Power Weaving Loom

This model is based on various elements and ideas drawn from various sources including Super Model № 16 and an article in a 1957 issue of Meccano Magazine of a mechanism built by Mr. H. H. Taylor that powered the shuttle over its entire travel.

The main features of the operating mechanisms are the intermittent reversible motion that drives the shuttle, which rotates for half a turn of the drive shaft then remains stationary for the second half turn of the drive shaft, the reversing being derived from the crank. In addition, the distance travelled by the shuttle is generated through a gear train that passes through the pivot of the reed frame.

The other motions are produced using eccentrics coupled to crank levers, with the exception of the take-up motion that is taken from the healed frame shaft via a worm gear and gear train to synchronise the speed of the take-up with the rate of the weave.

I have succeeded in getting the loom to work in short bursts, but have a long way to go before I can claim to have mastered the art of weaving with a Meccano loom. The main areas that have to be addressed are being able to maintain constant tensions in both the warp and weft threads, also the timing and travel of the various moving components.

I embarked on this project in 2008, so with a bit of luck I might reach a satisfactory conclusion by 2016 at this rate!


Congratulations, Ivor, on creating an impressively ingenious and intriguing piece of machinery. I was brought up in Huddersfield, the home of fine worsted cloth in what proud Yorkshire people still call by its old name the West Riding, and have always been fascinated by power looms. Building a Meccano loom that actually works without problems for any length of time has got to be one of the greatest challenges (I’d say THE greatest challenge) a Meccano model builder can undertake. How is your loom powered — with one motor or more than one? My own experience of trying (so far unsuccessfully) to build a working Meccano loom is that it requires a very powerful motor(s) because of all the various mechanisms in the loom that need to be driven. It has crossed my mind that electronics (an Arduino board, perhaps combined with stepper motors, limit switches etc. ) might possibly be employed to achieve the exact timings required by the various mechanisms in the loom to work in sync. I haven’t experimented but have you considered this possibility at all?

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