Heddle Preservation

DSC00001 With so few heddles available for this loom it is important to preserve the ones that I have.  There are, of course, many possibilities if I were to somehow run out which would include fabricating new ones, but the best possibility would be to cannibalize together parts from the old ones and braise them into new workable ones.  Nevertheless, I had some PVC storage-pipes left over from another project, but they were a bit short (white pipe).  All it took was a piece of splice to lengthen them an inch in order to make them long enough for the heddles.  Now each group – like new, good, useable, pitted – each has their own oil bath preservation.  Cost?  $2.25 for the splice and $10 for the oil (5w30)…each…a small price to pay…

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Swift (Reconditioning)

I spent most of the day yesterday refurbishing this swift…

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Both its wood and metal needed a thorough cleaning…

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Disassembled it was curious to find that the centre spool is spring loaded…

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Caked grease was easy to remove from the metal parts; I used 600 grit emory cloth to remove the worst rust followed with steel wool.  Wood was cleaned with a solvent.  I was surprised to find this much greasy dirt on the parts in contact with the fibre, but now think it to be normal if it was ever used over decades with home-cleaned wool that may have retained more of its lanolin…

I lightly used a wire brush on an angle grinder to clean the base.  I re-greased the internal parts and linseed oiled the wood.  How functional and beautiful!

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…it’s really a nice machine…

Tie-Downs

Getting this loom here involved anchoring it to the deck of the trailer with lag screws and then using 3″ strapping to secure it.  The loom arrived intact, but several of the straps were cut in transport.   I am presuming that the tension on the straps was enough that the wind caused a vibration that wore on some of the sharper edges of the load.  I stopped and repaired these several times during the trip home, adding straps along the way to ensure that if one broke in the night there would be a backup on the load to hold it securely in place.  Today, after finishing the harnesses, I removed all straps, cleaned them, repaired several, and organized them for future use.  It required several hours.  It’s all a part of getting this weaving machinery here…

Inventory (Final) – Heddles

Following the refurbishing of the harnesses the final count on heddles is:

40  – Like New
118 – Good (slight texture but smooth)
51   – Useable (textured but smooth)
173 – Bad (pitted)

382 – Total

Rust occurs because of a combination of factors: exposure to humidity/moisture, exposure to oxygen, elements in the air.  These heddles are not made any more.  In order to protect the remainder that I have I have sealed them in PVC pipes that are filled with new motor oil.

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They are labeled appropriately on the outside…

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Harnesses

I refurbished the harnesses – 24″ x 41″ (outside dimensions).

Before…

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Harnesses were disassembled.  All metal was cleaned with solvent and then steel wooled.  The wood was steel wooled, then sanded, then steel wooled again, and finally oiled with boiled linseed oil several times.  All heddles were steel wooled, and the ones that were rough or pitted or bent were replaced, which amounted to 26 heddles on one and 14 on the other.  All screws were all replaced.  Heddle support spring hooks were cleaned and lightly oiled.  And the reassembly was completed.

After…

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