Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Trouble in Mac-land

Weaving of the towels is nearly done. But I've run into a glitch with the shafts. It's not a new problem - I've experienced this on every warp with this loom. I'm hoping someone out there can help. To recap - this loom was previously owned by a local weaver who passed on. I suspect the loom was either never used or rarely used. I was given the original invoice - it was manufactured in 1990. If it was sitting idle - that's a lot of years of deferred maintenance.

The problem is that sometimes when a treadle is pushed, one of the shafts (it varies which specific one) that ISN'T supposed to lift will partially lift. I can hand push the offender down to where it belongs - it feels "tight" like it was squeezed by the surrounding shafts into lifting. In other words, it's definitely not a case of something catching and lifting it. It's probably best to show you.

This is what I should see.

The black bar in the background is the top of the shaft that's partially lifting.
The black bar in the middle is the top of a stuck shaft.

When there's a sticky shaft, the shed looks like this. You can see strings from the stuck shaft hanging out there in the middle.
bad shed

I suspect the loom needs some lubrication. When I first got this loom I asked about that. Some suggested WD40; others suggested actual oil; and one suggested paraffin. Since my loom sits over carpet, I went with paraffin. I suspect it didn't work so well. It's the metal parts that I suspect need some help; I'm not sure wax was the right choice. Or maybe I just didn't do it right.

I have both WD40 and oil. In fact, I have some spinning wheel oil in one of those long needle bottles. Which do I use? And where do I put it?

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