Monday, June 26, 2017

Weaver's Friend Progress

The Weaver's Friend loom is still in pieces, but I am slowly making progress on its restoration. I could have just reassembled it and started weaving, but where is the fun in that? I know myself well enough to know I wouldn't enjoy working on a loom that didn't feel nice. If the wood looks dirty or rough, it would bother me.

Here are the little steps I have accomplished so far.

I chose something simple to start. This handle and pawl only needed a light brushing before a coat of spray paint.
This is the part Bob made to replace the broken one. I did get a coat of stain on it yesterday, so it doesn't look so naked.

The cast iron parts on both frame ends were removed and painted.
The bottoms of the corner posts were originally painted black but much of the paint had worn off.  Here is one end drying after a new coat of paint.
Both end pieces were painted with a dark red trim around the frame. I mixed some paint and touched it up with a couple coats. It is probably a bit brighter than the original color.  I did tone it down with some brown.
The opposite end. The stenciling on the bottom rail needs some touch-up.
Not a perfect touch-up, but legible now.
 This is the cloth beam.  The ends couldn't be removed without stripping the flat head screw slots, so I just covered the wood and spray painted the ends.The ropes were not in good condition and needed to be removed.
The ropes were nailed into recessed holes and I couldn't pull them out because the wood was so hard.
My neighbor happened to come by so I enlisted him to try and remove the nails. All it needed was some muscle!
Various other parts were painted.  I wish I knew the names for them. Some of them do have a letter and number cast into them, for identification purposes when the Reed Loom Manufacturing Company was still in business.

Back beam brackets. Numbered L23 and L24.
Shaft brackets and screws. They attach to the bottoms of the shafts and are the connections to the four pitmans. Number L8.

There is a little more done, but I still need to download the photos, so I will save it for the next post.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Old Looms Have a Way of Finding Me

Garage full of Weaver's Friend loom parts.
My friend Joan Sheridan, shop owner of Heritage Spinning and Weaving in Lake Orion, Michigan was contacted by someone recently who wanted to find a home for an old loom. It is called a Weaver's Friend and was manufactured by the Reed Loom Manufacturing Company. Since I have gotten several old looms going again and no one else took the bait, she asked if she could bring it up to me.

It now sits on my garage floor in multiple parts.

This part attaches to the crankshaft and the lower back frame support board, and is cracked enough to not be usable.
It is the board in the center of this whole assembly of crankshaft, pitmans, and back support board.
Bob thought the design might not have been strong enough for the force on it, so he beefed it up a bit when he cut a new one. He also made holes for the washers at an angle so they would be perpendicular to the bolts instead of at an angle when everything is tightened down.
The other part of all this assembly is the support board with an arched metal piece that engages with the cog wheel in the center of the crankshaft. The pitmans are the four curvy wooden parts (two are shown in the photo above) and connect with the bottoms of the shafts. It all becomes the automated part of the loom to raise and lower the shafts during weaving.
This is a two shaft loom.  The shafts are very heavy due to the thick hardwood frames and the cast iron pieces. The metal heddles add weight also.
Sectional warp beam.
(L to R) Part name?, cloth beam, front bottom brace, breast beam, and back beam.
Beater that includes a 12 dent reed.
Top to bottom: handle with pawl, sleying hook, crank handle, rag shuttle.

A few boxes of rag strips were included.

Also included was a blue chained warp and three  large cones of cotton yarn and one mystery fiber.

My hope is to get the restoration done by next week and get a warp on and threaded by the beginning of July.  If that all happens and everything is working well, it will take a trip over to the Walloon Lake Antique Flywheelers grounds to be used as a demonstration loom at the end of July.

That is all contingent on how I am feeling on any given day.  I am halfway through my chemo treatments, with my forth one scheduled next Thursday. I have four or five days of not feeling well following treatment, and am finding I am getting progressively more tired from each one. Daily afternoon naps have become part of the routine. This project has been a nice distraction.

I have started cleaning the loom and removing cast iron parts and painting them. My next post will start showing my progress.