I’m Jon, a former computer professional and a long-time woodworker specializing in fine woodworking.
I got into shuttle building 25 years ago, building 2 shuttles for my weaver-wife as gifts. I come from a family of woodworkers and it was the plantation raised black walnut from the family farm that inspired me to use beautifully layered wood in my shuttles.
Weavers from our local quild asked if I could make more shuttles. Early in 2009 I started researching shuttles and interviewing professional weavers at our local weaver’s guild about their likes and dislikes with old and new shuttles.
I’ve since made many boat shuttles for 4” and 6″ bobbins, rug shuttles, small brocade shuttles, Swedish and damask quill shuttles (new as of 2013 and 2014) and weighted tapestry forks. The shuttles are all highly contoured and finished using combinations of layered black walnut, curly cherry, curly maple (tiger, bird’s eye, fiddleback), curly white oak, quartersawn oak, quartersawn sycamore, figured birch, figured buckthorn, and high corrosion-resistant stainless steel rods. An internal wire-spring mechanism holds the rod open or closed on the bobbin and quill shuttles.
There have been frustrations along the way, but shuttle-making has overall been an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I particularly enjoy selection of woods to make unique-looking tools, custom work, and interaction with customers to assure that I provide the best product for their personal use.
Quality shuttles are in many ways more challenging to build than standard pieces of furniture because of their small size and finer tolerances in construction. If they don’t work well and slow down the work, weavers generally don’t put up with them very long, and they end up on the back shelf or in a bargain-sale basket.
I believe these shuttles to be some of the finest made for the discerning weaver; an alternative to the mass-produced CNC plastic or laquered wood shuttles that are quickly made by many of the major vendors of weaving supplies.