Finnish "root" loom
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The Saari Loom is a prime example of a Finnish "root" loom.

Root Looms in Northern Europe by Janet Meany

Before the industrial age, rural artisans usually crafted their own tools and equipment

from local resources. Timber found in adjacent woodlands supplied builders with

uniform lumber for posts and horizontal beams. In addition to straight timbers,

woodworkers also looked for trees with naturally occurring root and branch deformities.

From these less commonly seen growth formations, artisans cut sections of angled

trunks and roots that were further shaped with ax and saw to form the structural

bracing we now see in many antique plows, boats, and timber-framed buildings. In

order to create the strongest brace possible, builders placed "ship's knees, cut from the

natural form of a tree's roots, to support the posts of their timber-frame constructions.

Similarly, angled pieces of wood were attached to the keels of sailing ships of the Viking

Age to shape and strengthen the vessels' sides.