Shop Enclosed

After a year I finally got insulated doors built this past week.  Today I installed them.  Now the shop can be heated and I can work in comfort and insulate and sheath the interior.



Sailrite LSZ-1 Semi-Industrial Sewing Machine

Sailrite makes industrial and semi-industrial sewing machines in addition to providing tools and hardware and materials for sailmaking, upholstery.  You can read their history here.


After forty years of extensive use our Singer has given out.  This machine far outstripped our expectations and handled canvas, denim, light leather, etc..  It really outdid itself.  We picked up a used machine for light sewing of button holes, hems, etc..  We unwrapped our Sailrite LSZ-1 Basic on Christmas.  While labeled semi-industrial it is more than powerful for our needs and sews in straight and zigzag patterns.  We are really delighted and are already envisioning ways to compliment our weaving with it.

It easily handles ten layers of canvas.  Its walking foot feeds material like a dream and is essential for heavy material and quilting as well.


This is our first usage sewing canvas strips to synthetic jute to make a coarse sling for storing woven grass mats we made over the summer.

Finished The Outside Of The Shop Today

With the exception of the doors, the ceiling and wall sheathing are now complete. We finished placing the battens in place today. They still need to be fully nailed to the boards beneath. We used 1″ lumber and 1×2 battens. It is in the back of the quonset which is still used for farm implements and will receive rough treatment. Better boards than metal or sheathing or gyprock.

3PH Means 3PH


Now I remember.  After hooking up the hydro (Ca-nay-dee-en for electricity) I was toying with the Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and something twigged.  This is a three-phase motor and was hooked up to a three-phase source of power…and this is a three phase-to-three phase VFD.  Nowhere in this region is three-phase available.  And now the words come back…it’s just something I remember from when we picked it up…you’ll need three phase…you do have three phase don’t you?  Um.  I guess not…no.  No we don’t have three phase.  SO…there’s no way for the motor to run?  The answer is yes, there certainly is.  A couple of ways in fact.

Phase in electricity describes the method used behind the rapidity of the back-and-forth motion of electrons in alternating current (ac) which creates the power.  Typically our lights, appliances, and motors in our homes are single phase.  That means that a single wave of electrons moves back and forth, with waxing power and waning power as the wave accelerates and decelerates, stops and reverses itself.  This works well for typically lower-powered devices.  But when a larger, industrial motor is working, it works better either on direct current (dc), which is a high-maintence machine, or else by splitting the current into three waves, which overlap themselves by a third, thereby maintaining a more constant pressure presented to the motor.  Current capacity in three phase is three times that of single phase.

A dc motor is out of the question for this loom application.  The truly great news is that it is totally possible to convert single phase to three phase with the right VFD!

Using a rectifier to convert single phase ac into dc power, a power inverter of three semiconductor switches to produce square waves at 0, 120, and 240 degree stages, giving a constant power to the motor.

This 6 hp motor only uses 6 amps.  So, I disconnected the old three phase VFD and put in an order for a new one.

I figured all this out after getting up at 4:30, taking the dogs for a run, reading, writing, finishing prepping more ground for a new seedbed of brome grass, running the dogs, eating a quick lunch, and completing the electricity in the weaving shop.

A Wall, A Landing, And Stairs Today

I cut 5″ flashing from a sheet of 8′ tin.  We bent the tin and attached it to the stud wall footing.  We cut one inch rough sawn siding to length and nailed it into place.

We finished the wall.  We cut two inch lumber, squared it and anchored to the wall, and built the first part of the framework for the landing from these.  We hauled the stairs to where it would be placed and set up the second part of the landing, secured it to the first, and then worked the stairway into place.


Maple Top Work Bench

DSC00005The first of several needed and planned for in our weaving shop, this work bench is made from a laminated maple table top that was on its way to the dump…a renovation happening at an electrical shop.  I first began sanding the top with a hand-held belt sander this afternoon.  It was so discoloured, scratched, and gouged that it took an hour to just get it to a decent state.

I trimmed all sides with a circular saw to make the edges sharp, then cut and planed 2″x6″ dimensional rough lumber to make the start of a stand…



With more sanding belts I will finish the top, apply an oil finish and build a couple of shelves for storage both under and above.