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…
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.
They are labeled appropriately on the outside…
I refurbished the harnesses – 24″ x 41″ (outside dimensions).
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.
Cleaning spare heddles with steel wool…
…then sorting them into four piles:
80 – Like New
87 – Good (slight texture but smooth)
50 – Useable (textured but smooth)
138 – Unusable (pitted)
355 – Total