Tuesday, January 12, 2010
20+ Tune Up Time
This is nine and a half yards of 2/10 twill towels all folded up and waiting by the serger and sewing machine. These will turn into proper towels very soon! It has a very satifying 'weighty heft' to it. I decided to start on the countermarche loom's tune up right after NY's. There was quite a bit of lint associated with the last warp so my usual post project vacuuming will be extra careful.
Here I have put the locking pin in place so all jacks are perfectly aligned. The tops of all my shafts and all my lamms below are all at the same height. Great! No adjustments are needed here. The texsolv cord here is as old as my loom so all 'ease' is long gone!
Here my treadle has been hiked up as high as it will go...
At the back of the loom at the peg board where all tie up's are controlled, I have pulled and placed one peg to hold it up. I also pulled all the other cords so they don't dangle underneath.
Below they have all been pulled and so all treadles are up in the air. Why??
So I can vacuum up all that nasty black lint! I'm using the peg board as additional hands. The carpet visibly brightened up. The lint and dust from weaving can be quite hard on your lungs. You may be more 'relaxed' elsewhere in the house, but here I recommend vacuuming after each project and sometimes during when the lint is bad! Case in point: tencel, linen, cottolin and chenilles. Wearing a dust mask might be a good thing if this causes you problems.
Now we start the tune up job. Here I have placed a thin board across from side to side of the loom. My hubby made this for me so it elevates the treadles at the correct height as recommended by Woolhouse Tools in their loom assembly guide.
So they are held firmly in place and now we need to prevent them from lifting upwards. I placed my breast beam across (it's heavy!) Then I placed full magazine boxes on top. That should do it. Connor is going to watch it for me.
At the back of the loom, at the peg board, I systematically pull *all* slack out of the cords so they are snug. I'm using the resistance of the weight on the treadles to play off against. If I can feel lift, then more weight is needed!
What ever clear slot is just at the hole in the board is where the peg goes. You can just see the old tie. The difference is 1 cm.
Here a large number have been done: where you see red, there is no change and if it's all white, then it need a new marker. The snippet of yarn marks the 'sweet spot' for peg placement when doing the tie up. This adjustment should last for a good long time.
Here, out of sixteen treadles I have only done the centre twelve. I use eight treadles quite often and they had a lot of fresh white showing. The treadles towards the outer areas had much more red showing. I have used up to twelve treadles in some projects but most often eight or ten. I made a decision to leave the outer two treadles on each side as they haven't been used, so no easing. Those ties on these treadles I will leave red so I know they have yet to be done.
I have leaned over the back beam and here you can see that the centre fourteen are tight and taut!
Where they travel down from the lamms above, each tie point on each shaft is taut! There are no slackers to be seen. This is a very good thing. Far easier to spot and correct them now. While there are a total of 384 cords underneath, minus the 96 getting a pass this time, there is a method to all this texsolv madness. This tie up assist is set up so that absolutely every possible tie up combination is prepared and follows a dedicated path. In some ways, it's like a hands on dobby, with all the treadles in play. I would hazard a guess that my pegging the cords is quicker than setting the dobby bars.
There is a lot of tension on the cords and now that all are pegged, I need some slack to do the next phase of the tune up. I take the weights off and remove the treadle board. Nothing moved!! They are all perfectly level. Trust me, this is a very good thing. If something had moved either up or down then some small adjustment to find 'level' would be needed, but not today...
If you are still with me at this point (thanks for sticking this out!) now we get to the really boring part (oops, just heard some of you leaving.... :) Each freshly pegged spot needs a new tie cord to mark that particular section. This is so in the future I can just pull the cord quickly, stick a peg in and build a eight shaft/ eight treadle tie up in 5 to 6 minutes, as opposed to being stuck under a loom and then endless tweaking. In the picture above you can see the old red tie, the peg and the new purple tie. Once marked, all red ties will be removed. You can see the difference in this one cord... some cords are even two slots out. No wonder my shed was all ahoo!
I won't bore you with the making of endless new ties.... but I'm chipping away at it. I will also be placing the sectional beam back on and reverting to my hybrid warping method. I have no regrets about trying to warp a la Louet but unless my loom sheds it second warp beam, it's not a good option for me.
This loom has an oil finish and does look a bit dry in places. I will give the old gal an oiling come spring when the doors and windows can be opened. That's a fun time as I get right into it and any wood tool will be dragged out and buffed up. Its part of my spring cleaning ritual.
I've decided to quickly do another towel warp once the loom is ready. With the coming renovations, I want something that I can just sit and weave, nothing too complicated as there is going to be lot of noise and fuss upstairs. I can hide down here with my iPod on.
Now, the second anniversary contest is still ongoing (see previous post if you are new here). If you haven't yet, be sure to place a comment on the post before this one. The draw winners will be announced in the next post. There are quite a few entries and with just the two gifts, so I'm bound to disapoint some of you.... but heck, you might just win!