Monday, July 23, 2012

Working With Teens is Such a Pleasure

Way back in March, our thirteen year old granddaughter Emily came over for a weekend and decided she wanted to make a chenille scarf.  This is how it looked as she was getting started.
 After multiple weekends of weaving, she finally came to the end of her warp tonight!  She was very excited about finishing it, and wanted to get a photo of it built up on the cloth beam.
This certainly looks like a happy weaver!
It is a long scarf, but just what she wanted.  I think we started with three yards of 1300 yards per pound rayon chenille warp.  It was sett at 16 epi, and was woven with plain weave.
Of course, she knows she still needs to braid the ends into fringe, and she got a little start tonight before heading to bed.  I wish I didn't have to work tomorrow, so I could help her with the knot tying, and then the wet finishing. 

I'm so proud of how diligently she worked on it without anyone leaning over her shoulder every step of the way.  She learned to use the electric bobbin winder, and after helping her with the first one, she did all the others on her own.

Today, when she was almost done, she came to get me to show me how the weft was starting to curve up at one end.  Most people wouldn't even notice, but she has such a good eye for that type of thing.  I reminded her to pull the beater from the middle, and we jiggled the loom around a bit to get it squared up, since we had moved it.  I tightened a couple edge threads, and it seemed to fix the problem. 

Hopefully she will get it done by the weekend.  Fortunately, there is no rush.  With the heat we have been having, I don't think she will want to wear it this week!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Live Weight Tension Photos

A couple people on a weaving group I belong to asked some questions about live weight tension.  I was unable to post photos on the group site, so am posting them here.  I was describing where to attach the heavy weight and the counterweight.
 On the above loom, my Leicester Dryad countermarche type, the back beam and warp beam do dual duty.  The warp comes off the beam from the outside, so the heavy weights are attached to the outside end of the tension cord.  This loom has 10# of weight on each side, counterbalanced with 2# and 4#.  (I probably ran out of 2# weights.)

The Glimakra Victoria table loom has the warp coming off the warp beam from the inside of the loom, so the heavier weights go on the cord toward the inside of the loom.  This loom has 13# of weight, counterbalanced with 2#.
 This is a loom with another example of the warp coming off the beam from the outside.  The heavy weights are on the outside cord.
I do not recommend using water bottles, milk jugs, or other thin plastic, since many are designed to break down after a time.  I didn't know that until a couple milk jugs that I was using deveolped slow leaks.  I stick with solid items or sand for weight now. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weaver's Delight Harness Slide Fix

This is my quick fix for the worn in groove in the cast part, Bracket harness slide 103 L.  The part can be replaced, but the cost is around $30.  Right now, I would rather spend that money on some rug warp. Instead, I took a finish nail that fit into the groove, and bent it until it would grip tightly.  The groove to the left of it also needs one, but that one wasn't binding the shaft.  I know where to find another nail if it becomes a problem.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weaver's Delight Problems with the Mechanism Solved

The last couple days, while Bob was at work, I worked on the little thread rack that came with the loom.  As I showed in the last post, the wires were quite rusty.  After taking the staples out that were holding the wires, I pulled them out and coated them with naval jelly.  While that was working on the rust, I cleaned the wood and gave the stand a pretty coat of red paint.

The naval jelly got quite a bit of rust off, but not enough, so I threw the wires into a container and covered them with vinegar.  After they sat soaking overnight, the rest of the rust, except a few small, very stubborn spots, brushed right off.  They got a light coat of oil before sliding them back through the holes.  Hopefully that should keep rust from forming.  I still need to get some wire staples to fasten the wires permanently.

I've heard that the stand tips over readily, so I'm planning on making a couple sandbags to drape over the back legs to keep that from happening.
I was having difficulty getting the mechanical parts of the loom to move after putting it back together.  First, I tried oiling everything I thought could bind up, but that didn't help, even thought it needed to be done. I thought it might be how the two gears were assembled, so I had Bob take a look at it this morning.  An important piece of information, when reassembling the two gears, is to line up the two notches on the gears.  The mechanism will not work if they aren't in the position shown in the photo.
So, we got that part solved, but ran into another problem when we put the plain weave cams (#1 and #2) onto the loom.  When we added the 4 shafts, a couple of them seemed to list to one side, and the mechanism wouldn't work again.  Thinking it may have been the weight of them, we took out the first two shafts.  When we tried moving the beater, the mechanism worked again.  After adding the first two shafts again, we traced the problem to shaft two.
There are two brackets with channels to hold the four shafts.  Look at the photos, and notice the worn spots in the casting where shaft 2 and 3 slide.  The second channel was bad enough that the #2 shaft was binding up in the groove, keeping the mechanism from moving.  I will need to get some brazing done to the channels at the top before using the loom.
Bob has helped me out a lot the last few days, helping to get everything working and trouble shooting when things didn't perform as expected.  Leslie, from Riverside Loomworks, in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, told me I would need cross supports for the sectional beam, so the individual boards wouldn't give when the warp is wound on.  Here is Bob, getting ready to rout the edges of the supports that he made.  It's great to have a handy husband!
This is what his cross pieces look like,
and how it looks when installed.  They are held in place by pressure.
They have to be installed in two pieces, and then bolted.  They divide the beam in thirds.

Without them, the center warp yarns could bow the boards slightly, creating warp tension problems while weaving.  Since there would be less yarn in the center, compared to the outer sections, because of having a shorter distance to go around the beam with each revolution, the outer warp threads would get looser.  These cross pieces should keep that from happening.

Here is an interesting tidbit of information about these two blocks of wood with the shaft going through both of them from the gear to the cams.  On the underside of them, there is a diamond shaped hole cut into each of them, and a round hole drilled through on top.  They are oil holes, making it easier to get oil to a very important spot.

If you have a Weaver's Delight, don't forget to feed it with oil between warps!

I'm still waiting on the brake band.  Without it, I can't weave or wind on warp unless I have help with someone keeping tension on the warp beam.  We are temporarily using rope in place of the picker straps that should be on their way.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weaver's Delight Restoration - It's Looking Like a Loom!

I went to the hardware store after work today to pick up some bolts and wingnuts to attach the top of the beater.  When I got home, I found out I bought the wrong size.  I found something in the basement that will work till I get the correct hardware.

I was able to attach the other "flapper thingy" on the fly shuttle temporarily, until I get an oblong washer that needs replacing and the correct bolt that my dad is going to make for it.

The apron was another fairly simple job to tack on, once I installed the cloth beam. 

After adjusting the brackets that hold the shafts, all four of them slid in easily.
Here is the loom from the rear, showing the sectional beam that I put on tonight.  It sure is heavy!  It still needs some cross braces made, to keep the wooden bars from giving when the warp is wound on.  I will have to get measurements for that tomorrow, so Bob can get them made.

I still haven't attached the picker sticks, since I am still waiting for the new pickers and leather straps.  Hopefully, they will arrive soon.
In the meantime, I still have more to work on.  The thread rack spindles are very rusty, so I took them all off tonight.  I think I will try the navel jelly on them tomorrow, instead of vinegar.

It was getting dark out and the mosquitoes were getting annoying, so I will get the rest of the red frame cleaned up and painted tomorrow.  My favorite color!

I've started looking at some rug books for inspiration.  I will have to be deciding what my first project will be very soon.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Weaver's Delight Restoration - The End Is In Sight

A few days ago, the loom was empty of all the metal mechanism, and was just the frame.  I started assembling it a couple days ago, after all the cast parts were painted.
By this evening, this is how the loom looked.  It was like putting a 1000 piece puzzle together!  My advise to anyone with the idea to restore one of these looms, is to photograph all joints and try to get a clear picture of all hardware.  A sketch of the loom, showing carriage or machine bolt sizes would be helpful, also.  There are so many bolts, of all different lengths, that some of them were reinstalled by process of elimination, because I didn't make a diagram.

This loom has a whole new terminology, so I had to make another call to Leslie at Riverside Loomworks.
 Riverside Loomworks P.O. Box 522, Eaton Rapids, MI 48827 (517) 663-0357 
I was going over the parts list she had sent to me earlier, and was trying to decide if any parts were missing.  Some of the parts have names I've never heard of when talking about looms. She answered my numerous questions, and I was able to order the parts that are missing.  The loom needs a tension band with end brackets for the brake, and a pair of pickers, a boot heel type devise, used to throw the shuttle from one side of the loom to the other.

I should have more put together tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Weaver's Delight Restoration - Sectional Warp Beam

None of my other looms have a sectional warp beam, so I'm glad I took a lot of photos before taking it apart.

This is straight out of the van after bringing it home from Minnesota.  It was dirty and rusty.  If anyone is going to restore one of these looms, get some orientation pictures so it can be put back together correctly.
This cast iron end is marked N6.  The wooden bar that the straps are stapled to are bolted to that section.
This end of the beam is marked N5.  The other end of the bar with the straps attaches to the N5 section.

Another thing to take a photo of is the orientation of the holes on the wooden bars.  They will all be facing the same direction.

Note the bar next to the one with the straps with buckles.  It has a heavy cord stapled to the hole side.  
It needs to be put back together in the right order for the cord to serve it's purpose, which is to hold the strap ends while winding each section. It keeps them from flopping around before each section is filled.  If your loom doesn't have the cord, it is an easy addition to make.

Before removing the straps for cleaning, I marked the center one, so I would know which direction to staple them back on.  They are stapled to the underside of the bar and wrap almost completely around the bar.  If they aren't wrapped around, the staples will tear the twill tape, and the buckle end will not end up where it is supposed to be.  The end of the buckle should be between the bar with the cord, and the one it's stapled to.
Finished N5 end.
Finished N6 end.
It feels good to have a section of the loom done.  Actually I have quite a bit of it done.  Pictures will come in another post.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Weaver's Delight Restoration - Pickled Nuts and Bolts

Last Saturday, I spent most of the morning and part of the afternoon cleaning a large amount of bolts and nuts.  They had been soaking in vinegar for several days.  It was a perfect summer day, close to 80 degrees, with a light breeze, so I set myself up under one of our big maple trees.  To keep myself from getting bored, I listened to a free public domain book using my Audiobooks app on my phone.  I'm listening to The Golden Dream by Robert Michael Ballantyne.  It's about a couple people from England, that travel to California during the gold rush.

I really wanted to avoid my hands smelling like pickles, so I tried some samples of surgical gloves I had sitting around, and then put heavy rubber gloves over them.  It worked!  No vinegar smell at all.

These are cleaned parts in water.  I'm adding some baking soda to neutralize the vinegar before drying them in the oven.

The parts still had to be wire brushed, but it wasn't hard, just time consuming.  A whole lot of rust just comes off in the water, even without brushing.

My opinion about using vinegar, instead of just a wire brush or navel jelly is that I wouldn't bother unless the rust is particularly bad, or in my case, where I had a lot of very small parts.  Since I was painting the parts, I had to brush them again after drying because a light coating of rust formed while they were in the oven.  If they weren't going to be painted, it would have been simple just to wipe everything down with oil.  For some of the larger cast iron parts, especially those that get greased, I'm cleaning them with kerosene, as suggested in the WD manual, and just wire brushing them.  They will get primed and painted.  I'll be aiming to get the rest of the parts cleaned and painted tomorrow.  It's getting so much closer to being done.

All these parts have been painted, and I'm starting to reassemble the loom frame and the sectional beam.  I will have more about that tomorrow.