Thursday, January 12, 2017

Annual Loom Maintenance ~ Louet Spring Loom

January is a time when I feel very optimistic.  The days are getting longer and for some strange reason I think it’s Spring even though I’m reminded that it’s really the beginning of Winter.  I have this driving need to clean and organize things, so loom maintenance leaps to mind.

My Louet Spring loom is my primary loom, so Lily Louet gets lots of use and frankly I should do my cleanup more often.
I like to start from the bottom up, so lifting the loom onto a table in my studio was my first step.
 Wow, when it’s at eye level you sure could see the black marks on the treadles from the bottom of my slippers.  A bit of Vim took it right off!
I have noticed that the tie up cords to the treadles were getting quite loopy as they have stretched over the years.
This caused enough slack so that the long tie ups from the upper lamms would occasionally catch on an adjoining treadle making my weaving come to an abrupt halt.  Pretty scary looking while it is in the relaxed position.
To fix this problem I removed all of the tie up cords and lined them up with the end that attached to the treadle facing in the same direction to see if they had stretched out unevenly; they looked the same length, so I marked the opposite end with black felt on the second button hole.
 I will put them back onto the lamms reversing them end for end and button them to the treadle screws one hole tighter.
Now that the cords have been replaced, you can really see the difference.
My next job was to pull out the breast beam and to check that it was still balanced.  You can imagine my surprise when I found out it was not just a little out of whack!  On the Louet Spring the apron cloth is replaced by three doubled over texsolve cords which are snitch knotted onto a metal rod.  The rod is 36 inches long and there are 3 sets of cords, so there will be 4 spaces between the cords; 36 divided by 4 gives 9, so there should be 9 inches of rod at each end and 9 inches between the cords. When I measured mine they were off by several inches.  I think this was caused by my nudging the knots to one side or the other when I was tying on my warps. I think this would make the cloth beam pull the newly woven fabric onto the beam unevenly. A fairly quick fix to mark these spots and re-centre the cords; this is one thing I’m going to make sure I check more frequently.
I went around with a screwdriver and wrench and tightened all the screws and bolts I could reach while it was up on the table and again, I was gobsmacked at how loose some of them were.
After putting the loom back on the floor, I did the same process of straightening out the apron cloth on the back beam.  It was about 1/2 inch off, as you can see in this photo of it lined up against the back beam.  Frankly, I’m amazed that my weaving has been as even as it has been considering that it was pulling off the back beam and pulling onto the front beam with that much discrepancy.

I took a level and had a look at all the lamms and shafts to ensure that they were level and thankfully, they were still in balance, so I didn’t need to do any fixing on them, just a quick dust off.
Now that the loom has been tightened within an inch of its life, it’s time to put on a new warp and I have chosen to do another Crackle Weave project for the Guild Study Group.

5 comments:

Peg Cherre said...

I'm always impressed by people who do such a thorough job. I'm thinking about paying a local man who does these things to come in and do my Macomber. I hate cleaning. Everything. Anything.

That red & orange/gold warp is beautiful!

Susan Harvey said...

I know how good that felt to have the loom all tuned up and ready to go! Love the new warp.... great colours.

La Mañosa said...

This is a really helpful post. Thank you for sharing your process! I have a new-to-me-used Louet David that needs some of this same maintenance. I would love to know more about adjusting the shafts, as some of mine seem to be slightly uneven (not level across and not ascending evenly from lower to higher front to back). If you happen to know of a book or website I could use for reference, I would love to hear about it!

Lynnette said...

Hi La Manosa,

I did a Google search and found the Louet site in Holland has manuals for the David Loom on line. Here is the link:
http://www.louet.nl/en/instructies

Hope this helps

La Mañosa said...

Thanks, Lynette!