Saturday, February 28, 2009

About Shuttles

With all the thinking I've been doing about ergonomics and efficiency, I thought I'd discuss a little bit about why I use the shuttles I weave with.

Since I don't want to be fighting with my equipment, I have chosen shuttles that have spindles that stand upright rather than being mounted with a spring that prevents them from moving completely out of the way of the shuttle cavity.

It takes just a flick of my left hand index finger to flip the spindle upright in order to slip the bobbin onto it.

With the bobbin upright, I can easily thread the weft yarn through the opening in the side as there is plenty of clearance and lots of room to see the hole.

A quick snap and the bobbin is seated and ready to go. No fumbling, no working artificially slowly because the equipment gets in the way of doing the job that needs to be done.

Now someone might very well say to me "But Laura, it doesn't take all that long to put a bobbin in a shuttle with a spring loaded spindle." My response is that when you do this task many times in a day, if it takes even 15 or 20 seconds longer those seconds add up to minutes and minutes add up to hours. Lost minutes that mean I don't get paid as much for what I'm doing because my equipment is inefficient.

One reason I can weave quickly and produce as much as I can during the day is because I have targeted equipment and processes that are needlessly inefficient and changed them to things that allow me to work as effectively as I can.

Very early on in my career I realized that while I can make more money, I can never make more time. Buying equipment that allows me to work as efficiently as possible has always seemed to me to be a wise investment.

For more info on how I hold and throw the shuttle, check the video clip label.


Sharon Schulze said...

What kind of shuttle is that? It's hard to pick 'em out since I don't ever get to see anything but the Schacht I can get around here.

Laura said...

Hi Sharon,

It's a Leclerc. They are listed at Camilla Valley Fibres for $33.50 CDN for the standard boat shuttle.

They come in open and closed format, standard and low profile. I prefer the closed bottom and have both standards and low profile because the AVL has a narrow shed and the low profile fits that loom better.