Wondering if I can get some ideas on making sturdy and smooth lease sticks.  I have made some out of moulding purchased at the big box hardware store, but it is not very smooth, nor is it sturdy.  Plus I tie them to the sides of my loom with string which is also not so secure.  I am especially interested in items that do not require sanding...I eschew all sanding of wood.  :-D 

A couple of ideas already gathered

bamboo, cut in half or full stick--question...how do you drill the holes in the end in order to tie them to each other?  Also, does the bumps or segments in the wood cause a problem with even tension?

Plexiglass rods cut to size and with holes drilled into ends to tie the rods to themselves.  Seems like a good solution....

Wondering what others use for lease sticks, and how do they like them?




claudia (not verified)

Check out the discussion here in the DIY group.


tien (not verified)

I used to use thin strips of wooden molding for lease sticks.  Then I switched to somewhat larger lease sticks that I got at a large hardware store (I don't remember what they were originally sold as).  But lease sticks don't need to be rigid, in fact at least one loom manufacturer sells their looms with thin, flexible lease sticks.  (I want to say it's Leclerc, but I'm not sure.)  You can even use a length of string!

Also, I've quit using string to tie my lease sticks together.  Nowadays I use blue painter's tape (like masking tape but designed to release without leaving sticky residue) to attach my lease sticks together.  Much less fiddly than trying to get a string through a small hole!

Caroline (not verified)

hi Weaverchick, if you want to use wood, then its most likely you will either have to sand them yourself, or else find someone willing to sand the sticks down for you as they need to be smooth smooth, and not catch the threads you will be using. This will hold true of the ends of any rods made of bamboo and plexiglass. In fact a weavers best friend is a good stock of fine sandpaper, unless you are lucky enough to find some pre-loved ones that have already been smoothed by time and use. I  have to resand most of the spinning and weaving tools I buy, so end up making my own then I can't grumble then about the quality, hehe!

Its worth consideration.

cheers, Caroline

Michael White

Hi, first off how wide is your loom? you can go back to that big box store and get some 1 1/2 inch wide poplar (I would not used the oak). The store will cut the pieces to your size for free. They are already sanded (you will have to break (sand or file) the edges then apply two coats of Danish oil.  Better still if you can find a woodworking shop that could (or may have) cut you some pieces of hardwood, cherry, birch, walnut dressed down to 3/8 or 1/2 inch thick, 3/4 to 1inch wide and have them sand them. Or I could make you a raddle and lease sticks?


Penfield, GA

Weaverchick007 (not verified)


Thanks so much for these ideas...I may try them all.  Interesting that some use a string as lease sticks!  I would have thought that would cause tangles. Tying the lease sticks together is starting to drive me crazy...they hang down below the back beam while I'm threading the loom, and I worry that they will invite tangling issues.  (I've recently learned that maintaining tension in the warp is your friend in avoiding tangles.)  I like your idea of using painters tape.

The inspiration for this thread was the picture I saw of debmclintock's thread on a homemade raddle (Raddle-make your own or rather drill your own) , her raddle, lease sticks and jig to secure them is a great set up.  I immediately became envious, and wanted a set up like that for my own loom.

I have sanded my flimsy little lease sticks, and coated them with danish oil when I made them about a year ago.  Perhaps they need another good sanding.  Heavy sigh... 

My loom is 48" with a 45" weaving width.  I have 6 sticks that I have made out of moulding material sanded and danish oiled, and they are each 45"--I wish I would have made them 48-50" long to I can secure them to the sides of my loom.  My new lease sticks will be at least that link.

Michael, why wouldn't you recommend oak?



shaken, not stirred....


over in SE Asia they just put cellophane (saranwrap) or newspaper around their back beams or lease sticks to ease over rough edges, many lease sticks are made up of a stick in one side of the cross and a string thru the other side of the cross.  This is the lease stick that is left on the loom while the weaving is progressing...if I remember I'll try to grab a photo when I have the photo album open...and post it...of course I personally vote for getting happy with sandpaper and deal with it

Michael White

Darlene, don't shaken too hard you may break "something."Oh, your question. Oak, ash, hickory, chestnut are open grain wood. You would have to really sand the hell out of them to get them smooth as glass or use a scaper. To finish correctly you would need to use a grain filler and a top coat. If you use Danish oil in time the grain will raise. Cherry, walnut, birch, mahogany & poplar are tight grain woods. The problem with poplar is it is not stable, if not stored correctly it will twist and bow. Cheryl has been using cherry lease sticks for over 30 years and they are still straight. A other thing you could use is prefinish hardwood flooring, it is strong, straight, thin & "prefinished and very cheap, or even free. Finding a 48" piece maybe a trick. Check with a floor co. and see if they have a piece or two from a job. You could make a setup like Deb's, they have everything including the banister. It all depends how much you want to spend. And how much work youwant to put into the job. Ms. Bond where are you located?

Let me go and see if I have any "ice" (g)


Weaverchick007 (not verified)


Thanks for all the info...when I first made my lease sticks out of oak moulding they worked perfectly fine.  I suspect the wood has raised as you indicated Michael, and well, like many things, they just aren't as good as they used to be.

Painters tape has been a good solution in keeping the lease sticks from dropping below the beam, but not a permanent solution.  Still it is my friend, and has taken a respectable place in my weaving supply closet.  I like your idea of saran wrap...I think I will test that!  I am at the end of my sample of my "problem child project" and have decided I will make a raddle in warping my next warp and teach myself how to warp back to front using a raddle.  I'm following your example of using a bannister and will drill baby drill, I have also started whining about sanding all those little pegs to my husband, in hopes that he will do all the sanding just to shut me up.  Hey, its worth a shot. 

I'll saran wrap my flimsy lease sticks in my ongoing effort to avoid sanding at all costs (this is turning into a quest...) and warp the loom with my new raddle, saran wrapped lease sticks, and painters tape to stablize where necessary. 

Thanks for your explanation on the stability and grain of the wood for lease sticks Michael.  I think I will spluge and make some nice stable closed grain cherry wood sticks.  Hopefully with good materials, and if I do this right I will have to do it only once.  How much do you charge to do this Michael?  You'd be shipping a very long skinny flat box to Santa Barbara CA.


Joanne Hall

For those wanting to see the lease sticks, Claudia sent this link to a photo of Deb's lease sticks.  If you look at this photo, you will see that they are not thick.  They should be light weight and thin because that makes them easy to use. 

And to this comment:

Tying the lease sticks together is starting to drive me crazy...they hang down below the back beam while I'm threading the loom, and I worry that they will invite tangling issues.

Perhaps your lease sticks are too heavy.  For threading, you might want to tie them closer together than you do when you are beaming your warp.   I don't know what loom you have, but for threading, you need to tie them so that you can easily see them and see the order of the threads.   And if your lease cross is correct, there will be no tangling.  If you suspect that you could have tangling, then that is not the fault of the lease sticks.  Examine the reason you suspect tangling might occur.  The tangling would only occur from the way you are handling the threads.


Weaverchick007 (not verified)

This shows my problem with my lease sticks.  Notice how they hang down from the back beam?  The painters taped helped with this somewhat, but not a permanent solution.  Drives me crazy as I thread my heddles because I'm constantly pulling up these sticks with my threadding:

This next picture shows the flimsiness.  I have put some tension on the second stick to show how it bows under tension.  This happens to a lesser degree as I work with the threadding:

The lease sticks are pretty light in weight, but of course weight more than 20/2 cotton, so the lease sticks and warp gets pulled down below the back beam.  This does cause a problem with me being able to see the cross as I thread, but I manage pretty well...I am plagued with the occasional tangle and threadding error however, and I blame the lease sticks :-). I tie them about an 1" to 1 1/2" apart which you can barely see on the top photo.

tien (not verified)

Tie two cords around the beam on top, and suspend the lease sticks from those cords.  That's what I do, and it works really well for me.  Run the cords on the inside of the lease cord ties so it doesn't come loose.

Karren K. Brito

In my book lease sticks should be smooth, but lots of things work.  But you need something to hold them up and in place.  Try ropes or cords(this is what I use), 2 x4's from front to back beam or angel wings.  I like my lease sticks higher than the eyes of my heddles and in a place I can reach them easily.  I sometime add a 3rd stick under the whole awarp to keep the threads on the lower part of the cross within reach.


Weaverchick, first, you want some sway in your lease sticks so they don't break your threads.  Bending sticks let you know that you have a cranky thread issue.  If you could take a long shot of your loom that would be helpful.  Go back and look at my photo here.  I put my raddle and lease sticks on the opposite side of the back beam than what you show up in your photo in post # 10.  In order to do that I had to find a way to suspend my lease sticks so that they fed the cross from the heddles over the back beam.  There are alot of options.  If we could get a long shot photo of your set up we can brainstorm with you.  If you look closely at my photo you'll see I used clamps to hold my homemade angel wings on plus I tied a cloth strip across the loom to keep my threads on the lower part of the cross within reach, just like Karren posts above.  I agree, your current setup gives me a headache and heebie jeebies on what could go wrong and I know you can avoid it with the right set up!  Deb Mc

Michael White

Like Deb and others have said you need to support your lease sticks. The set up does not have to be a nice as Deb's is (which I may add looks great)
I need to know how long the lease sticks will be. I like to make them the same size as the inside measurement of the castle so the sticks will be close to the heddles.



Threshkin (not verified)

I make my own lease sticks.  Mostly from cherry because that is what I have in the wood shop.  I have dozens of them because I use them as packing sticks for long warps and on the cloth beam.  I use both paper and sticks on the warp beam because with paper the warp can fall off the ends when it gets big.  Even the cloth beam can get uneven over time so I use them there to keep everything in balance.  Four sticks every four or five revolutions or so on either beam eliminates the problems completely.

Most of my sticks are 1/8 inch and are very bendy.  I like them that way.

NOTE: I warp front to back so I do not use lease sticks in the 'usual' way.