I have a 12 shaft countermarch loom and I have seen these sorts of looms are often for sale on second hand websites. However, there is not much information online about setting up these types of looms so I thought I would provide some tips about setting up a countermarch loom. It is not a step by step guide but feel free to contact me if you need any more in depth information.
The most important thing to remember when setting up/adjusting your countermarch is…
Never adjust your loom without the pegs in the castle.
Make sure everything is horizontal/vertical and precisely in line.
It is very tempting to get everything ‘straight enough’ but it really is worth taking extra time when setting up to ensure that everything really is straight and lined up.
Put the back shaft in first then progress forward until you tie in shaft number 1. Make sure all shafts are straight and the same height.Tie a piece of yarn from the back bar to the front bar, left and right sides. The centre of the heddle eyes should be in line with the yarn.
The Lamms need to be exactly horizontal and all the same height. Every other lamm is tied to the castle and will lift the shaft. Equally every other lamm is tied to the bottom of the shafts and will lower the shaft.
The lamms also need to be tied to the treadles below. Tie the treadles according to the structures to be woven. Remember every shaft needs to be tied to every treadle used.
There is no need to double knot the lamm/treadle ties. This is unnecessary and will make undoing them very difficult. Below is how to tie the lamms to the castle, shafts and treadles.
The treadles should be approximately 20cm from the ground. Adjust this to make them a comfortable height to work with but don’t do them too high.
The loom is now ready for the warp.
Before you put the warp on the loom take the pegs out of the castle and check everything sits straight and level. You may find that everything moves when released. If this happens put the pegs back in and double check if everything is tied up straight.
This is also the time to check the treadles are tied up correctly. Press each one in turn to check the right shafts are being lifted/lowered. It will be easier to correct at this stage before the warp goes on. Put the pegs back in the castle to stabilise everything until ready to weave.
Make sure the front apron is tucked behind the knee bar when you tie the warp on. This ensures space for your legs while weaving.
I have not covered how to tie up the treadles to create structures, this will come in another post.