PDL Warp Beam Question



My AVL PDL has a strange (to me) system for attaching the warp to the back beam.  Instead of an apron and bar to tie on to, it has a slot in the beam and a square stick that fits into the slot.  I attached my first warp by laying the threads over the beam and pressing the stick into the slot to lock the threads in place.  Getting the warp spread evenly was kind of a pain but I persevered and it worked okay.  The warp wound on just fine and the rest of the set up process went normally.

BUT - When I got close to the end of the weaving, I started having tons of tension problems.  The ties I sued to hold the stick in place were not sufficient and the warp threads slipped out from under the stick making the tension so uneven I had to stop and adjust over half of the warp.  To keep everything in place I clamped the stick into the beam in several places which worked (sort of) but was very much a kludge job!

Is this system for attaching to the warp beam normal for PDL looms?  Mine is very old.  If so, how do you ensure the warp stays in place?  Alternately is there some type of retrofit I can do to address this? 

The other concern I have is that with the warp attached directly to the back beam there is a lot more loom waste than I like.  I usually wind fairly long warps so this is not a huge problem but I do not like wasting warp yarn if I do not have to.




Posted on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 19:02

In theory, the concept is good - the beam remains perfectly smooth because there are no rods.  Industry uses (used?) this system but they are putting on 1000's of yards of warp so a little loom waste doesn't matter to them.

What you can do is attach an apron to the back beam so that you can reduce your loom waste.



Posted on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 19:13

I like longer warps but "long" for me is 15 to 20 yards.  I am thinking about putting small screw eyes inside the slot and tying an apron to them.  That way I do not damage the working surface of the beam.

Do you think that will work?

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 20:05

Anchor it in what way? Staples or nails? 

Maybe I could lay the end of the apron cloth in the slot, hold it in place with the stick and then wrap the cloth around the beam once or twice to hold everything in place.  Is that what you meant?  I would need to come up with some way to ensure the apron did not unwind too far, maybe sew it onto the beam?


Posted on Wed, 04/06/2011 - 03:50

Erik, I use that wooden bar for my warp and haven't had any problems with it since I bought my first AVL in 1987. Usually I start with the warp loops over that wooden bar, but I have done some front-to-back warps in the past and just tied onto that bar when needed.

You wrote, "The ties I used to hold the stick in place were not sufficient". I think this is your problem. Use strong cords wrapped around the beam. After the stick is inserted in its proper place in the beam, I tie strong cords around the whole thing (beam with stick and warp) in the center and just past the edge of the warp on each side- 3 places at a minimum and this depends on the width of your loom and your warp. These cords hold the stick in place until the warp is tight. At this time, I switch to some straps that were originally purchased for backpacking. They are around 3/4 inch wide, strong and flat, with good buckles, pretty long. I wrap each strap around the bottom of the beam and up to hold the stick at an appropriate length. Then I adjust the length as needed, using 3 straps, until that stick is pretty close to the last heddles. I do not have much loom waste.

Bonnie (Erik, I think that I'll be in Colorado for most of June, all of July, and the first 3 weeks of August, and I use two AVL looms in the cabin.)

Posted on Wed, 04/06/2011 - 04:23

Yes, that's exactly what I meant.  Just make the apron long enough that it will always have at least 1.5 wraps around the beam no matter how close to the heddles it travels.  :)



Posted on Wed, 04/06/2011 - 19:22

Thank you both for the suggestions.  I will go looking for cotton duck cloth this weekend.  (Hmmm, maybe I should weave it myself)


Posted on Wed, 04/06/2011 - 19:59

I wouldn't bother weaving the apron material!  A loom apron doesn't show much of the time and it tends to collect bits of loom fuzz.

I have been using my sectional warp beam all year and haven't needed to worry about that wooden bar. The sectional beam has cords that extend to meet the heddles at the end of the warp.

What have you been weaving on your AVL?


Posted on Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:24

So far i have only completed on project on the AVL, a set of towels woven in 2/1 twill with 5 blocks.  I have moved twice since getting the loom last summer and it sat in pieces for the last 5 months.  I just finished setting it up for hopefully the last time for many years.

The mechanical dobby needs some tuning, it occasionally does not catch all the dobby cords.  I also need to play around with the shafts because they do not always lower cleanly. Mechanical issue do not bother me.  I like figuring them out.

Neither of my warp beams are sectional.  If I add an apron i expect to eliminate nearly a yard of loom waste.

I am pretty bad about posting projects here.  I mainly haunt the forums.