Hi.  I'm Tina and I live in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I bought my new-to-me AVL on Halloween of last year.  It was built in the 80's and has 16 shafts.   I have both the Compudobby I and the mechanical dobby, although I haven't tried that.  I also have the old style auto advance and a Fireside rotary temple.

I've been having fun weaving with 16 shaft point twill patterns, most taken from handweaving.net, but have purchased Bonnie Inouye's book on  multishaft design and am looking forward to designing my own patterns.  I have designed a 12 shaft twill that I plan to use to make a stole for my pastor and a church member who recently graduated from seminary.

I'm looking forward to participating in this group to better understand my AVL loom and all its idiosyncracies.


Alison (not verified)

 Hi Tina and group,

I'm Alison.  I have a new 24 shaft A series that I am finishing putting together.  It has a warp on it but I decided I had to sand down the shafts better as I was hating threading it.  Almost done with that and then I'll be starting my first project on it!

I'm looking forward to working issues out on this group and would love to hear other introductions.

BTW - I travel a lot for work so I've ordered a 24/24 WDL - scheduled to arrive later this month.  My first project on it will be the yardage for my niece's baby's christening gown.  I've already posted the beginnings of that project to help spur me on.


I'm Beryl.  I have a 24 shaft production dobby - 60" wide with two sectional beams.  I bought it just about 10 years ago and have still never used that second back beam.  I almost never weave the full width of my loom,  so 40 inches would have been a better width for me.

A couple of years ago I learned how to treadle my threading, which made a whole lot of difference in how long it took to thread complex drafts.  But, it requires taking off the front beam and sometimes I feel like I am disassembling the whole loom when I rewarp it.

I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you about tips and tricks you have for warping and weaving.

weaversouth (not verified)

You're going to love the 24/24! I have had one for just short of a couple of months.   You might find it a tad awkward for traveling, though.  It's kind of heavy.  I have the 16/24 as well and have yet to take it along with me anywhere! (-;

I have completed two projects with it and am really enjoying using it..

I'm curious as to why you are sanding the shafts???????

Nancy C

TinaHilton (not verified)

Like you, Beryl, I don't like the idea of removing my front beam to thread like I do on my other looms.  Especially with the auto advance hookup adding to the mess.  So I just thread from behind.  It's not too bad now that I've done it a few times.  Recently someone on WeaveTech said they treadle their threading when they thread from behind.  They just use their hand to push on the treadles instead of their feet.  I tried that once, but it skipped every now and then so I couldn't trust it.  I thought that was really odd since I don't have trouble when I'm weaving.

Alison (not verified)

Hi Nancy,

My plan with the 24/24 is to have cases made.  I haven't worked out all the details yet.  For example, am I going to also travel with my warping wheel and bobbin winder?  Or am I going to plan to warp it while I'm home?  I suspect it will depend on the circumstances of the engagement.

But I won't be traveling with it every week - I'll take and leave it at a location generally for several months.  My short engagements are 4 months and go up from there.

On the A series loom, I am sanding the shafts because I want the heddles to have a little movement and they were catching.  I was also afraid the shafts would fray the heddles over time.

Thanks for the encouragement about my impending loom - I can't wait!


Evelyn (not verified)

Hi all - I have had a  40" , 16 shaft Folding AVL Compu-dobby (it is still the Compu-dobby I, (which is  still working very well).  I have two beams.  I bought the plain one to begin with and then added a sectional.  I too have never used both, but had occasions to do so before I had two!   I also have both single and double box fly shuttles - the double box was just too difficult for me so I have hardly used it. 

I used to remove the front beam for threading, but now don't bother - I bring the cloth apron up and cover the beam with it, and then just remove the reed to thread.   I also "treadle the threading"  if it is a complicated.

I have the tension box, but I would like to get a warping wheel, and hope DH will build one using Sandra Rude's plans instead!

Has anyone added the spring arrangement (described on Weave-tech by Ruth Blau) to their fly shuttles?








villageweaver (not verified)


I went to weavetech to research your comment about Ruth's fly shuttle spring arrangement? Wasn't able to easily find anything, can you plesae be more specific as I'm interested in this. Thanks very much.


Evelyn (not verified)

IHi - I went and had a good look through the photos and couldn't see it anymore!  I think it was in the Equipment and Gadgets photo album.    As I recall Ruth cut the fly shuttle cords and inserted a spring at some point which made the pulling easier. 


Evelyn (not verified)

I have finally found a reference to the springs, but not by RuthB - though that is what was in my memory.  Here is a link to some photos on a blog by Katherine Regier - hope she doesn't mind me posting this link to her site.


Alison (not verified)

Hi everyone - an update!  Yesterday, I received my AVL WDL 24/24.  I'm in NYC for a while, so had it delivered here.  Getting up the stairs (4th fl walk up - 74 steps) was quite the experience and cost me quite a tidy sum!  It is now de-boxed and waiting for me to put it together.  And it would have never happened without the amazing Omar - aka Hercules!

My first project will be a Bambu 12 sash.  It will be in the pattern I'm using for the Christening Gown - so yes, it will be doing double duty as a way to start getting used to the loom and the beginnings of sampling.

I'll keep everyone posted in My Projects.

'Nite all!


blossommerz (not verified)

 Wow! Thanks for that link.

Having come from decades at the computer myself, I'm continually fighting repetitive motion strain. Any little tricks to help me keep weaving for hours and hours without injury are greatly helpful.

woven2000 (not verified)

I'm Clare and have a 30" 24-shaft Technical Dobby with two sectional beams.  I have used both back beams for Summer & Winter with a fine tabby, which worked quite well.  My first AVL was a 40" 16-shaft, and I found that I never used the whole 40", hence my choice for 30" when I got the Technical Dobby.  Of course, now I'm thinking of doing a few rugs and throws, so I'll be piecing things and doing doubleweave.  That's okay.

I haven't tried treadling the threading - is there a particular method for doing that on an AVL?  I don't have the autoadvance, so taking the front beam off is no big deal.  I've found that owning an AVL means having tools, so I have a couple of wrenches right at hand.

I haven't been weaving for quite a while - I took a detour through bobbin lace, jewelrymaking, knitting and spinning, and am now back to weaving.  I was amazed at how long it took me to put the warp on - I must be really out of practice!  I'm using a Warping Wheel without a crossmaker (I'm quite comfortable without it), and would be grateful for hits and tips from more experienced warpers.

Weeweaver (not verified)

Hi Folks,

I am Mary and I have a 1983 60" 12s 14t full frame Modular loom. It has lots of goodies like a plain and a 2" sectional beam, tension box and track and mounting system, auto-advance, cloth storage, double box flyshuttle, raddle, and I don't remember what all else. I bought it from someone who had it stored for many years after they got it from the original owner, who evidently wove a lot on it. I put it together and wove a couple of things on it, then moved to my guy's house. Now it's patiently sitting in the cellar waiting for me to finish sorting through all the "stuff" from my apartment and getting rid of most of it so I have room to put the loom together again. I can't wait to weave again and make beautiful cloth and lots of lint under the loom, lol.

crosstownshuttler (not verified)

Hi Mary & Evelyn,

Here is a site I found starting from somewhere here on Weavolution (I don't remember where). It has an explanation and photos of a fly shuttle mechanism modified with a spring. I hope this helps.


Evelyn (not verified)

Thanks Carie - I did find that link also.  I was loath to cut the fly shuttle cords so I inserted the springs by hooking one end onto the join and looping the cord then taping it.  I think my springs are a little small, but the arrangement is working.  Here is a link to the photos on my blog.



Bruce McLaughlin (not verified)

Here's how you do it.  After you have your threading in switch to "tie up" as opposed to "liftplan" mode.  Delete the treadling and put a straight draw in the tie up.  Now, Tromp as Writ your threading into the treadling and "save as".  Everytime you push the right treadle down--only one shaft will lift (the right one).  Thread it and move on to the next.  This method is especially good for complex threadings.

eweniquelyewe (not verified)

Hi, I'm a new AVL 40H V-Series owner as of the end of October 2011. Mid-January finally got it up and running after a few issues resolved by AVL and am now loving it. Learning the software as I go - on my 3rd warp now. Yesterday put on my first warp using the Warping Wheel - think I'll like it as long as I always remember to put the raddle top on before moving it to the front of the wheel....only made that mistake once, hopefully not again. Hoping to post some pictures soon, have been very lax with updating Weavolution, run out of hours in my days.... Cindie 

travelingweaver (not verified)

Hi My name is Virginia and I'm expecting my AVL any day now.  It will be a 40" 24 shaft compudobby.  With as many of the extras as I thought I could use and really understand.  It will probably take us a while to put it together and longer before I get my first warp put on it.  But I'm really excited. virginia


In Nov. of 2011 I bought a used AVL with flyshuttle, trac and mounting system, auto advance and compudobby 3. Had back surgery in December and am now looking forward to getting back to weaving on it.  The only draw back has been the flyshuttle. When we recieved the loom they had the replacement stretchy tube and said they had gone through several. It is very difficult on a good day to get that flyshuttle across the warp. I'm wondering if anyone has used the spring system on a center pull fly shuttle? It is also an overhead beater. I have searched the AVL website store with no luck to see if they even sell this tubing, Thinking maybe we just needed new. Since I got such a big loom ( on purpose) I ended up with a new studio to go with it! Very excited about both of them!


In my opinion, center pull is worthless. No - I mean, I had centerpull, changed to side pull and everything was suddenly much easier... The "stretchy tubes" are a problem. I have thought about trying to replace them with spring(s), but haven't "thought enough", I suppose. (On occasion, I have used elastic, with varying success)

Mine is also 60", only 16 shafts. I have both single and double box (boxes?), and I alwyas change to the single box if I don't need two. There is a LOT less force needed with the single box (even with the side pull).


Hi Everyone! I'm a production weaver in a non-profit northern New Mexico heritage blanket project. We have three used 16-shaft AVL looms in our weaving studio. Our project started in mid-January. And our looms are still not well adjusted. Every day things fall off the loom: cloth beam, armatures, dobby bars, dobby bar pins, springs, treadles, etc. There's no one local who knows these AVL looms. The AVL folks quoted a $1500 charge for a half-day of expert trouble-shooting. We can't afford that, since we're a start-up non-profit. Given how finicky, unpredictable, and unreliable these AVLs are so far, it's impossible to imagine AVLs as the loom of choice for production weaving. Or for any weaving. No wonder the American garment industry is failing! A normal 16-shaft loom is so much easier to weave on. Looking for any clues or leads that will make weaving on AVL looms more possible and less of a nightmare. Thanks for all help! Windsong

TinaHilton (not verified)

Wow!  I haven't had many problems, and what I did have were quickly fixed.  Have you checked out any local weaving guilds?  Complex Weavers is a great resource.  Many of those members have AVL looms.  And there's a Yahoo group called WeaveTech that's more active than this.  It's not just for AVL owners or Complex Weavers members, but for anyone who is at the intermediate and advanced levels.  And of course post your questions here and in the general Weaving forum on Weavolution.


Yes, AVL's can be finicky but once they have settled in and all the adjustments made they do actually work.  Like Tina says, see if you can find an AVL user in the vicinity and if they can help.  I would but I'm way too far away.  :(


Bonnie Inouye (not verified)

Which models of AVL looms do you have? You should have the manual that came with the loom. AVL does not do a great job on these, but it definitely helped me to assemble my looms. If you followed their instructions and tightened all the nuts and bolts, these looms should be quite solid. They were built for production weaving, except for the workshop dobby looms which are lighter and less sturdy. The only time I have seen a spring come off an AVL was on an early-model 16-shaft workshop dobby loom.

Of course the American garment industry uses cloth produced by big mills, not handweavers.

I wonder what kind of 16-shaft loom you consider to be normal? One with 18 treadles? Then you would need to change the tie-up whenever you wanted a different look. A computer-assisted loom is much faster and easier. And the AVL cloth storage system is a big help with production weaving.

Bonnie, weaving on AVL looms since 1987


I will connect with Complex Weavers. Another Weavolution weaver just recommended WeaveTech, too. So I'll check with them also. I'm a member of our local fiber arts guild. No one local knows mechanical AVLs well. So I'm reaching out to the global weaving community for help. Windsong


Thanks for offering to help if you were closer...! There are no known local AVL users or experts. So I'm doing my homework and hoping to become an AVL trouble-shooting expert. ;-) Windsong


Not sure where to find the model names or years. So I photographed the looms and their AVL ID tags for reference. But I don't know how to post photos here on Weavolution yet. Each loom is a mechanical AVL. Two are 60" weaving width. One is a 36" weaving width. We have manuals for two of the looms. But the manuals are mostly incomplete when it comes to trouble-shooting. So they aren't much help. We do not have computer assisted AVLs. Or at least, we're not using any computers to assist us in any way. It's all dobby pattern bars with pegs. I'm sure the AVL cloth storage system is fine when it works! I'm glad yours work!! Unfortunately, one of our cloth beams regularly falls off the loom and we are always putting it back on the loom so weaving can continue. The screw that's supposed to hold it in place on the loom appears to be about 1/2" too short: so it's a tricky balancing act to get the cloth beam on the loom at all. And then with the normal jarring that comes of weaving, the cloth beam is easily dislodged from its precarious balance. We can't fix or replace this screw because it seems to be a permanent part of the entire cloth beam - not a removable screw. And we haven't figured out a way to jerry rig this to work any better. Sadly, 16-shaft looms with 18 reliable treadles and tie-ups are much faster and easier to weave on... ;-( Windsong

Bonnie Inouye (not verified)

The cloth storage beam at the back of my AVL looms (all 3 of them, made in 1987, 1988, and 1994) is held in place with a cotter pin on one end. I had to replace this piece on one of my looms and was able to buy an appropriate size at the local Home Depot. That beam has never fallen off. There should be a description for installing and using the cloth storage system in the AVL manual.

Mechanical dobby looms (bars and pegs) were invented for production weaving. It is a good system. I used it for some years before I could buy a computer-assist box (compu-dobby). Often I just peg the tie-up or a variation of the tie-up and weave nice, long sequences by pulling the cord to change the direction of the loop of bars.

Where are your looms? Have you woven with 16 shafts before?



I do not know what a cotter pin is, but will check. That would be a dandy solution! Hope that's it. The AVLs are on the second floor of an old school. We pull the cord to change directions when needed. Grateful for your help. Windsong


This thread is about the cloth storage system, and has a couple of pictures - among them one of a cotter pin to hold the lower front roller in place. Perhaps it can help?