Thanks for your compliments on the beadwork! I'll get cracking on
some herpetological designs ASAP
The loom I was referring to is the most basic of types: the boards
(appx. 9" x 5") each have two holes in them through which the dowels
(appx. 2 feet long x 3/8" diam.) pass (so that the general setup is
rectangular). Screws pass through the boards at the sides of the
holes and anchor the dowels so that the length of the loom is
adjustable. More screws at the outer faces of the boards provide
anchor points for warp threads. The even spacing of the warp threads
is accomplished using two springs about 7" long, which are looped
around screws driven into the upper edge of the boards.
The concept behind this loom is essentially the same as the "Indian
Bead Loom" sold in most hobby stores. FWIW, I find these looms
awkward to use and overly expensive. The "Indians" in question more
frequently made a loom using a bowed stick, with rawhide or
birchbark cards, pierced with evenly spaced holes, to separate the
threads. Some native beaders also made a quite complex heddle loom.
Diagrams of looms like these can be found in Virginia Blakelock's
book, Those Bad Bad Beads, and in Georg Barth's book Native American
Beadwork. I'd be happy to send or post pictures of my version if
anyone would be interested.
All the best,