The AVL that I weave on has more mechanics than an 'ordinary' floor loom. It has fly shuttle (which I only use when I'm weaving wider than 30" or so - otherwise I hand throw), auto cloth advance, computer assisted dobby, and the most recent addition - air assist.
When I first started weaving, I knew that I needed to invest in the most efficient equipment I could afford. After doing some research, and test driving an AVL at a conference, I decided that was the direction I would go.
The loom was very intimidating. It was 60" weaving width and the addition of the fly shuttle means that it takes up most of one end of the studio. It also had 16 shafts when the most I'd had before were 8. I very quickly realized that the more mechanical 'assistance' there was, the more things could go 'wrong'.
The AVL is set up mechanically differently from most floor looms as well. In the photo you can see the levers that pull the shafts back down to their bottom position. These levers are connected by chains and springs. You might also be able to see that the chains are different lengths - one of them is dangling beside the yellow 'thing' in the centre left of the photo.
These dangling chains can catch on their neighbour's hooks, which is why the yellow 'thing' is there - it is covering the end of the chain and the hook on that shaft.
This morning I was weaving along quite nicely when the front shafts started dancing to their own music. I looked and could not see anything amiss but as I continued to weave, the shafts continued to behave oddly. It's a little tough when you are trying to operate the loom and see what's happening underneath.
Eventually I spotted the problem - the most obvious misbehavior was on the left hand side of the loom while it was the chain from shaft one that was catching on the hook from shaft two on the right hand side of the loom that was the problem.
There isn't a lot of space to get under the shafts, so I had to go to the back of the loom, eel myself in between the cloth storage roller and the bottom warp beam, drape myself across the roller and reach up and all the way to the front of the shafts to get the hook and chain separated. I then taped the dangling chain back onto itself so that it would not be happening any time soon.
Ah, yes, the AVL Loom...you know, the one that does 'everything' for you, including making your mistakes???