Making your own tapestry loom out of copper pipe

I made the loom. In fact, I had so much fun that I went to the hardware store for more parts and made a second one. I even bought enough pipe and corners for a few more should I have a desperate need for a certain sized loom one day soon.

The most popular place to get plans to build these looms is from Archie Brennan's website. If you are building the loom for your own use and not selling them, take a look HERE

I wanted to make a simple rectangular tensioned loom like this:

Below is a photograph of those pieces. Six lengths of 1/2 inch copper pipe (I used the M or red type, but you could use the blue type pipe with thicker walls), two threaded rods, four nuts, and four elbows. If you are making any of the pipes more than about 10 inches long, you should probably buy the thicker blue type pipe or go up to 3/4 inch pipe. Copper is a soft material and longer lengths will bend with the tension from the warp.

I used a simple pipe cutter (pictured on the right side of the above photograph--gray with an orange knob) to cut the pipe and a vice (bottom of the photograph above) to hold the pipe while soldering it. Make sure you have something to hold the pipe as it gets really hot and holds the heat for awhile! You will also need some safety glasses.

I soldered my joints using a simple propane blowtorch, solder, and flux.

Here is what one loom cost:

1/2 inch copper pipe, M type. 60 inch length: $7.65
4 copper elbows at $0.75 each: $3.00
2 threaded rods at $2.29 each: $4.58
4 nuts at $0.30 each: $1.20
Grand total: $16.43 (plus applicable taxes)

Of course I also had to buy a few tools.

A simple pipe cutter for 1/2 inch copper pipe and PVC: about $8
A solder kit containing torch with gas, solder, flux, and brush: about $20
I bought a vice to hold the hot pipe. You could use a clamp. Small vice: about $20

I am working on a video which demonstrates how to make this loom. It'll be in the new Weaving Tapestry on Little Looms class (which comes out November 1, 2016). If you want to make one of these today, buy these parts and search YouTube for a soldering demo. There are many from people with a lot of experience. (Be safe and don't burn yourself... also, don't burn your house down. And wear your safety glasses please.)

I brought the small loom right to the studio and warped it up. Today I'll do some weaving on it.

P.S. If you want notifications about that Little Looms class, sign up HERE. You can also watch the trailer video on that page.