Need help or looking for good tips? This is the place to post both questions and tips.
Due an increasind deterioration of a long-standing back injury, I'm exploring ways to be able to continue weaving without exacerbating my back when weaving larger projects. I currently have several looms but the one that I am most sentimental about is also the one that I now find sits naked most of the time because it is the hardest on my back. It is my 45" Leclerc and despite it's hinged treadles, it still poses a real challenge. My Baby Wolf, on the other hand, is very ergonomically fine for me (as long as I limit the amount of time I sit at it at one stretch).
I'm contemplating looking for a used AVL compu-dobby and am wondering if anyone here can help me out as far as your experience in contrasting using one as opposed to using a regular jack-type loom.
I have used AVL looms since 1987 and I love them. There are quite a few different models and several changes have been made over the years. Which model did you find? I have had back problems too. Besides the central treadles, there is a big advantage in not having to get under the loom to change the tie-up. With 16 or more shafts, there more different combinations to lift and the tie-up plays a larger role in the design of the cloth.
Last summer, I joined a Colorado group on Weavolution called Fire in the Sky. Now there's another one! You might look at the introductions and chat on the first Colorado Weavolution group. It is several pages back.
Your question is very broad. I used LeClerc looms for my first 20 years of weaving. There were so many reasons why I moved to AVL. However, there are other computer-assisted looms with easier treadling than the AVL, unless you find an AVL with the "e-lift". Look at Louet's Megado and the Toika and the LeClerc WeaveBird.
I can easily treadle my 16-shaft AVL looms which are both in the Colorado cabin. Right now I am in Maryland where I have a 24-shaft AVL. I bought it used and have upgraded to a compu-dobby III because with the older system treadling was just too hard on my lower back. I would not recommend a 24-shaft AVL with compu-dobby I or II for somebody with lower back problems, but those are OK with 16 shafts. It has to do with the engineering.
There are quite a few weavers in CO with computer-assisted looms. Where do you live?
Bonnie Inouye -I will be in Denver for the April guild program and workshop
Have you considered the Leclerc Weavebird? I'm leaning towards one and I know the will be at Convergence. I too have back problems and find I can't sit at my Nilus (1) for more then a hours or so. I tried an older Weavebird and it felt very good. It's a countermach and has a weighted system rather then an air lift like the AVL. I thought the treadling prssure was less then my 4 shaft Nilus.
I'm planning to spend a bit more time with one at Convergence and to look at the AVL also.