Here's the quick version of the process we're going through to set Jacob up to weave...
First, we had to swap out the entire contents of my van with the loom that was stored in Jacob's bus. Once the van was empty, the loom went in and was whisked away to the studio.
Look! A pile of loom parts. You never see that on my blog, do you?
And, a few hours later, it's a loom with the harnesses and reed in place and the beam about to be inserted.
Then Jacob got to work sleying his reed, which has a wider dent. This will make for easier handling of knots in the warp.
While he did that, I copied the peg pattern to a new set of dobby bars. You'll notice that it's not a faithful copy. I've decided that it's unpleasant to slam the knuckles into the harnesses with every pick. Since I don't use all of them, we're leaving the empty harnesses closer to the operator on Jacob's loom. Therefore, the pegs are pushed to the right of the bar instead of to the left like on my set. (In this photo, left is up and right is down.)
...and Jacob is still sleying, making great progress.
I made all of the design decisions for the weaving project. We now know how many garments of which style we're weaving, in which colors, and in which order.
And ta-dah! Jacob has finished the sleying! We're ready to weave the header and check for errors in the sleying and the pegging.
I love the sandpaper beam because there's no tie-on. Just stick it to the grit and start weaving!
We found all of the errors, fixed them, and then kapow! One of the cables broke.
It's really no wonder. The previous owner seems to have been in the middle of a repair when they decided to just set it aside for a while. Or a decade. Or two. And then they sold it.
So today I have to buy a tool that I've always wanted: a swager. This will let me crimp ferrules onto brand new cables. And this was the last piece of the loom maintenance puzzle that I needed to learn. After today I will have removed, repaired, replaced, or otherwise adjusted every single mechanism on these looms.
Oh, yeah, and just before I left I had noticed that my front tires are wearing unevenly so I took it in to get fixed while we set up the loom. And it's serious. Besides the alignment, my rear brakes are a disaster. If you recall from last February, I won't do my own rear brakes anymore. Yes, I can. And yes, it's worth paying someone else to avoid a day of dangerous and difficult work. Well, the final bill for all this is going to be half what I paid for the van. But, since everything else is in great shape, it's worth the investment in a vehicle that should easily see me through another show season.