First finger joints, and a Shed Wedge

Nope, it’s not the kind of shed you are thinking of. For a weaver, the shed is the space created when various yarns are lifted by the loom so the shuttle can carry the weft yarn from one side of the fabric to the other.

When you are dressing the loom, the shafts that control which yarns are lifted often get in the way of accurately threading the warp through the heddles. Since they are all on the same level, keeping the narrow metal heddles in the right order can be a challenge.

Some bright person (not me) came up with a slanted device that allows the shafts to rest on the wedge so each shaft is on a different level. This makes it so much easier to pick the correct heddle and avoid threading errors.

In the photo above, the wedge has lifted all 4 shafts in even increments, so you can select the correct heddle. When they are all on the same level, they seem to be in the same plane.

Here is the full-size prototype; it’s long enough that I can use it on either of my 4-shaft looms, or my 8-shaft. Yes, it appears woefully underpowered, except that it works as-is. My production models will probably be made of ply and double thickness. The joints are glued because I wasn’t sure how the tiny fingers at the tops & bottoms would work. (My way of playing with a concept to see what breaks. So far, nothing.) Dimensions are 1" tall x 4" wide at front, and 4" x 4" at the back; it’s 6" from front to back.

This was my first effort at creating finger joints. I didn’t want to use an online program because I needed to create the synapse connections in my brain for later work. Because I was using non-PG MDF, I didn’t want to have to hammer or force the fingers into place. As it turned out, everything was a close fit. With thicker material I’ll be able to use less glue, and design the fingers for a more decorative presentation. (thanks for the inspiration @evansd2)

It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than any I could have purchased from a commercial source! Weaving hardware is rather expensive.


You lost me at “heddle,”


The heddles are shown in the first photo; they are the thin metal pieces that connect top and bottom to metal slats so they can move side-to-side. Just off the photo at the top are the ‘eyes’ through which you draw each yarn of the design. This keeps everybody in their own lane, playing nice with neighbors on the other shafts.

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Excellent practical cut!


Practical cuts are always the best!


Back in the early 90’s I had a beautiful Samoyed dog and nearly every year while I lived at home ——my family and I would go to the Museum of Appalachia Fall Home Coming—-one year I met Granny Toothman at the Fall Home Coming.

I told her about my Samoyed. She told me to save his fur and she would spin me some yarn. A year later, I gave her a bag of Baby’s fur. Another year goes by and I finally got my yarn. At the time I did not crochet or knit. I put Baby’s fur that has now been turned into yarn in a ziploc bag and in the safety deposit box at the bank.

Every couple of years, I have to get into the safety deposit box and when I am there— I open the ziploc bag. I very carefully touch the yarn and think of my precious very loved Baby.

On November 17, it will 26 years since his passing. I still cry for him.

I am going to leave a link about Granny Toothman.


I’ll bet that is some nice yarn! What a wonderful keepsake. Rather than plastic, perhaps you can store it in a paper bag, or better yet, a pillowcase? Some plastics can leach out into what’s nearby. Also, if any moisture gets in, the paper or cotton bag will let the yarn breath while still protecting it from mold, dirt and pests.

In my experience, wool/fur/hair yarn can ‘age’ faster when it’s sitting static rather than having an active life. Getting it woven or knitted into something will make it last much longer. Depending what was spun with your dog’s hair, it may “full” (settle down and become compacted) even just sitting there.

I grew up with Afghan Hounds. I sure wish I had all that fiber I combed off those dogs for years.

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I now crochet but I am absolutely terrified to use it.

In my mind I get the yarn from the bank —- I make something with it—- then my house burns down. He was my first love and the yarn is so very precious to me.

It has been in a Ziploc bag at the bank since 1994. It still smells like Baby.

I want to find someone so I can take Jimmy Wayne Westie‘s hair and they can make it into yarn. I will make something with his fur.

Last year I tried to find someone locally but I was not able to.

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