Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Loom Maintenance - Tuning Up Lily

 Ahhh the beginning of a New Year, so loom maintenance is in order. During the course of the year I’ve moved heddles all over the place and Lily Louet is showing signs of general wear and tear. 
The first thing I did was walk around the loom and tighten up all the bolts and screws.  Amazingly the screw holding the tension on my brake was just about completely off.  Glad we caught that one before there were tears!
I’ve noticed that my shafts were getting a bit uneven for a while now, so I had my husband Michael pick the loom up and sit it on his saw horses so that I could work on it at eye level.
Because the Louet Spring is a countermarche loom I started the leveling process from the bottom up.
My first job was to remove all of the lamm tie up cords to make sure that they hadn’t stretched out of shape or have frayed or whatever.  My plan is to reverse them when I put them back on the loom so that the loop holes are nice and tight, you can really see where they have stretched over the past couple of years.
Each shaft has this little pin, which we call the ‘biting penguin’ on a roller system that you can adjust to lower or raise the shaft and lamm bars, so I twisted and turned and got all of the short lamms even, then I worked my way up the loom leveling as I went.  Surprisingly this took no time at all.

Now that all the shafts and lamms are straight I moved on to the heddles.
The first task was to count the heddles on each shaft.  I like to have 100 heddles on each shaft.  I put a soft cord around the heddles that are to stay on the shaft and isolated the extras.
When I count off the extra heddles I like to use twist ties to secure them.  I have found using one colour for the front of the loop and a different one for the back of the loop insures that I don’t twist the heddles when I put them back on the loom.
Before I open up the shafts I mark the spot that the ‘biting penguins’ are in to ensure that I can put things back in the same place.
Then girding my loins and grinding my molars I push out the ‘biting penguin’ with my thumbs. 
I always remove the bottom part of the shaft first and then slide off the heddles, then poke the ‘biting penguin’ back into the marked hole.  Repeat the same process with the top of the shaft.  Do this until done all the heddles have been moved to the correct shaft.  I have to say that this process hurts like the dickens!
My next project is on 12 shafts so I was able to tie up for the project as I balanced the treadles ~ bonus!


Anonymous said...

I shall follow your method to give my Louet Spring some maintenance. If you take the cord out of the groove of one of the 'rollers' at the top of the loom the biting penguins are much easier to remove and replace.

Lynnette said...

I love it when someone finds a quick and easy fix to my problem! I will definately pop the cord at the top next time...thanks so much!