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Reed Dent Size

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parkview112's picture
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Joined: 03/01/2012

Hello, everyone. I'm so new to weaving I'm not even going to call myself a new weaver. I'm getting equipment together to start, am scheduled to take a class next week, and a DVD is on the way. Phew!

Last week I picked up an Original Murphy Loom circa 1940's or 50's. It will weave up to 40" wide and is a nice, solid machine. I got it from a woman who had used it reguarly for a number of years for some rug work and general kinds of weaving. She only had one 15 dent reed but that seemed adequate for the variety of work she was doing. However, I've noticed that 10 or 12 dent reeds seem more common and perhaps allow for a greater range of general work. I do know that you can slay a particular reed to accommodate different needs above and below the 15 dents but it does seem that for average to heavy yarns the dents may be too small.

I also understand that many weavers have a number of vaious size dent reeds and over time that will likely be the case with me. But right now I would like to know if it would be a good idea to purchase a 10, 12, or some other dent reed that will be more universal in terms of allowing more options that the 15 dent.

 

Thank you in advance for any light you can shed.

 

Rich

Milford, NJ 

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Sally Orgren's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
Reed selection

15 dent is common for a loom of your vintage. If you were going to get one more reed, you are right, it seems the 12 dent is more the "contemporary standard" here it America. Having a 12 dent makes it pretty easy to follow most of the patterns in Handwoven, for instance.

Since you are so new to weaving, I suspect you really don't know what kind of weaver you are going to be, or what kinds of yarns you will prefer to work with. So I would check out a full sett chart online, and see what combination of three reeds sizes (including your 15) would give you the widest possible range of setts.

In general, 15 is probably as fine as you'll need for right now. In addition to considering a 12, you might also want to consider an 8 or 10. Those bigger openings might work better for certain types of weaves or yarns if you go down that path at a later date. And I find more flexibility with the more open-dented reeds than the finer dented ones.

Good luck!

P.S. Get stainless steel. Pricey, but worth it, as they do not rust.

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parkview112's picture
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Reed Selection

Thank you so much for your reply Sally, especially the historical perspective on what was and is now the "standard". That helps a great deal to give me the right perspective.

 

Rich

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ReedGuy's picture
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Joined: 01/13/2012
I just make an 8 dent reed,

I just made an 4 dent reed, which I also intend to use as an 8 and a 12 with 2 ply wool yarn. The one you see in "Home Built Equipment" Forum Group. :)

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WeaverDave's picture
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8-dent reed will do a lot of weaving

In Peggy Osterkamp's books, she shows how you can use an 8-dent reed to weave most any draft.  If the pattern calls for 10 threads per inch (TPI) then you can thread like this (inchs are shown in parenthesis) 

(2  1  1  1  2  1  1  1)  (2  1  1  1  2  1  1  1)  etc.  Meaning, you would thread 2 ends in the first dent, then one each in the next 3, and so on.  Reading from left to right, that is.

For 12 TPI . . .

(2  1  2  1  2  1  2  1)  (2  1  2  1  2  1  2  1)  etc.

 

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celtinbirks's picture
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Joined: 01/29/2011
reed size

I recently had a similar dilemma.  I ended up getting a 10 dpi reed first, and I am on the lookout for a 12 dpi reed.  The Murphy is a nice loom, my first loom was similar to it.

Have fun

Candace

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parkview112's picture
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Reed Size

Hi Candace,

After your experience getting the 10 first and then the 12 did you think that was in fact the right way to go or did you find that if you had to do it over again you would get the 12 first and then the 10?

Thanks!

Rich

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sequel's picture
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Joined: 06/09/2009
8 and 10

I find that I can use the 8 dent reed for anything that is sleyed at 12 epi,  the 10 would be my next purchase after that.  The 8 dent reed is big enough for most of the worsted weight cottons which are easy to find for a beginning weaver, and sturdy enough for the occasional rug.

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celtinbirks's picture
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Reed size

Hi Rich

I'm not into using very fine threads yet, and I am going to do rag rugs, so I'm glad that I got the 10 first.  After I get the 12, I'm going to get an 8. 

Happy Weaving

Candace

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Spara's picture
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Reed Size and where?

I just picked up my new to me loom last week. A Curtis Payton 1947 4 harness 6 threadle. I am like the gentlemen above. I am so new to weaving I won't even call myself a beginner yet. :O). It came with a 15 dent reed, the reed is 45 1/2 inches wide.

I know I want to use some bigger yarns. I also want to do rag rugs. From what I have read here I am thinking get the 8 and go from there? 

Where do you purchase a reed? I looked on Ebay and saw some stainless steel ones but will have to do some measuring to be sure it will fit my loom. 

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ReedGuy's picture
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Joined: 01/13/2012
Depending on where you live.

Depending on where you live. I'm in Canada and have bought an 8 an a 16 dent from Leclerc, and I don't own a Leclerc loom. They were SS and 60" long.

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Sally Orgren's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
Gowdey Reed company

http://www.gowdeyreed.com/

Look under the Handloom tab. They do a great job.

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ladidalena's picture
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reeds!?

So can you go the other way? Meaning if I have a 12 dent reed but the pattern calls for a 10 dent reed. Is there a way to just thread the 12 dent and make it work as a 10dent?

 

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ladidalena's picture
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reeds!?

So can you go the other way? Meaning if I have a 12 dent reed but the pattern calls for a 10 dent reed. Is there a way to just thread the 12 dent and make it work as a 10dent?

 

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pammersw's picture
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Thread in 5, skip one, etc.

Thread in 5, skip one, etc. That puts ten warp threads per inch. Using the notation above:

(1 1 1 1 1 0)(1 1 1 1 1 0)

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Andrew Kieran's picture
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Joined: 06/10/2009
reed spacing

that works. Or with a 15 dent reed you can make 15epi putting 1 in each dent, 30 epi doing 2 or 22.5 doing 2 and 1, for instance. As long as the gaps aren't too wide the warp ends will slip into place during wet finishing

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barleycorn's picture
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Joined: 03/30/2013
Reed sizes

There are reed charts available that tell you the threading pattern (example, 2,1,1,1) in what size reed (dpi) to get the ends per inch (epi) needed. Hope this makes sense. I not sure where but I'm sure there is one on line that one of our members can refer you to.

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buckyscheerio's picture
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Joined: 10/14/2012
custom reed

I have a wonderful kessenich loom. I'm thinking of getting a custom ss reed to weave the full width, I can fit a 40" reed in my beater. Seeing as this will be pricey I'd really like to buy just one but can't decide what size to get: 10, 12, 15? Any suggestions?

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Guiding Myth's picture
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Joined: 06/13/2009
custom reed

Hi 

Three things come to mind:

1.  You probably don't have to order a custom reed.  40" reeds are probably available somewhere.

2.  It is awkward but not impossible to weave full width on most looms.  Before buying the reed critically look at your beater and imagine what the full width shed will be like and see if you can easily put your hand where you need to and will there even be a space to get to the shuttle and catch it?If the loom was designed for a shorter reed there is probably a reason.  Also check the width of the shafts/harnesses.

3.  The  best reed denting to buy is the one YOU will use the most.  That will depend upon what items you weave and what yarns you use.  A lot of looms come with a 10 dent reed and if you haven't been doing a lot of weaving to know what you want a 10 dent might be a place to start.  Unless you plan to do weft faced rugs (where you'd want a corse reed maybe 5 or 6 dent).  Remember if you have a warp you want to sett at 15 ends per inch a 15 dent reed will be too fine in most cases - will cause too much abrasion.

 

Sorry for the long winded answer - that isn't a simple question!

Stephanie

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