Insulating Weaving Shop Storage Area

Before the interior of the weaving shop which houses the Draper loom can be started an attached 15′ x 20′ storage area needs to be completed.  Two walls are now finished and a third insulated today.  The ceiling needs to be put up after the metal is put on the long outside wall (right) and the centre wall is done.  After this then storage units need to be built, items put in, and then the work on the area of the Draper and work tables can begin.  Work on this goes along as the weather is rainy outside…usually at least a few hours early every morning.


Board And Batten

Board and batten construction involves placing lumber – usually one inch thick – vertically one next to another and then placing a smaller size board over the crack between the two.  Lumber will shrink over time so what was once tight will invariably open up.  Insulating the shop that houses our Draper Model D requires that the battens be drawn tight to the board over their entire length.  A nail gun does this very well due to the speed at which it drives a nail, instantly snugging the two together.  With farming done insulation of our workshop, which was built around the Draper, is next on the agenda.

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.