I think you may have it sitting on its face. It's a pretty straight forward two-harness table loom. I think.
Here's what I see: the back beam is up in the air, out of view in the first photo, and the warp beam would be just below it.
The red and white strings are, indeed, heddles, and the reed is below it (Not clear in any of the photos, but you can see the shadow of it in the photo of the ratchet.) It looks like it may pivot back and forth to beat the weft, though that looks awkward.
It is resting on the breast beam, and the cloth beam is visible just above it.
The warp is wound it around the warp beam, over the back beam, through the heddles, through the reed, over the breast beam, and is tied onto the cloth beam (or, usually, tied onto a stick that is tied parallel to the cloth beam)
Weaving is done in the space between the reed and the breast beam. As you weave, you wind the cloth onto the cloth beam, and pull more warp forward from the warp beam.
I found a project on Ravelry where the spinner knit a fair isle sweater, in which each band of fair isle was a different pattern, and used different handspun yarns. That has me thinking about how to use and combine my handspun bits (and my fibers that aren't spun yet but are in small quantities) for a larger, non-repeating project.
...I was going to weigh in, but there's not a lot I can add. JTravis pretty much covered it.
Some people need a lot of hands-on help to figure out how spinning works. You already work with yarns, and you're crafty, so you probably have the skills and talents to pick up spinning pretty quickly. Whether you can teach yourself depends on how you learn: Did you teach yourself to knit? To crochet? Are you good at figuring out stitches and patterns from books, or do you tend to need hands-on demonstrations?
As far as time investment goes, JTravis is right there, too: Some people end up with very usable yarns, right off the bat. If your criteria for trying spinning is the chance of getting basic yarns within a few months, I think that's a very reasonable expectation.
On the other hand, I've just discovered the spinning forums on Ravelry (there are some excellent spinning forums on Ravelry. Just saying.), and am encountering techniques, spinning styles, tools and terminology that I've never heard of before, and I've been spinning for....a decade, maybe? Which just means that even when you've mastered basic yarns, and can spin consistently in the size and texture of yarn that you choose, there's still more to learn, more to try. I'm in awe, I think, that something as "basic" as spinning can have so much variety.
Yep, it's the gel food coloring. I only used three colors, royal blue, violet and brown, but the brown split up into its component colors while dyeing, so I ended up with a lovely range of colors in the end.
A laceweight silk, spun from some dyed top that I got in a box lot; I kind of hate it. I wasn't crazy about the colors before spinning, and don't think they combined well after plying. But eh, it kept my hands busy. (thumbnail, because the image I uploaded is unexpectedly huge)
Light fingering, wool (maybe Merino, but I think just wool). From roving dyed by The Dyeing Arts. I wasn't sure about the color blending while I was plying, but now that it's done, I LOVE it. Unfortunately, there's about half as much as I need for the project I have in mind. Fortunately, I have more of the roving.
My favorite thing to do is buy odd leftovers from people who have decided that spinning or felting isn't their thing; I get to play with colors and fibers I might not try otherwise, and for bargain prices. So, clearly, I buy fiber and only think about projects later.
That said, I think I'm going to make a new rule for myself that I'm not allowed to buy fiber in anything less than a pound. Yes, I've been having fun with small quantities, but I don't have enough yarn to actually DO anything with. 4 oz. of roving really isn't very much, when you're looking at, say, a scarf, or matching hat and mittens.