How to weave an 8-strand braid on a wooden loom.

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Picture of How to weave an 8-strand braid on a wooden loom.
Having posted a seven-strand braid, I thought I'd post an eight-strand weave I learned at the same time.

This one is a bit tougher on the loom, so it really needs a wooden loom, instead of card.
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Step 1: Making the loom.

The loom is a simple wooden disc, cut with sixteen slots. I used 1/4 inch plywood, left over from making boomerangs.

I used a hole-saw to cut the disc, and re-learned an important lesson - you get what you pay for.

The hole-saw cost a whole British pound (less that two dollars). The centre-bit didn't drill through the ply, it burned it's way through, because the bit was already blunt when it came out of the packet. As soon as the saw-blade reached the wood, the whole thing locked, spinning the ply out of my hand. When I clamped the ply, and tried again, it spun the drill out of my hand!

Going slowly, I eventually wore through the ply. If you look at the photos, you can see that the edge of the hole has a 45o chamfer on it, because the blade vibrated so wildly.

Anyhoo, I eventually produced a ragged-edged disc, and threw the hole-saw in the bin (recycling bin, though, so it's not a total waste...)

Using my rotary tool, I cut sixteen equally-spaced slots around the edge, measured with a paper protractor (see the next step), and smoothed off the edges and central hole to make it more comfortable to hold, and to prevent the yarn snagging.

I then used a coat of sanding sealer to keep out skin-grease, and to show up the plywood's various grains. If you use sealer or varnish on yours, run a scrap of paper along each slot to stop stray drops drying in the wrong place and blocking the slots.
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ghayton4 months ago

Thank you for the instructions kiteman, wow you can saw and braid, multi-talents wtg!! Just wanted to ask would the old fashioned french knitting bobbins work for this at all plz? (basically cotton reel with tacs in the top) I have 1 my nan gave me, even a cotton/spool with slots in should work shouldnt it? Havent done this before but excited to try, thank you for sharing your hard work! ;)

Kiteman (author)  ghayton4 months ago

You should be able to work something out for a knitting bobbin, but for actual French knitting, try these two projects:

Kiteman (author)  Kiteman4 months ago

And, yes, a spool or bobbin with slots cut in it should work. It's just hard to find them these days.

How do I make my braid tight??

Kiteman (author)  karen.arsenault.164 months ago

Keep a little tension on each strand as you weave and, if you can, cut the slots to be a snug fit for the strands.

prefect thank you!!! :)

Kiteman (author)  karen.arsenault.164 months ago

You're welcome!

Thanks for the inspiration! I'm not big on using wood in projects, I just don't have the tools for it. However, I have a ton of polymer clay (yay Sculpey!) and made one out of it and it works fantastic.

Kiteman (author)  stringtoathing7 months ago

Oh, post a picture!

lemuries8 months ago

This is so simply brilliant I don't know why it never occurred to me. Thank you for sharing this!

Kiteman (author)  lemuries8 months ago

You're very welcome.

Dyer133 years ago
There are many ways to make "perfect" circles with power tools.

If you have a rotary tool (read: dremel, which you should) you can make a jig to spin the dremel around an axis (, or you could just use a piece of string or wire tied to the guard of the dremel; as long as you keep constant pressure on the string, and use a good tight knot, it won't get caught in the bit. You can also easily make jigs that attach to a band, coping, or jig saw.

If you have a drill press, you can just buy a rotary tool cutting bit and put it the drill press. Drill a hole in the center of your board, loosely screw it in to a sacrificial backing board, clamp the backing board to the drill press table, lower the press until it's through your good board and barely cutting the sacrificial board, lock the drill at this depth using the adjustment on the crank, then spin the good board until you have a completed circle. If using a drill press, just go slow, as the chucks aren't really designed for lateral forces, like a mill spindle.
Dyer13 Dyer133 years ago
I went and actually made a loom after posting this. I decided to use the band saw method. I just drilled a pilot hole in the good piece to be made into a loom and screwed that into another board. I then clamped the bottom board onto my band saw, with the blade already started in the loom board and the axis of rotation (the pilot hole and screw) in line with the cutting edge of the blade. Basically, you want the blade to be cutting tangent to the curve at all points. Anyway, after I had that set up I just spun the loom board slowly and it cut out a perfect circle. It took less than ten minutes.
Chrystalkay3 years ago
For the loom... start with a square piece of wood.
Mark a cross from the points and drill at the center.
Make marks on each side at 1/3 intervals... (two marks on each side)
Cut from the outermost mark on each side to the closest one on ajacent sides.
You will end up with an 8 sided piece. Close enough to even not to matter.
Make 2 notches on each side... 16 notches.
Bevel, file or sand to smooth work, and coat as instructed above.
Voila! No hole saw needed!
I don't get it..xD :S
Kiteman (author)  Å¾goljevica3 years ago
Just follow the steps in the photos.

rickharris3 years ago
This is perhaps late in the day but if your hole sawing it is far best to use a drill press and go slow with little pressure. It's a saw not a drill.
mo55 years ago
you rely need to add pictures of you weeving the bracelet cuz my teen mind can't comprehend all of these verbal directions.
or a video, i think would be alot more helpfull....a step-by-step video
Kiteman (author)  mo55 years ago
I'm kind of bust right now - could you remind me in a week or two?
mo5 Kiteman5 years ago
don't forget the pictures. [:P
Coulro mo55 years ago
15zhangfra5 years ago
do you know any patterns for it? i want to try a diamond pattern, since ican do stripes and swirls as well as a tiger stripe pattern, but not a diamond pattern. someone recommended kumihimo style, which is basically this, except its' done with the loom a different shape
Kiteman (author)  15zhangfra5 years ago
Sorry - as far as I know, you can only do variations on spirals and stripes with this style of braid.
just so you know, if you look up "kumihimo" you will find out a lot about "japanese braiding" and there are a lot of patterns. i did one last week with 12 strands (yes i did a spiral, but 3 colors). anyway, lots of patterns and various strands... and the loom is available online and at most beading shops.
GEEK14 years ago
Hey Kiteman! I have a question i dont have any sort of wood at home. I was wondering if it was possible to make a contraption out of posicle sticks to replace the wooden loom?
Kiteman (author)  GEEK14 years ago
I think it might (make a sort of star-shape of sticks crossing in the middle, cut slots in the ends of the sticks - yeh, that'll work).

If you're only planning on making a few, though, a circle of card will do the job perfectly well.
mr_eand1der5 years ago
Alas, this comes too late for your original efforts, but when you find yourself with a blunt (but otherwise serviceable) drill bit, it *is* possible to resharpen it (even if it came out of the pack blunt).  The angles must be done right, but there's a fair bit of wiggle-room-- what really matters is a steady hand.  I do it myself with a sharpening stone, but someone else already did a fine instructable on using the proper tools:

I had a blunt bit of a hard-to-find size (super-tiny) that wasn't even drilling into hard plastic, but after some careful grinding (on a sharpening stone), it was going through the plastic and INTO the hardwood block underneath(!).  In a pinch, it even works for salvaging broken bits.

If you do regular drilling, it's worth learning to sharpen your bits, because this helps keep them drilling like a dream.

Thanks for the great instructable!
Kiteman (author)  mr_eand1der5 years ago
...and thank you for the extra info!
markdcoco5 years ago
Thought about this requirement... considered your issue with the wandering drill bit... and said there must be a better way.  I looked around my office and located something that was my answer... a used CD.  I marked off the slot pattern and went to the garage to find my trusty hacksaw.  A few minutes later I was done.  You have to be careful and gentle with the saw and it does require a little cleaning up of the slots with some sandpaper... but it's a perfect circle with a hole in the middle.  I even glued several CDs together and cut the slots to make a stiffer unit.
Kiteman (author)  markdcoco5 years ago
That's an excellent idea - thanks for sharing it.

w00ty325 years ago
I Just now realized you could use the 16 notch plate on your 7-cord braid, as it uses 8 notches at a 45% angle! I Must make one of those plates! And then buy yarn because my normal stuff is in storage! (I don't like selling houses..)
mdog935 years ago
where did you buy those holesaws, may i ask because that's pretty ceap?! mdog
Kiteman (author)  mdog935 years ago
I got them from a local market. I learned a lesson, though - don't buy cheap tools. The hole--saw shook itself to pieces after just one use, and nearly took my drill with it.
mdog93 Kiteman5 years ago
oh well- i'd rather have sumthin cheap if i'm not sure it's gona work or watever cus they're rely expensive noramlly
jtobako mdog935 years ago
Sometimes it doesn't work because it's cheap...And sometimes it doesn't work because it's not a good design. The biggest problem I've had with hole saws is that they are designed to make holes, not cut circles : ( Other than aesthetics and tradition, is there a reason that the loom is round rather than, say, square?
mdog93 jtobako5 years ago
yes because it wouldn't spin if it was a square would it
i brought one of these from an arts and crafts store u could use it with lanyards pretty kool making one right as we speak
the hole does look like an eye...creepy good instructable
gomezf6 years ago
I just found this site and this, I like this a lot. Thanks. But, I made several already. It doesn't need to be wood. I cut a 4inch diameter circle out of an old birthday card and put the 16 notches in and it worked perfectly. Any stiff paper would work. I had my 10 yr old nephew doing it. I have done a thing called knotless knitting and made bracelets and rings from it. But this is nice. I am going to check out your other posts Kiteman. If there is a way for people to send direct messages and anyone has a good way of making rings please let me know. The knotless knitting takes for ever and is not a specific pattern.
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