Wednesday, January 28, 2015

New Lamm depressor

Last in my series of installation of new parts - putting on a new lamm depressor.This part is a real life saver (back-saver!) when you are doing tie ups on more than 4 harnesses. It's not a hard job but does require some simple tools and time. 
Lamm depressor installation instructions
It is important where the unit is installed for it to work properly. Please refer to the instructions and use my notes and photos as additional support and info.Click on any photo, drawing or instructions to enlarge them.


Installation diagram

First mark where to drill hole for screwing in to the cross pieces.The pre-drill holes to allow for easy screwing into the cross piece. The lamm depressor needs to be set at a specific height in order for it to work correctly.
Pre-drill holes for screwing int lamm depressor.
The height of the depressor is critical to its function.

Properly installed depressor.

Lamm depressor in use.

Lamm depressor engaged with the lamm upper view.
My studio- after Juno blew through town. 25" snow. More coming!

Second plain beam installation


Instructions from the shop.
Here's the installation process of the second plain beam on my 40" B5 Macomber loom. These instructions are from the shop - and what follows are my notes and photos.

Move the ratchet brake plain beam to the lower position.
First move the upper beam with the ratchet brake system to the lower position on the outside of the uprights. Along with the beam comes the anti-backlash cord and the whole ratchet brake system. Move the dog and springs for the ratchet system off the block and to the inside of the upright. These photos will help.
Move the anti-backlash cord to the lower position.
The dog is dangling, waiting to be moved inside the upright.

Dog and springs on inside of upright lower position.
Steel lever installed for the friction brake for the upper beam.
Large screw eye installed above brake drum in back beam.
Next install the new plain beam in the upper position on the inside. Refer to the diagram above. Install the steel lever on the inside of the castle.

Drill a hole and then screw the large screw eye in the back beam directly above the brake drum.Thread the brake wire/cable through the eye and tighten the clamp around two parts of the wire to secure it.

Wrap the wire 2 times around the drum and then down to the brake lever and through the screw eye. Attach the second clamp and tighten it down. I find I can get the best tension if I slightly bring the back beam forward, then pull the cable tightly. Secure the clamp and then bring the beam back into position. This process will loosen the tension slightly on the brake and allow you to pull on the wire and make the friction brake have holding tension.

Put a screw eye in the front brake pedal and attach the ratchet brake chain to it, adjusting the chaine length as needed.  You want the brake pedal to release the upper beam (friction brake) first, and then the lower beam (ratchet brake).

Again, refer to the above instructions from the shop. My notes and photos are merely meant as a supplement and support. Happy double beam weaving!
Pre-drill holes for the screw eye for the friction brake springs.

Completed double brake system.

Chain attached to screw eye on front brake release pedal.

Another view of the brake system.
Wrap wire cable 2X around the drum.



Anti-back lashed installed on lower beam.

Another view of anti-back-lash cord.


Installing Ad-a-harness units

Here we go - the BIG job! I know many of you have installed new harnesses on your B model looms and it has been a VERY long time since I have done it. So I thought a detailed report with photos might help those of you are contemplating or in the process of doing this big job.

Here are the instructions from the shop with a few of my notes. If you click on the image it will enlarge enough to read. Basically the instructions are great -so follow them and use my notes and photos as additional support.


Tap the rod towards the front of the loom.


Jacks - Loosen the collar in the rod that goes thru the jacks and then tap this metal rod towards the front of the loom. Apply some Vaseline to the existing jacks. Slide on the new jacks and apply more Vaseline. Be sure to keep the jacks in the proper numbered sequence, there are stamped numbers on each jack. Put the collar back on the rod and tighten it down.
Tap the rod back in place.
Apply Vaseline to the rod between the jacks.

Tap the rod back once the jacks are installed.
Remove center lamm guide.

Apply Vaseline and slide steel rod forward.

Add new lamms and apply Vaseline.


Support lamms with a prop of the appropriate height.
Lamms -  Remove the wooden Lamm guide (unscrew and lift out). Tap and slide out the steel rod in the lamms. Apply Vaseline to the existing lamms and rod.  Slide on the new lamms with more Vaseline. Replace the lamm guide, screw back in place. Place a support under the new lamms to hold them up about the height of the existing lamms.

Thread the side wires thru the guide.
Side wires - Slide the side wires through the guide on each side of the castle. Hang the side wires on the jack and then hook them on to the lamm.

Harnesses - Hang each harness from the s hooks and chains. Be sure that the heddle rod clips all face front. The harnesses do not have a specific sequence and can placed in any order.

Hang the new harnesses from the s hooks.

Loosen the collar on the treadle rod.

Tap the rod to one side after the collar is loosened.

Support the beam upright with a small prop.


Add the treadles both right and left.
Treadles -  Remove the collar on the metal rod that goes through the treadles at the back of the loom. I had to use a little WD-40to loosen the screw on my collars - slightly rusted. Tap and slide the metal rod to one side. Ass the rod slides - you will need to place a small support under the beam upright to keep it from dropping down. Tap the rod out enough to add the new treadles - pay attention to placing the treadles sight side up. Slide the spacers on as you go. Slide the collar back on the rod and tap the rod back to the upright. Remember to put the treadles on evenly - balanced on either side of the loom. For example I added two harness units, so I put one treadle on the R and one on the L.

Now test out your new harnesses by adding the tie-up hooks to the treadles and lamms!

PLEASE Refer to the Macomber notes above for more details on all of these steps. My photos and notes are meant as a support to what has already been written for instruction.

Good luck...and happy weaving with more harnesses!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Pads installed!

Installing new beater pads.
My front yard - blizzard "Juno"
Over the next week I will be sharing images and tales from the recent additions to my "new" 40" B5 loom. This is the perfect activity while I have electricity, internet, heat and am stuck inside ~ we are in the midst of Blizzard "Juno".

This post will share how to install new beater pads and new stop bar pads.

Beater pads - I put the beater flat on the floor to do this project. Much easier in all respects! Then remove the old pads using a small hammer and maybe a pair of pliers. Be sure to get all of the old pads off.  The using your muscle and good hammer nail the new pads in place. I used a small 1" brad/nail. The nail goes in with a bit of muscle - the wood is a good maple - and so it resists being nailed into. I admit I bent a few nails before I got it right!

Lift harnesses to remove old pads.
 Stop Bar Pads - These are the pads that go under the jacks - they are critical to absorb the whomp of the jacks when the fall after each treadling. First lift all the harnesses and insert a sturdy dowel under the jacks to expose the pads. Pry out the old pads. Be sure to remove all of the old pad - they often are crumbly and cracked and might need a scraper to remove the little bits. Mine were so old and dry they just popped off. 
Remove the old stop bar pads.

Now put a little bit of white glue (Elmer's) on the new pad. Pop it in place. Drop the harnesses down. The weight of the jacks will hold the pad in place until the glue sets. If you are like me you might need to clean up the extra over flow of glue.

Please read the additional notes from a reader below - quite good info!
Apply a little white glue.

Drop the harnesses and the jacks will hold the pad down.



Here are some fantastic tips from an amazing engineer/husband of a weaver "The blocks on my B5 are held in place with two screws, one on either side, which makes them easy to remove.  It is much easier to replace the pads if you remove the blocks first.  You can clamp the pads between the blocks to provide complete, uniform pressure."

"The blocks on mine were twisted so the sides were vertical and the jacks only hit on the corner of the pad.  From the condition of the pads, the blocks had been that way for a very long time.  You may want to add that the blocks should be adjusted so the top is parallel with the bottom of the jacks."

"The blocks are narrower on the end closest to the cloth beam.  Maybe you want to let people know if they take them out, they should make sure they put them back the correct way.  As always, if another owner has worked on the loom, the blocks could be backwards already."

"There are much better ways to attach the pads to the blocks.  Spray contact cement and Shoe Goo are two of them. While Elmer's glue is good for a lot of things, in this case, it will come loose in as little as two years, depending on temperature, humidity and use.  The pads stick to the blocks better if you clean the pads with alcohol (your choice of flavors)."


Thanks Steve! So there are some better ideas than mine!