I was on a Zoom conference recently with a bunch of braiders, and somebody was showing off a portable frame loom she’d made from dowels and plumbing fittings. It was compact enough to fit into the laptop compartment of her backpack, but she often had to display it to the TSA because of the copper elbow joins at the corners. I was pretty sure I could make something similar from just wood, so I did it just to prove my concept to myself.
Mine is a little beefier than hers. She used 5/8 dowels, but I wound up using 3/4″ dowels and 1″ square rod. Mine is also a little larger than hers, at 12″x17″. This (for obscure reasons) is a very Japanese aspect ratio. There is no glue, so I could knock out the pins if any part needs to be replaced. Here’s a close-up on the joinery.
I did use a drill-press and some fancy bits to make sure the holes for the joinery were straight and clean, but other than that it was all sawing to length and tapping together with a hammer. The materials were all purchased at a local chain hardware big-box store, so nothing too exotic.