I purchased a finlandia a bit over a year ago, and finally have gotten it set up and ready to weave. when I bought it, it wasn't tied up, so I couldn't sit down and weave, and I'm having issues with the mushy feel of the treadles. up until now, I've been weaving on a 20" baby Mac and a 36" Harrisville designs loom (with texsolv cables and tie up). is this normal, or will the action get firmer as the new texsolv stretches out? right now there's so much give that I'm struggling to find the sweet spot in the lams and treadles that will give me a nice open shed...
Your shed may be too big
One reason that the CM and CB looms feel different than your jack looms is that with jack looms you are physically lifting the shafts with your leg muscles. On CM and CB looms, the looms are balanced so that it takes much less effort to lift the shafts. On large looms, and as you age, this is greatly appreciated.
I'm currently set up for a
I'm currently set up for a two harness plain weave on the counterbalance setup, with a nice right tension. the shed is barely big enough for my leclerc end feed shuttle. the finlandia is so tall that I have to sit on a stool to reach the right height - if I adjust the treadles to hit the floor, I can't reach them. I expected a different feel, in fact that's why I got this loom (a bigger macomber or similar makes my joints hurt on long weaving sessions because of the force needed), but this amount of mushy smushy is beyond annoying. there's so much play and stretch that I am having to move my feet WAY further to open a clean shed than I should, and it's impossible to treadle by feel. with only 2 treadles in play, I can keep one foot on each, but I didn't get this loom just so I could weave tabby. it's got room for eight harnesses, and I currently don't see how I'd be able to use them.
Balance is important
You might try posting some pictures of your tie up; we may be able to see what's wrong. You should get a bigger shed with what you describe.
I've finally got things
I've finally got things adjusted to the point where my shed is clean and my treadles aren't too mushy, just softer than on a jack, which I think I'll like once I adjust.
I'm left with 2 remaining issues. 1) the shed is still really small - just big enough for my regular shuttles, and definitely not big enough for the end feed shuttle I bought in anticipation, and 2) this sucker was definitely made for someone at least 5" taller than me
I'm 5'2", with proportionally short arms and legs. I'm had my dad install stops on the sides to keep the beater from going all the way back to the castle when at "rest," and added a handle to the beater to bring it within comfortable reach. I'm also sitting in a drafting chair, since the stool that came with it still left me a couple of inches too short (my elbows were 2-3" below the breast beam, forcing me to reach up and over in order to weave). The treadles have been adjusted for height, but I may also have Dad make me a longer set, since right now I'm still reaching out in front and treadling with my toes.
is there anyone else short out there with one of these? what modifications did you make to help? I got this for production weaving, but right now I can only work for 1 to 2 hrs a day before I'm too sore to keep going :(
You really should be working
position of the shafts
I wanted to post a follow up
I wanted to post a follow up to the thread, in case someone else runs into the same issue.
Regarding the small shed - I started collecting and rereading every set of instructions for setting up a countermarche loom that I could get my hands on, and analysing every last word. I noticed a small phrase in a set of Glimraka instructions that I hadn't seen anywhere else - when attaching the treadles, it instructed to set the height with the rearmost cord, then tie up the other cords on the treadle with a little slack. My ohter instructions had been to tie them up the same, then adjust individual cords to get a clean shed. I undid my treadle tie up and redid it based on the new instructions, and VOILA! A perfect shed, even and open and HUGE! There may have been some very enthusiastic, very bad dancing at that moment. :)
Regarding the height issue, I scraped together the money for a bench weaving class with Walter Turpening, and got his sliding seat weaver's bench. It was expensive, but solved the issue perfectly, and I had a really great time. I also added a little extension to the beater bar so that I could reach it with a natural arm extension, rather than stretching. Now my back, hips, knees, and ankles are all much happier.
I'm still considering swapping my treadles from rear to front anchors, based on some ankle issues and the reccomendation of my Physical Therapist (I had an at home evaluation with all my equipment. He now understands why I spent so much time trying to explain why and how much my issues affected that weaving thing he couldn't visualize. Worth every penny!), but it's nowhere as pressing as it was, and I may not bother if I continue having no issues.
Thanks for all the help, you guys. I don't have a weaving community here that I'm tapped into, so it's been a HUGE assist to talk to folks who know what I'm referring to, and who have "been there."
Thank you for posting your success! Sometimes something small can make a big difference. I have a 12 shaft CM loom that was giving me fits. I had tried everything. I finally decided I didn't want this piece of junk taking up this space in the house, and moved it out to my studio. When I took it apart, I discovered that when I had added heddles for the new project, I had some on several shafts where the botton loop was on one shaft, and the top on the adjacent shaft. That never works.