Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Trouble with Tootsie

 I need to be honest with you here:  Tootsie has issues.  She's led a rough life the last thirty-odd years she's been at the Center, with folks just trying to churn out product for the gift shop as fast as they can.  She's had things taped to her with Scotch tape, smiley face stickers on relevant treadles, springs stretched to failure, a ratchet brake that's had its teeth worn smooth.
  She had chains to use for tie-up, and I was encouraged to replace them with cords, but the cords all need to be different lengths, from 1 to 8, a difference of almost 4 inches from front to back.  I finally got them the right length to keep the shafts from flying out the top of the loom, only to find they were too short to get a clean shed.  The treadle hooks are old and tired and have lost their will to hold.  Treadle five kept coming loose, no matter what kind of trick I tried, until it finally blew a bolt and ended up in the air!
But I was able to get some good work done before that.  If you look closely, you can see the Huck lace pattern in the center of the bread cloths.  There are some skipped threads and some general wonkiness, but I will persevere!  I will make Tootsie the loom she longs to be, and together we will weave wonderful things!
  I will finish the bread cloth warp, though I won't guarantee their perfection, and then really take Tootsie apart.  I can replace the treadle hooks with Leclerc hooks, and maybe replace the brake ratchet, or at least figure out how to align it better.  I need something across the top, like a tool shelf to keep the shafts from popping out over the top.  And I need to put some felt under the shafts so they stop crashing when they're released.
  I'm learning a lot about loom maintenance, when I really want to be learning about 8-shaft weaving!  But even that's a good thing, seeing as how there's no such thing as a loom doctor.  Yet...
Happy weaving!  Maggie


LA said...

Bless her heart...Tootsie has led an interesting life! I wove the huck lace scarves on her, and after I got the treadles to cooperate, everything went smoothly. I ended up using zip ties to secure the chains to the treadles! Thank you for giving her a good home!

heather said...

i also have an older loom that i needed to spruce up. interweave video has a fairly new video about loom maintenance i think its called the loom owners companion or something like that.that might be a good resource for your center to have.lots of good tips in it.good luck on your rescue mission. these old looms have a lot of life left in them!

Linda said...

There is a loom doctor! :-) His name is Tom Boudet. I hope I spelled that right. Try to look him up. I know he can give you good advice. He has restored lots of looms.

Bonnie said...

I hope that you get her to working. She will be a great loom. Lots of good weaving times ahead.