Below are my thoughts on this particular loom. Hopefully down to the tiniest detail I myself find important. Lots of photo's included. :)
I've actually made a couple of lists - Likes and Dislikes. These are ONLY MY opinions. Please keep that in mind. I'll start with the Likes.
- The 8x10 size is perfect for my needs. Not too big and not too small.
- The top of the loom sits higher than the bottom of the loom which makes it a bit easier to work. Photo below shows side view.
- Space under the warp threads- at the front of the loom (lower end) 4 3/4" and at the back of the loom (higher end) almost 6 3/4". There is plenty of room under the threads for my hands to fit easily.
- There are bead cups included in the bottom of the loom which is a nice little extra if needed. This particular loom has 4.
- There are plenty of nails at both ends to tie off the warp threads. 5 to be exact for a total of 10.
- Tightening and loosening the threads for tension is fairly easy with the wing nuts at both ends of front and back rods. I found you don't need to hold the loom or brace it to do either. See first photo, side view.
- The wood on the loom is smooth. No splinters, no cracks, etc. Well made.
- Very sturdy.
- The price is right !
Ok, the Dislikes List. Remember, this is just MHO.
- Minor but irritating - came packed in shredded paper ! What a mess. The loom itself was wrapped in a bit of bubble I think.
- Directions that are included on how to use the loom are sparse and incomplete - for a beginner. I realize there is tons of free info online but this was noticeable. There are a couple drawings rather than photo's on those directions. To be fair, on their website, they do have photo's of how to warp the threads and a few on how to bead. There are better instructions on you tube.
- The loom itself is very well made however it needs to have the option of adding legs so it can stand higher if the buyer wants or needs that. Here you can see I've added a roll of shelf liner to the higher end to bring it up even more. I personally need this height and it really worked very well for me. :)
- The steel warping bars on each end need to be removable so one may have the option to add other warping methods. I know this might not be possible with this particular loom but it is a thought. The reason I say this is because even though size 8/0 beads can be used, there is a lot of gap between them when adding the beads so one MUST pull hard to bring the threads and beads together. Still the thread does show in between the beads. See photo below of brightly colored strip.
- I found that as I was beading, my arms tended to rest on the steel bar at the lower end. That is a problem I need to figure out myself. lol !
- There should be something included in the deal to stabilize the bottom of the loom. If using on a smooth surface, it slides ALOT. I solved this problem by using shelf liner. I bought a whole roll thinking I'd use the rest on my kitchen shelves. Well as you can see in the photo above, it now has another use ! lol ! It won't go on the shelves afterall. :) The liner I got has holes in it. The surface is not smooth which gives it better grip on both sides.
- Warping the loom was nearly as hard for me as it was with the cheapie loom. That said, at least it was somewhat easier to manipulate the threads to tie them off vs. the cheapie flat loom. There needs to be a better way to tie off the ends of the threads on these looms PERIOD. :)
My overall impression of this particular loom - It's a great loom - for me, as a beginning loomer (is that a word - lol !). I would highly recommend it to anyone. Let's face it, anyone can have any number of likes and dislikes about any particular loom but I feel this particular one would be and is great for the masses. :)
In the end, this is how I use my new Loom: Yeah, I gotta use a magnifying glass and it's on a stand and it's adjustable. Makes my life a whole bunch nicer especially when working with those darned tiny 11/0 beads ! Man, that was a chore but I did it ! :)
The photo below shows the two strips I made with this loom. The strip on the left is 11/0 beads in drk bronze and cream soda. I did not follow any pattern at all. Just went for it and that's how it ended up. I'm happy. :) The bright colored one is a followed pattern using 8/0 seed beads. Something else I learned quickly. You gotta have the right needle for the beads used and the right thread to be able to pass through the beads. All that will come in another post. Lots to talk about. lol ! As for the two unfinished strips, I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. Maybe bracelets, maybe for a collage, I just don't know. We shall see......................
That's all for this week. Thanks so much for coming by. I hope you come back again soon ! Since I still can't torch, I'll be posting more of my bead looming escapades soon. :)