I have been figuring out how to make my own ondulé reed. I think it would be great if I can make one with different sized fan areas... and it would be great to be able to make one that costs less than the retail price.
My first attempt is small as I am just testing to see if it will work. I have used basswood from an art supply store, but ultimately, I think I want to find or cut metal to use for the dents.
Materials for this:
- 24 pieces of 1/32" x 1/8" x 24" basswood
- 4 pieces of 1/8" x 1/2" x 24" basswood
- 20/2 cotton
- Fine grit sandpaper
I sanded down all of the wood to make sure it was as smooth as possible. Initially, I cut the narrow wood into 6" pieces... but later realized that 5 1/4" lengths were better as they wouldn't need to be cut again after assembly.
For this sample reed, at the wide part of the fans, I wrapped the 20/2 cotton around the crosspieces 6 times to create the spaces while I wrapped it around just once between each dent in the narrow part of the fans. I began and ended this sample fan with 1/2 fans so that I could have straight selvedges on the samples I weave with this.
My next step is the get the reed trimmed up a bit and tape over the yarn wrapping. I will then attempt to use the reed to see how it performs. In addition to seeing if I can effectively modify my Baby Mac to weave with the reed, I will also be testing to see if the wood dents hold up under weaving; if the fans are a functional size; and if the dents stay in place properly as I weave.
Stay tuned... I'll post more as I make progress.