The front board (or “front beam” or “cloth beam”) works in tandem with the fixed back board. The front board holds the warp as the tension on the backstrap determines tautness of the warp. It has also been called a “breast beam.”
The front board is a flat and rigid piece of wood, in the shape of a board, that supports the warp and keeps it nearly horizontal to the weaver. They average four feet long, but must be at least several inches longer than the total width of the warp so that it extends outside of the warp during weaving.
These ends of the front board have protrusions onto which the rope of the backstrap is looped. Angled L-cuts into the edges makes for notches with an inner “bow tie” shape demonstrated below but a simpler square protrusion can work.
An oak or other hardwood plank of at least ¾ inch thickness and at least 7 inches height is best, but pine and other softwoods may be used.