Friday, December 09, 2011

Building a Warping Board

I finally got down into the basement and started building my warping board.  A warping board is a tool that will help me measure the warp threads needed to string on my floor loom for whatever project I decide to work on.  I think prices for warping boards are outrageous.  Mine cost less than $25.  Here's how I made it.


2, 8' pieces of  1" x 2" lumber
4, 4' lengths of 5/8" dowel rods
a handful of  thin nails
wood glue
hand tools

First I downloaded some instructions from the Internet.  I didn't follow this plan, but I needed to know how far apart to place the pegs and this plan had those measurements.

I cut 4 pieces out of the 1" x 2" lumber to build the frame.  Two pieces were 4' long, and two pieces were 3' long.  I laid the 3' long pieces on top of the 4' long pieces and nailed them together at the top and bottom of the 4' long pieces. 

Then with a pencil and ruler I marked the dowel rods into 6 3/4" pieces and cut them to size with a coping saw.

On the frame I measured and marked where the pegs would be placed, and I used a hand drill fitted with a 5/8" wood bit (sized to fit the 5/8" dowel pieces) to drill down ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE THROUGH the frame at those marked locations.  The dowel rod pieces will fit snugly in these seatings.

Next, I exchanged the 5/8" wood bit for a finer bit and drilled holes all the way through the center of each dowel seating.  I then flipped the frame over and nailed roofing nails through those holes and then turned the frame back over again.

I used a gimlet (purchased at Garrett Wade) to make a starter hole in one end of each dowel rod. I put some good glue in each seating and on the end of each dowel piece, then tapped each dowel lightly with a hammer, hole side down on top of the nails that were just nailed through the centers of each seating. As you can see, I had enough room on the frame to add a few more pegs so I bought another dowel rod and will do just that.  After the glue is dry and the pegs are as firm as I expect them to be, I will use some fine sandpaper to make the board all smooth.  Maybe I'll stain it if I can find some stain laying around.  I plan to hang this board somewhere on the wall in the basement.

Anyway, that's it. I'm proud of this warping board. One more "To Do" task completed. Now for deciding on a project and working the math to figure out how much warp and weft I'll need!

It's That Time of Year

We are in cookie mode here at Swamp Creek Farm.  I get a laugh at how certain people like to linger in the kitchen while I'm mixing batters and moving cookie sheets in and out of the oven.  This year I told everybody that I was going to make one batch each of the cookie favorites and once they are gone, that's it, so they'd better save some for Christmas.  I put most everything in bags and stick them into the freezer for Christmas week, but I have noticed that the brownies are already going fast . . . .  So far I made chocolate chip fudge cookies, oatmeal cookies and cocoa brownies.  Today I made the first batch of dough for the pfefferneusse and set it atop the refrigerator to age, white chocolate almond flavored almond bark, dark chocolate orange flavored almond bark, Alton Brown's gingersnap cookies (EXCELLENT and highly recommended!), and cream cheese kolackys.  The kolackys turned out so well, I'd like to share my recipe with you:


1/2 pound of butter, room temperature
2 Tbs. confectioner's sugar
1 egg yolk
1, 8 oz. package of cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Cream butter with confectioners sugar, egg yolk and cream cheese.  Mix flour and baking powder; add to cheese mixture and stir lightly till texture is smooth.  Chill dough at least 30 minutes.  Then, divide dough in half.  Roll each half out on lightly floured surface about 1/4" thick.  Cut dough into 2" diameter circles and put on ungreased cookie sheet.  Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each circle and place a small amount of filling in each depression.  Bake in 350°F oven 15 minutes till set but not browned.  Cool and then dust with additional confectioners sugar. To say that these are yummy is not adequate!

Cream Cheese Kolacky Filling

1, 8 oz. package of cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tbs. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 Tbs. butter, room temperature

Combine all ingredients and beat till smooth.  Keep covered and in refrigerator till ready to use.


I have to say I'm looking forward to tasting the pfefferneusse as I have never made it before.  I'll finish baking it next Tuesday because on Wednesday I'm going to the Ag Extension Office in Phillips for a greenhouse/biomass heating workshop that I think will be very interesting.  My sister will be there, too, and it will be nice to see her. 

Tom and Ed went out and brought back a lovely Christmas tree that Ed and I decorated. Our Sarah called the other night and is having her first Christmas tree this year.  She has a beau, is doing something new at work that pays a little better, and is very happy with her life.  She said she only has three ornaments so  I think I'll give her my best Hallmark tree ornaments to get her collection going.   
It's bitter cold outside right now and we have a couple of inches of snow on the ground.  Our old dog is snoring in her sleep with her head on my feet. There's a fire in the wood stove and the Christmas tree is twinkling brightly.  I think I'll give my worries about the world a rest -- at least for tonight.