Thursday, March 3, 2011

Shuttle Clinic, Part 2

The fine yarn shuttle came to me in the sweetest way. Someone who had stopped weaving was looking to give away an AVL shuttle that she didn't use anymore. She found my blog and sent it to me.

I don't know anything about the previous homes of this shuttle, but it seems like someone at some time used it in a studio with a concrete floor. The steel tip had been beaten pretty flat.

Ordinarily, this wouldn't cause so much of a problem, but there is a combination of factors making for a narrow shed. I've got slack tension, fat threads, and a 6-dent reed with 3-4 threads per dent. The narrow shed means that I'm depending on the sharp and smooth tip of the shuttle to bring the weft thread where it belongs.

Instead, the flattened tip was catching on weft threads pretty regularly. I would know that it happened when there was a thread snap! and the shuttle hit the floor.

Then I'd take a couple of minutes to fix the broken warp thread, replace the shuttle on the track and get going again.

The solution was pretty bold: carefully clamp the shuttle in a vise, file the steel tip to sharpen it and get rid of the flat spot, then use sandpaper and steel wool to get it "glassy smooth" again.

It worked! I had to do this treatment to both ends of the shuttle, but it hasn't snapped a thread since I did it. I'm finally able to weave at a decent speed.


Laura said...

Hi Blossom - looking at your beam I'm wondering if your beam (like mine when I received the loom) is undersupported. Doug took the beam apart, installed extra disks along the length of the beam so that the 'rakes' would not bow under the pressure of the wound warp.


Blossom Merz said...

Hi, Laura,

I never considered that. Looking at the slackness pattern, I have to wonder that myself. It does line up with the space between the support disks, doesn't it?

It would be funny since my homemade tension box gave me a fairly "soft" beam. I guess I'll go ahead and insert my own support disks before I warp a tighter beam.

Thanks so much for the suggestion.

Be well!