Some of you might remember my Loom from last year. If you don’t, a gracious lady donated this heavy, metal, therapy loom to me. At the time she thought that she would be moving to Maine, that fell through but she will be spending the Fall in Spain and walking El Camino, and so she was worried about transporting this monstrosity. Her kind offer was met by great gratitude on my part. I then set about trying to make sure that it would be in the best working order I could manage. I spent the entire month of July 2016 scraping off old paint, trying different methods of rust removal, adding new paint, buying a new stainless steel reed, getting the heddles in order, and so much more. Along the way I learned everything I could about the loom, along with NEVER SCRAPE OFF OLD PAINT, JUST PAINT OVER IT. (lead content concerns, no point in courting cancer)
I left the loom to the mercies of my detached garage, the door doesn’t seal quite right and it is right up against the woods so, like all of the garages in the region, it tends to get mice. At the end of 2016 I still could not get each of my treadles to move independently. I utilized every trick I knew of and a few I begged off of guild members and still could not get the last two to move separately from each other. I spent the winter brooding over it, and for most of the summer did not get around to doing anything with my loom.
Then early in September, my last weekend before the colleges I work for started up again, I dragged my big loom into the sunlight. Now over a year later I looked at her again. I need to touch up the paint, see if I can get some of the rust off of some of the springs, and warp her up to make some rugs eventually. What I did accomplish was enough for me, for now.
I wiped her down with Clorox wipes, making sure to pay attention to anything that looked like it might be detritus, and let her dry while I tried to get the painters tape off of the treadles (don’t let that sit on wood for a year, just not a good idea). Then I took a cheap little hacksaw to the part of the treadles that looked like they were sticking. My beautiful yellow loom snapped that hacksaw like it was plastic, luckily it snapped in the wood and didn’t cause me any injury. Okay, so that isn’t going to work, oh well it was only a couple of bucks.
Next I went to the files I had purchased. They are supposed to go into an electric drill, but, my cordless drill is not very robust and I cannot figure out how to change bits in my father’s old drill. However, by hand I managed to hack and saw through some of the wood and loosen up the treadles, bit by bit. After a half an hour or so of going over the top, up through the bottom of either side of both of the sticky treadles I began to move them at cross purposes, one up one down, several times very quickly. They loosened up enough that I was able to get them each moving very freely. I cannot say for sure if it was the naval jelly last year, the hacking, or just the sheer fact of trying to move them independently, but I am very happy to say that my treadles now work on my loom. At least they did a couple of weeks ago.
Once I had her treadles moving as they ought I turned my attention back to tying up her harnesses to the appropriate treadles. I had some Texsolv cord from last year that was anchored to each harness and then tied to the treadle, but not properly since they did not have freedom of motion at the time. This was an awkward motion since I had to reach quite far back with my foot in an attempt to reach the point where I could push at the Texsolv to move a heddle or two. Now I attempted to tie up my heddles to the treadles the way they were meant to be. Okay, so my loom was on it’s side and when I turned it back over my treadles are almost flush to the floor and not really able to open a shed. Oh well, at least they are threaded through the treadles and it is just a matter of taking up the slack so that they treadles are appropriately in the air and able to jack up the shafts.
By this point I am certain that you are wondering why I am going to all of this trouble right at the end of the season. After all she is just going to go back into the external garage again, right? Nope! I managed to clear out a lot of my college stuff, it’s only been 10 years, from the garage under the house. Now my beautiful yellow loom is living in my attached garage, yay! There isn’t really a lot of room to warp her up so I do not know if I will have time to get her set up for Rugs before I have to start putting the car in the garage, but at least now she won’t have to worry about mice.
Hopefully next year I will be able to get the external garage cleared out and sealed up appropriately. Until that time, I will get to look at my loom and hope that I get a chance to make up some rugs this winter.