Saturday, February 25, 2017


Normally I weave on the AVL pretty reguarly.  Unfortunately with the way Life Happened over the last six months, I barely got to the studio, never mind the AVL.  

Since the AVL is a wooden 'machine' with lots of added bells and whistles, it needs maintenance.

When I'm weaving on it during the winter, I run a humidifier to prevent the build up of static charge in the warp.  As a consequence, the additional humidity keeps the wood from drying out and shrinking.  Since I didn't get to the loom for months, the humidifier didn't run and consequently...the wood dried out.  And shrank.  Significantly.

When I sat down to the loom earlier this month, the loom frame had gaps where one piece of wood met another.  The first order of business was to go round the loom and snug all those loose 'joints' tight.  

I couldn't reach all the bolts, but figured I'd gotten the worse culprits.  Except that shaft two started dropping when it was supposed to be up.  It was reasonably noticable, but it meant I had to back up, make sure two was up, then throw the pick again.  If it was just once in a while, I just fixed things.  But over the past few days it had been getting more frequent.  When I quit weaving last night I determined I needed to deal with the situation.

Forgetting that I was in the 'middle' of a panel.

So I checked the sweep arm, loosened the bolt at the 'elbow', re-positioned the arm a wee bit, which is usually all it takes.  But it kept happening.  So I checked and sure enough, the bolts holding the sweep arm to the loom itself were also loose.  So, back to re-positioning, then tightening those bolts.  

Now shaft one wasn't rising.  At all.  So I messed with it until I got some light into the dobby head and realized that in the act of re-positioning the sweep arm, the cable for one had popped out of the 'finger' altogether.  No wonder it wasn't going anywhere!

By that time I'd given up on getting a usable panel.  What the hey - they are eventually all going to get cut apart into towel blanks.  I've just gotten a head start, right?

So, resetting the dobby chain to '1' allowed me some room to make sure everything was behaving properly before starting on the next towel.  That blue bit in between the pink and yellow is my 'practice' area - you can see how badly the loom was behaving before I got things re-adjusted.  The yellow is the new cut line.  And that turquoise towel is now done.

And it's lunch time.  Not sure if I will do another towel after lunch, or dress the small loom.  I have five place mat warps wound, too...


BarbCarol said...

After significantly downsizing to a smaller home, I have finally faced the realization that I will never get back to weaving on my floor room to dress the loom. I built the solid oak loom about 30 years ago and hate to see it go, but have decided to try to sell it, rather than store it in the attic to avoid the same issues you have outlined. Hopefully I will be able to find a smaller loom, if I ever find a buyer for my old friend. Thanks for sharing your trials and triumphs.

Peg Cherre said...

Aargh! I hate that kind of stuff. I just want to weave. Sigh. Life is never that simple.

steelwool said...

It is wonderful that you and your loom know each other so well that you can tell who has the problem. I would still be for "pilot error".

Laura Fry said...

Sometimes it really is the loom. :^)