Thursday, July 15, 2010

Auto-Cloth Advance

Peg asked about the sandpaper/cheese grater beams on my AVL.

I was probably one of the very first people to order the auto-cloth advance on my AVL Production loom. I ordered it based on what AVL told me at the ANWG conference I attended in 1981 - both it and the double box fly shuttle options. When the loom was ready to be shipped in November of that year, I found out that neither of those options that I'd ordered was currently available. Apparently they flew a trial balloon at the conference to see if anyone was interested before they actually perfected proto-types. Eventually the fly shuttle was ready in February and the loom was shipped - without the auto-cloth advance, which wasn't ready until the following August. :(

So what I have is the original auto-cloth advance, not the newer, higher pick style.

This photo was taken from above and shows the end of the sandpaper beam, which is covered with a fairly coarse grit sandpaper. You can see the gear at the end of the beam meshing with another smaller gear, then lower is the pick wheel which dictates how many picks per inch the cloth will advance.

Here is a side view - not quite in focus - sorry. But you can make out that there is a pin in the bottom of the beater. (I have the lower mount beater, not the overhead.) When the beater is brought forward, the rod moves forward pushing the pawl which advances the pick wheel. In this case I've set the wheel to advance 24 picks per inch.

When the wheel advances, the chain moves the small gear up top, which rotates the sandpaper beam, which grips the cloth tightly and moves the cloth 1/24 of an inch every time the beater is brought forward.

The fell line stays in exactly the same place in relation to the reed/beater and the only time I have to stop weaving is when the bobbin or pirn runs out. While it may not seem like the savings in time is very large it does make the whole process of weaving more efficient because I don't have to stop every inch or so to adjust the fell.

Now why would I have to use the cheese grater beam for the rayon chenille?

the beam has bits of a very long eye-lash yarn caught on it - I've tried to clean it off but it would take more time than I'm willing to invest and doesn't appear to interfere with the functioning of the beam....

It's because the rayon chenille has a pile to it and therefore the sandpaper beam will stop gripping the cloth. When this happens the sandpaper literally sands the pile off the surface of the cloth. The cheese grater metal has much longer 'teeth' which dig into the woven structure of the web more effectively.

While the sandpaper will work for several yards it's a pain to have to stop and cut off and re-tie after every 2nd or 3rd scarf, so I will get Doug to help me swap the beams over after I weave another scarf or two so that I can weave all the way to the end of this 40 yard warp without having to stop and cut/re-tie.

Once the entire warp is woven the cloth storage roller will be moved to my inspection table at which point the scarves will get cut apart and serged.

These scarves will have hems, not fringes. The two different yarns in the warp are not going to make attractive fringes - in my opinion - so I'm weaving hems with just the fine yarn.


Julia said...

wow! I will have to do more research on the auto-cloth advance. Sounds like a dream- one day!

Rhonda from Baddeck said...

Thanks for the explanation - I was wondering how that worked. I assume it wouldn't be possible to retrofit most looms - wouldn't it have to be 'designed in?' What a handy feature - now I'll think of it (longingly) every time I climb off my bench to advance the warp on my 65" Glimakra...

Peg Cherre said...

Ahh....Thanks for the info. I hadn't realized you had an AVL. Do you do most of your work on the AVL?

I love my two old looms - a handmade counterbalance and an old Macomber. Don't know that I'd like working on an AVL.

Laura said...

Adding an auto cloth advance would mean a major adaptation to looms other than an AVL. That said, you can change a warp beam relatively easily to a brake system where you don't have to get up to release the pawls - I think Kati Meek's book dance with your loom has details.

I have two looms, the AVL and a 4 shaft Leclerc Fanny. Depending on what I'm weaving I'll use the appropriate loom. At times I'll weave more on one loom than the other, at times I'll weave a bit on each every day. :)

The AVL is very mechanical and can be very noisy. It's not for everyone. Really depends on where your interests lie and what you like to weave, how much room you have, etc.