Since I have been open about the challenges I have been having becoming friends with the Megado, I want to be completely clear about one thing. The customer service I have been getting from Dave at Louet has been stellar.
Part of the challenge is changing to a loom so very different from the AVL I had been weaving on for the better part of 40 years. There were aspects of the AVL I truly loved and having a loom that is different enough to require some quite different processes has been a challenge. And that is on me, not the loom.
It is going to take me some time to tweak my processes and I am not expecting anything other than some time at the slippery end of the learning curve to make it work the way I want/need it to.
Some of the challenges were related to the different computer set up. Dave spent the better part of 30 minutes one day getting the initial set up working with the built in software. Not his fault I didn't like that software, he was kind enough to offer to help me get my desktop set up so that I could use Fiberworks, my preferred weaving software.
Between us, our schedules did not mesh for a couple of days, but on Sunday Dave spent a further 30+ minutes trying to get the desktop to connect and after trying everything he could think of we switched to the laptop, which did work.
That second session was pure customer service above and beyond the call of a company who has their very own built in computer with software.
Yesterday I got the loom and laptop talking to each other after some further compatibility issues, and left trying to weave on the loom until today.
It didn't take very long to get everything up and running this morning and I set about weaving a further test swatch, then decided to go ahead and weave a scarf, if I could.
I got about four inches into the scarf when shaft two stopped working. I got Doug to come take a look because it appeared that the solenoid for shaft two had come loose from its anchor and I assumed it would be a fairly easy fix once the dobby head was off the loom. But I wanted Doug to take a look and see what he thought.
So I shut everything down and Doug took the head off the loom to see about tightening the solenoid, but in the end it kept slipping so he emailed Dave for advice. I remembered that Dave had said he was out of town so suggested Doug phone before the end of their business day. With a three hour time zone change, that would be very soon.
Doug was able to reach Dave and explain the problem. They had quite a long conversation about what to do, and while Dave said he'd never heard of another instance of this happening, he was able to give Doug suggestions about what to do.
It took a bit of finagling to get the head mounted into the loom again, but eventually it was and Doug readjusted the blade, which had gotten slightly out of alignment in the process.
And then I was able to connect the laptop again, and weave another test section.
I am so very impressed with the service that Dave provided through all of this initial stage of getting to know the Megado. He never once talked down to me as I fumbled my way through the computer set up. He did not blame me or Doug for the issue with the solenoid. He thought through the problems I was having, came up with suggestions to fix the situation and walked me through the steps in getting the loom running.
I have only owned a very few looms in my career, and this level of respectful customer service is so very much appreciated.
There are still things I need to work on, but getting this warp into the loom has provided valuable information about what I need to do to come closer to my goals.
I am able to use Fiberworks, which means I don't have to learn new weaving software. I can even load my files from my main desktop, where I do most of my designing, onto a thumb drive so that I can access those files from the laptop.
The loom itself is very light to treadle and while there are a few more tweaks I might get Doug to address, it feels comfortable to sit at. I even had a tall enough stool that I didn't have to purchase another. The loom is quiet although I may go back to using my headphones which will help filter out the sound of the solenoids activating. But even that isn't particularly noisy.
I was able to thread the loom without too much trouble once I found out that the breast beam lifts out in order to get closer to the shafts. Doug will mount lamp fittings so that I can add a couple of lamps to shine into the heddles. As winter comes on, having the supplemental light will become even more important.
But more than anything, I just want to say that Dave at Louet gets 10 gold stars from me for the customer service he has provided.