My just-delivered varpapuu dalia is about 30 years old.  I believe the wood is Finnish birch  rather than Swedish pine - slightly more red than golden  The shipping company went a little wild with clear plastic packing tape directly on some pieces of the frame.  OK, their price was half of any other offer, so I think I'll live.  Taking off the tape stripped a bit of the finish - my fault for rushing and pulling across the grain. I was more careful with the rest of the tape, but it left behind adhesive gunk. 

Otherwise, the loom is a bit dusty but not filthy.  I have murphy's oil soap but hear good old vinegar and water might be a better bet.  Do I take fine-grit sandpaper to the stripped section, or leave it alone?


Michael White

Hi Mary,

Sounds like you are going to have a party in DC putting this loom together. First off you need to figure out what the finish is on the loom. Knowing this will help in removing the gunk & in cleaning the loom. Since the finish came off it is not a oil finish. I am thinking it may be lacquer or a oil base varnish. Go to this web site

to get instructions on IDing the finish. Once we know what the finish is we can talk about removing the gunk, cleaning and restoring this loom. I would take Ms Weavolution's offer of help putting the loom together. If you leave it "laying" around pieces can warp.
Enjoy your "new" loom.



Yes, varnish would be my guess. I don't have denatured alcohol or mineral oil handy.

So far, I've wiped down the treadles with a sponge dipped in 4 parts water to one part vinegar and wrung out.  I tried to remember to work in small batches, stopping frequently to dry with a soft cloth, then air dry.  The "bath" did soften the finish slightly until it dried and this does seem to steal some moisture from the wood, but it gives me a pleasant sense of sweat equity and a chance to look for spider egg sacs.  Guess I'll try the treadle beam next, maybe with 5:1 water to vinegar.