Thursday, November 12, 2009

Flying Shuttles

Two types of flying shuttle

Industrial pirn winder

Whenever my warps are wider than 30" I turn to my trusty flying shuttles.

When Allen Fannin was alive he often salvaged equipment from mills that were either upgrading or shutting down. Thus the Whitin pirn winder came my way, along with half a dozen shuttles and about 1000 pirns that had been used in a fancy goods mill. I bought two heads, thinking I would set each up for different grists of yarn, but then decided that one suited the majority of my needs and we have just left the second head to use for parts if so needed. So far there is in excess of 1700 hours of winding time on the winder. (We track time used for servicing.)

The industrial fly shuttles are larger and heavier than the shuttles supplied with the AVL loom.

To compare - 41 cm vs 38 cm and 448 grams vs 352 grams.

When weaving the full width (60") on the loom, the lighter weight shuttles will sometimes lose momentum and not make it all the way across to seat themselves properly in the shuttle box. I'm sure they are fine on a narrower loom, but.....I only use the loom's shuttles when I have to use something unusually thick or textured - otherwise my first choice is always the heavier industrial shuttle.

Some people wonder if the heavier weight becomes a problem. Not with the fly shuttle. In fact, I found I had to exert much more effort with the lighter shuttles in order to get them from one side of the loom to the other than with the heavier ones.

And I just love the industrial winder. As long as I've set the tension properly and keep the carousel filled with pirns, it will chug along quite nicely thank you very much, winding perfectly filled pirns. Yes, I occasionally have a problem, but not anywhere near as often as when I have to hand wind pirns. For example, I didn't leave quite enough room at the tip of the pirns when I set the winder up yesterday and one of the pirns sluffed some of the yarn off the tip today. I gave myself a good talking to for being so careless. :^)


Benita said...

I love old industrial weaving equipment and to be able to use one in your daily work is amazing. You are continuing history every time you use that machine.

barbara said...

Love seeing the antique equipment, I have a feeling that it makes lots and lots of noise. Do I understand correctly that you can just have a bunch of the prins there to be filled, and you can walk away and the machine will fill one after another? Interesting!!! Weaverly yours ...... Barbara

Anonymous said...

Allan used to come into School Products (when Mr.Klein was still running it) and set up equipment for us. What a lovely, lovely man and what a tragic loss to all of us! I am so glad I got to know him!
Nancy C

Laura said...

Yes I do feel a sense of continuity when I use the winder. :) Yes it makes lots and lots of noise!

And I also miss Allan Fannin. What a fount of knowledge....

Anonymous said...

The Whitin-Schweiter winder has been a "pet" machine of mine dating back to the early 1980's while working for The Whitin Machine Works. The pirn/cop winders were built in the middle 1940's to the 1950's in the Charlotte, NC plant.
I have all the original prints and can supply some heads if needed.