I am very much a beginning weaver and have only wound two warps. But I have already figured out that a warping mill is easier on the back and the arms compared with a warping board.
Here’s a reminder of what a warping board looks like. The thread that will become the warp is measured out by wrapping it around pegs on a frame. Very tiring on the arms especially when the warp is long and wide. With the mill the frame spins and your arms stay still. A mill can be tall and on the floor, or shorter and on a table. All very ergonomic.
At my third weaving class last Sunday, Amber, the brilliant teacher, had an array of ideas for making your own warping board. All very clever and cheap.
But then she showed us her DIY warping mill and I was sold.
Her idea came from a video she had seen where the DIYer had used a lazy susan mechanism between too small side table stacked on top of each other. The top one spun and the thread went round the legs.
Amber improved on this by using an op shop lazy susan, some non slip matting and an upside down stool. Dowel attached with cable ties allowed for the starting and stopping loops and crosses.
Ikea happened to be on my way home in a round about sort of a way. So off I went to find something that would make a bigger frame. I already had the lazy susan in the sewing room – I made a rotating cutting mat quite a while ago.
This is what I brought home, after a quick stop at a large hardware store for dowel and cable ties plus my previous cutting board hack.
The frame is for a wardrobe system and has a hanging rod. Once assembled I realised the rod could attach to the side and would support the cross pegs. I also noted that the base was too wide, so I needed to buy the top shelf as well.
Luckily I had a meeting on Monday evening that was not too far from the other Ikea store.This is what I bought there.
Unfortunately the extra rails while adjustable in length are a bit too long in the narrowest position. A quick pulling apart and I was ready to go.
Except that the bracket has a lug inside and the modified rod did not have a corresponding hole. It was easy to cut off.
The dowel was too thin, so another trip to the hardware to exchange for some with a bigger diameter, but not as many lengths, as now I knew it didn’t have to go right across the frame. I had my extra rods to provide sufficient support just on one side.
So here it is. It is 1 metre high, so I have raised it by putting the lazy susan on a stool I already had.
And this is how it works.
My quick test warp is 4 m long. The dowels are not finally fixed in position as they still need sanding. And I might add some more so I can have a counting cross too. The rod supports easily slide up and down to adjust for a wide range of warp lengths as the height of this mill can accommodate quite a few turns of thread.
And if I flip it onto its feet, it is easy to store, I have a stack of plastic tubs containing too many unfinished projects and it will go over them quite nicely.
Cost: Frame $20, top shelf $15, 3 extra rods $18, dowel $7.45, cable ties $1.98
Total: $62.43 if you need to buy a lazy susan that is $14.99. Pretty good compared to the price of a warping mill. And I can always use it as a standing desk or if I am prepared to sacrifice cable ties and reposition the rods, it would make a good rack for drying dyed threads.
If you like my hack and want to use it, please acknowledge the original idea from @weavingwooles as well as my adaptation.