaving width, 12 shaft parallel countermarche (or floating lamms) with a full set of  16 rear mounted  treadles. These are great for those drafts that gobble up treadles such as summer and winter. 

Made from  select birch and has a hand rubbed Danish oil finish. This has turned to a wonderful golden colour over the years. ( I wish I aged as well as she has!)  

She has a ratchet and pawl  braking system and will handle delicate laces right through to rugs (though an extra weight for the beater bar would be recommended if rugs become a regular item.)

Treadling is made much easier due to all texsolv cording running over pulleys smoothly. The rear mounted treadles  maximizes the effort used.

There is a second warp beam if you like to weave supplementary warps or even pre-load a second warp while weaving off the first one. Great for production weavers. 

 There is a set of sectional rakes, modified from a Leclerc sectional. It can be used on either beam, though I prefer the lower setting myself. There is a Woohouse Tools tension box as well.

sectional rake on lower beam

There is a full length raddle and two sets of lease sticks, one ten dent reed, and she has 3600 heddles for any project you can dream up. (that's 300 per shaft and it only came with 100 per shaft)  Apparently I was dreaming big when I ordered the heddles.  There is a cloth protector to keep your newly woven cloth from being rubbed the wrong way by a tummy.

lease sticks

cloth protector in place

Then, she also has the 20+ tie up system that gets the weaver out from under the loom for tie ups and sitting at the back and pulling cords in minutes, versus the previous hours. Save those knees! 

20+ tie up assist at back of the loom

simply sit and pull the cords...

It may be tedious to set all the cords up at first but you'll agree it was so worth it when you can sit and pull cords for an eight shaft / eight treadle weave in eight minutes.   

Speaking of cords they were all replaced brand new as of July 2012, when at that same time, the Big Girl got a thorough cleaning and oiling.

new cords for the 20+

heddles washed

all wood oiled

reassembly under way

Another side benefit of the 20+ system is to pull the cords up tight so all treadles are lifted and you can easily vacuum underneath. 

You see this loom is a Big Girl and not easily moved coming in at approx 450 pounds according to John Low the builder based on his freight weights.  

She's tall : 69 inches high over all to the top of the jacks.
She's long:  68 inches over all to the back of the 20+ box
She's beamy:  60.5 inches wide overall, with 45 inch weaveable.

I have the original manual and instruction papers for the loom and all upgrades added to her over the years.

There is a nice bonus to this loom (if she isn't special enough already) and that's she can have a Drawloom attachment added to her. This can be also detached or suspended so you can do regular weaving or re-set to a drawloom once more.  This added device would add to the overall height and length for footprint considerations. 

At the time of this post, Mr Low is still manufacturing all the parts for the Gertrude looms, including the drawloom portion.

As you can see, this is no ordinary loom and no freight box for her! I would like the loom to viewed in place and the prospective buyer to visit and try her out. Once my current warp is complete, I will place a sampling warp on for the viewers to try.  The purchaser will appreciate that its helpful to be present during the dismantling for their benefit and help to ensure a happy reassembly at their home. So I must decline all offers that include my handling of the shipping as I'm not able to undertake this at this time.
Pick up at Duncan on Vancouver Island only please. 

Let's break down the loom into sections based on current 2013 pricing:

  •  12 shaft loom and 14 treadles:   $4771.00
  • one extra set treadles:   $95.00
  • additional heddles:   $398.00
  • second warp beam:   $699.00
  • sectional rakes:   $416.00
  • tension box:   $133.00
  • raddle:   $104.00 (no longer offered at web site)
  • 10 dent reed:   $126.00
  • 20 + tie up assist:   $984.00 (when purchased)
  • all new 20+ cords July/12: $484.00 +/-
Totals:  8106.00 plus freight costs of 8% of total purchase of 648.48  for grand total of $8754.48 in Canadian dollars. This is added as this is an additional cost of the loom when ordering directly as  brand new. While my loom is used, I think we can agree that she is in 'like-new' condition and *very* well maintained.


....can you see yourself here?


Donna said...

Well, I'm going to say it. What a humdinger of an ad, Susan!! I especially like the closing bit "can you see yourself..." That is really great salesmanship, and I feel confident that Emmatrude will be in her new home in no time at all. If you were looking for a job in advertising, I bet you would be snapped up in a jiffy!!!

ps hope BH is feeling much better.


Anonymous said...

Oh, yes I can see myself sitting at your wonderful loom. Unfortunately, my weaving savings account can't...sigh it is always something. I am sure you find a wonderful home for the loom, just wish it was my home she was coming to.

Hope you and Bruce are both feeling much better. Pet Miss Callie for me.

Louisa said...

Sad that you have to give up Emmatrude, Susan! However I know you'll make sure she goes to a good home, won't you? Kind of neat that you know where the near numbers of Gertrudes are too. I never asked John when I got my #27 back in the 1980s. Yours has many more bells and whistles than mine! But I love her anyway...

Anonymous said...

Susan I have put a note about Emmatrude on my blog - you never know - so sad but I hope she finds a new home and goes on weaving for many years.

Susan said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and support. Don't let the cheerful sales pitch fool you.... This was the hardest post I've had to write and no doubt some tears will be shed. Moving things forward is never easy, but a Lady always knows when to leave. You do it at your peak and in style!


R. Delight said...

Wow! She is a beauty! Hope you find a good home for her soon.

Hildred said...

Oh Susan, if we could only turn back time!!!