Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Welcome Home, Old Friend!

Hooray! There's finally one loom reassembled and capable of weaving, and another partly reassembled.

We started with the AVL. The first steps get the basic frame plus the warp separator beams in place.

The next step was to put the castle in place. The castle contains the pulleys that the shaft cables ride on, plus a monitor cradle that DH added. In this picture, DH is getting ready to mount the solenoid box just under the near end of the castle, and start untangling all the shaft cables. Thank heavens for blue painter's tape - we used a lot during disassembly to keep things like the cables tidy for moving. The solenoid box has a black box attached that contains the power supply for the shaft lifter motor (not an AVL-standard part).

Here, the shafts and heddles are in position and connected to their shaft cables. The shaft springs underneath are mounted, but not yet connected to the lower rods of the shafts.

Okay, we're getting somewhere! The dobby box (black) and computer (grey) are installed on top of the castle, and the shaft lifter motor (black with a chrome pulley in the middle for the shaft lifting cables) is mounted on the side of the solenoid box. The shaft springs are connected to the bottoms of the shafts.

The circular shape at the near corner with plastic wrap and blue painter's tape holding it in place is the cloth take-up reel with the nasty spring inside. We never uninstalled it before the move, just fastened it in place (and prayed that the movers would be gentle with it, which they were).

And, presto! The monitor is in its cradle and connected to the computer, the overhead beater and auto cloth advance system are installed, the sectional and plain beams are in place, and the cloth take-up system is freed from its wrappings. At this point, we started up the computer and the compudobby system and tested to make sure everything worked as expected. There may still be minor tinkering and adjusting to do (I suspect the beater isn't quite square yet...) but it appears to be generally workable!

Now all I need to do is design some new scarf drafts, measure out and dye some yarn, dress the loom, and find time somehow to actually do some weaving.

By comparison, the second loom, a 1-metre-weaving-width Glimakra Ideal, is a breeze to assemble. I've done the basic frame single-handed - all it takes is a rubber mallet to tap the wedges in place while the side frame pieces are leaning on something sturdy so all the horizontal pieces can be loosely fit into their slots awaiting the kiss of the mallet. However, I will need an extra pair of hands to get the castle, shafts, lamms, and treadles in place. Easy-peasy!


Katherine Regier said...

It's a big job to put an AVL together, but it has always been enjoyable for me, because it's so well engineered. Welcome back to weaving! I can't wait to see what you will weave next.


WOW!! That is one beautiful loom, looks like a lot of work but I'm sure it's worth it's weight in gold. I can't wait to see what you'll be weaving.