Sunday, March 29, 2009
Meet Rick and Learn about the Air System
Last week I was over at Macomber's and guess who I got to pose for a great photo? Meet Rick Hart! Many of you have spoken to Rick on the phone, as his family has owned and operated the business since the 1930s when his Uncle designed the original loom. I promise that in another post I will share more of Macomber Loom's history.
Today I want to give you a VERY brief introduction to the Air Dobby system. I have used this system for at least ten years ( I am embarrassed to say I cannot recall the exact date...note to self..ask Rick) and I have to say that it has been a true life saver (translate to mean back saver, more about that later).
The Air Dobby system will fit on any Macomber Loom and is basically used to raise the harnesses in a specified sequence. The raising of the harnesses is accomplished by the use of pressurized air delivered by hoses to the air cylinders. Each harness is linked to one treadle which is linked to an air cylinder.
To weave, you create a draft using weaving software complete with treadling tie-up and sequence. This weave-draft information is sent electronically to the Air Dobby power supply which tells the air cylinders whether to engage or not. The weft pick sequence is advanced by pressing a small button on the castle of my loom.
This is a VERY simple explanation of the Air Dobby system. Basically what the system does is the heavy lifting. On a 56" Macomber the harnesses are solid steel, so for a 16 harness weave construction, this is a hefty proposition!
The photos here are of the air cylinders, the air pressure gauge, the air compressor (in the garage) and the power supply. I hope this helps you understand the general idea of how the Air Dobby works. Let me know what you have questions about and I will gladly elaborate!