Thursday, March 16, 2023

Loom Maintenance Update


the back plate of the dobby removed for inspection - the top edge of the plate is damaged, especially at shaft #7  (the plate is laying flat on the top of the loom - hook for shaft 7 is obviously higher than the rest of the hooks)

the back plate of the dobby in place while shaft #7 is 'locked' on the knife - showing the damage to the top edge of the plate which is in place in this photo

The Louet Megado is a very refined, highly engineered piece of equipment.  Small changes in the alignment of the various pieces can cause havoc and prevent it from working well - or at all.

When the loom was new and I was just getting to know it, the TexSolv cord for shaft 7 jumped off the pulley at the bottom of the shaft and not realizing what had happened kept on treadling.  It didn't take long to see something had gone quite horribly wrong, stop and examine the loom, then put the cord back onto the pulley.

Since then I've woven on the loom without issues, but the cord had been abraded so when I realized it was shaft 7 that was the culprit in the current shenanigans, it wasn't hard to put two and two together.  But had I actually got the right answer?

Since the loom is rather expensive and quite 'new' at 3.5 years, I really did not want to do anything until I was positive about what the problem actually was.  Of course by the time we did some trouble shooting, made some adjustments and I test drove them, it was very late on Friday afternoon when we had to say, stop, it's time to contact Louet support.

We had read through the trouble shooting items, I asked on the Megado owners group on Facebook, we did anything suggested that we hadn't already tried before and I phoned Jane Stafford Textiles quickly before they closed for the weekend and ordered the TexSolv pegs we *thought* might be needed to fix the issue.  We had zeroed in on that damaged cord for shaft 7 as being the likely culprit and if Dave at Louet confirmed that, I wanted the pegs already on order because they were going to take a few days to arrive.  (Shipped on Monday, arrived this morning at 10 am.)

Dave spent some time with Doug checking this and that, and then asked for a photo of the back of the dobby while it was 'locked up'.  Doug had already spotted that 7 was not the required 2-3mm away from the top of the back plate, and that the edge of the back plate had been damaged by the screw digging into the plate.  That 'spike' is a piece of the back plate that had been gouged out and was standing up.

Then Dave asked for the back plate to be taken off so that he could see the back of the 'hooks' and we noticed the damage on the flat surface of the plate.  Dave told Doug to rotate it 180 degrees which would give an undamaged surface again.

Dave sent a video showing how to adjust the TexSolv cord when/if it stretches.  We hadn't expected it to be such a small and very simple fix, and Doug did that last night.  The screw for shaft 7 was now in a much better position.

The cord is still abraded, however, so the plan now is to finish weaving this warp and replace the abraded section of the cord.  This morning we took another look and there were a couple of other cords underneath that looked loose.  When the pegs arrived this morning Doug crawled under the loom and managed to insert pegs into the cables that were 'sagging' a little bit.  It was a lot easier to put a peg in and make a 1mm adjustment than take the dobby off to do that tiny adjustment at the side of the shaft.  The 2mm adjustment at the side worked well, and 7 now looks like it is in a good position.  

Taking hope in my hands, I started weaving, but at a slower pace than my 'usual' weaving rhythm.  I wasn't sure it was actually fixed so wanted to watch what was happening and be ready to unlock the knife if it happened.

The towel wove without any problems whatsoever, so I stopped for lunch, then wove another towel.

I might have tried to weave one more, which would have finished that weft colour, but apparently I ran out of spoons.  

Things we did:  give the dobby a thorough inspection and a cleaning; attach the tension springs to the back beam (I had not been using them for the first 3.5 years, but they worked to reduce bounce on the back beam return to neutral and did not significantly increase the amount of foot pounds to treadle so I'll leave them on, now); examination of the cords noting damage on shaft 7, slight sag on some others; examination of shafts to make sure that when I treadled they were not sticking on anything, or hanging up on a neighbouring shaft; heddles were not bunching up anywhere; some repair heddles not needed for this warp were cut out - the rest (currently being used) will be removed and additional heddles added to shaft 7 so that repair heddles are not needed if I run out on a shaft; check of the dobby head mounting to the loom and sensor/magnet alignment (which were correct); check of the tension on the shaft cords to the dobby head - with no tension on the cables I gently pulled each 'hook' forward and let it 'snap' back.  #7 was slower and felt 'soggier' than the rest - an indication it was under less tension/looser than the rest.

I have a much better understanding of the mechanics of the loom now and an even greater appreciation for it, and hope I can keep weaving on it for a few more years.

There is still so much yarn that needs to be used up!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great detail, thx