Friday, September 14, 2012

Replacing Cables

Well, I did it. I got a swager, cables, and two sizes of ferrules to completely replace the main cables on Jacob's loom. I didn't take a photo while the old ones were in place, but you'll have to trust me. With the knots tied in them and the broken coating, these cables couldn't be made to work. If I did somehow make them work, the missing vinyl would let the steel cut into the wooden pulleys over time. Not ideal at all.

Here's the powerful tool that allows me to replace my own cables. It crimps ferrules onto cable to make professional-strength connections. The amount of step-up in force with this simple machine is impressive!

Yes, I could have just bought a new set of cables for about half what I paid for this tool, but I want more freedom. You see, I've wanted for a year to recable one of my production looms to lift the harnesses with my left foot instead of my right. This will even out the wear-and-tear on my hips and knees as well as keeping the body mechanics sensible when I switch which hand is throwing the flyshuttle. Now I can do that. I'm also prepared for any "emergency" that might arise involving any of the cables on my looms.

These photos are a little backwards because I didn't think to take pics until the project was already well begun. Here's the routing for one of the cables. It is inaccessible without removing all of the guts from the dobby box.

And a closeup to show you why it's inaccessible. That paddle is screwed in tight to keep the cable from jumping off the pulley.

I thought I'd snap a shot so you can see all of the parts that belong in there. Notice how many layers of stuff sit in front of that pulley and paddle?

Here's another out-of-the-way ferrule. It is the means by which the harnesses are lifted over and over again so it needs to be VERY strong.

That cable was pulled through the opening we're seeing here in order to crimp it. Then, the metal barrel is inserted to take the brunt of the pulling and protect the wooden cam.

And, finally, after all the cable routing is done, it's time to pull the cables by hand, ensure that everything works, and attach them to the pedals. I started with masking tape while I tested from a variety of angles to be sure that the length was just right. As Jacob says, "Measure nine times, cut once."

Here Jacob is demonstrating their use to get both beautiful cable ends in the photo at once.

Isn't that a beautiful and professional crimping job?

We've been weaving on these new cables for a day now and they seem to behave perfectly. Yippee! A new skill!


Anonymous said...

Having the cables be switcable is a good idea, but it would also be a good idea to wear 'aerobic' shoes while weaving to help protect feet against the constant application of about 40 foot pounds of pressure each time the treadle is activated to lift the shed...

Anonymous said...

Wow .... I am very impressed. This was very interesting to learn. Thanks for sharing.

Teena Tuenge said...

So where do you order a swage tool?
Teena Tuenge