Custom shuttle engraving

As a weaver, I’m always looking for ways to identify my stuff. When you go to a workshop, you bring your own loom, shuttles, warp weights and other tools. Making pretty marks on them so no one walks off with them is pretty important.

I started decorating my own shuttles so I could avoid mistakes on other people’s property if I ever get something going. Here’s the one I did today. (No design critique please. I did this for practicality and experience in how the laser will handle the curves.)

Here’s the profile view of a boat shuttle that takes 4" bobbins. Boat shuttles have a typical design, though they may differ in length and slope. They all tend to have similar width and thickness.

Placement was done in the GFUI by eye. I moved the shuttle around until is was horizontally centered under the lid camera. I scored first, then did the initials.

The other end getting engraved after scoring.

In the ‘eyeball’ version, the designs were on centerline. My machine offsets a smidge to the ‘south’ of the head travel, so I’ll compensate for future versions. The differential depth on the circular design really pops out in a cool way.

There’s only so much testing I can do; I only bought a total of 8, and sacrificed one for this test. Any comments and advice on things to take into account for future work are welcome.


Oh that’s lovely! If you want to guarantee it’s going to be in the place you want you can put a piece of masking (even just a strip down the center) and set your score line to the lowest possible power - it will mark the masking without traveling through to your shuttle - and you can adjust from there if needed - or just pull off the masking (while making sure the shuttle doesn’t move), close the hid, and hit go :slight_smile:


Thanks! I’ll do that and use the results to mark the bed as well, so I can get proper placement each time.

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This is very pretty. I agree that the depths in the circle make it pop.


They look fantastic.


I was just wondering if you’ve ever visited to Toyota museum in Nagoya? We went there last year. My husband didn’t think he’d enjoy it because it wasn’t all about cars, but we all loved it (including him-he asked so many questions of the docents). We even bought a few pieces woven in the museum. One of them is from raw materials spun into thread from the old equipment in the museum.


When I did clothes hangers for the ladies of the wedding party I went through several. I’m secure enough in my masculinity for my shirts hangers to say “Brides Maid” on them. :roll_eyes:

Nice practical project. I wouldn’t be surprised if others seeing it want you to spiff theirs up.


Sounds like just putting your name on something … but the joy of seeing your engraving on something that you enjoy using … that’s special.


I’d have bought more, but they are pricey, even at a bulk price. Otherwise, I’d go to town and have a variety of designs to test.

Now that I know how well it works, I’ll go to town on my personally-owned shuttles, instead! I might even wind up with one that says, “Brides Maid”! :grin:


thanks for the link! I have not been to Japan, but if I ever do, I will visit this museum. The video of the woman spinning cotton makes it look so easy, but it’s much harder to do than wool or silk.

It was fun, they have this massive wall of old wooden machinery spinning the thread. And they break a thread and show you how easy it is to put it back. I think we spent several hours there. I like it even more because it wasn’t one of those museums where I had to read every placard to understand what was going on. They had an actual person running each piece of authentic machinery from their old factory so you can see how each one works and the improvements they made over time. I think the final machine was this massive wall-sized weaving machine that used water to shoot the shuttle back and forth and create full color images. I’ve got a very nice piece from that too. Been meaning to make a frame for it.


As a sentimental gesture, a woman gave me (new weaver & spinner) a large shuttle she had from a relative who’d worked in a mill. It’s the biggest shuttle I’ve ever held (I’ve seen larger though), and it has sharply pointed ends made of metal.

This was not the kind of shuttle a home weaver would use; it’s designed for an extremely wide loom of a production weaver. A clapper of wood would be on each end of the shuttle race. The clapper would be activated by a tug on an over head rope or a pedal. It would slap the metal end, sending the shuttle through the shed.

This type of shuttle had the yarn come off an end-feed bobbin so it would not get the kind of backlash=tangle the boat shuttles are fond of. But there was no way you’d ever launch or catch it by hand.

Been meaning to make a frame for it.

[Ahem] You do have a laser, and know how to use it, yes? :wink:


I’m also lazy when it comes to personal projects :rofl::rofl:


This is the one made from the giant water loom. I took a picture of the front and back. I think they said the image isn’t dyed on there, but woven with different colored threads. Just amazing thinking about how Toyota went from weaving looms to cars.


The modern hardware used on upright (tower) spinning wheels to drive the wheels by way of pedals, is what inspired the design of locomotive drive wheels and hardware. I’ll bet there was something about mechanical looms that made it possible to transition into automobiles so well.

There was a giant wheel there too, I think it was a locomotive wheel. It was just an amazing museum.

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When I was younger I spent a day at a Toyota plant in Toyota City. It was fascinating. Eiji Toyoda the chairman of Toyota at the time, even came out and spoke to us.

Nice! The only founder of a company I’ve ever seen was the head of Sriracha… I can’t tell you how many factory tours I’ve been on. I had a never ending supply of Sriracha because at the end of the tour, everyone receives a good-sized bottle of their choice. That’s 3 bottles every time my kids and I went. And the time we went for chili grinding with my husband, we came back with an extra bottle.

Anyways, one of the last tours we went on the founder was outside and was waving at my son… He probably recognized us as the family who keeps coming back for free sauce :rofl::rofl::rofl:


I have a knack for being in the right place at the right time and have been able to meet several but in reality it’s only good for name dropping. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Labeling your shuttles is a great idea! Of course you know that as soon as your cohorts see yours, they are going to want theirs engraved too.

Curious to know if you have tried using them since the engraving was done. I know nothing about weaving, but I wonder if a deep engrave could interfere with smooth operation.