I have a Tools of the Trade Loom. The leather ID tags give the name, Fairhaven, Vermont and #144. It is an 8 harness, 10 treadle, 45inch reed loom. I know it is old. I know they are no longer being made. Can anyone tell me anything else about them? Approximate year they were made? Has anyone fixed up one with any success? It is very heavy and lots of chains from the treadles to the lams. I know they can be replaced with Texsolv but the wood is old too. Thank you for any information that you can give me. I am trying to find out if I should fix it up or try to sell it and buy a new one.
Actually, for the best shed, you want all the shafts to go up equally. The treadle has more travel at the back, so the rear shafts tend to raise higher. This is why the front jacks are larger, to make up for the treadle movement. If you don't have these graduated jacks, you can create the same differential by tying the chains or cords progressively looser towards the rear. You could loosen or tighten the eyebolts holding the lamms to the jacks, but you can get so much more adjustment in the chain length that I'm not sure why you would want to do that. The eyebolts in the photo above are in the lamms.
Thanks - that makes sense, I will have to sit and contemplate what's going on with my sheds, then... I had no issue with this when I did a four shaft project but now I'm using all 8 and getting a slightly different result. I don't think I have graduated jacks, they all look the same to me.
What is the problem you are having with your shed? Many people think that the shed has to be clean at the top and bottom, but the top doesn't matter. What is important is that threads that should be down are not being lifted slightly and may be caught by the shuttle. If you have threads lifted that shouldn't be, there are a couple of reasons for that on a jack loom.
1 - You are accidentally putting pressure on a treadle with the not-active leg, and this is raising shafts slightly.
2- You are raising most of the shafts, and the warp is raising shafts that you don't want raised. If you can, retie the loom to avoid this. If not, look to see what shafts are supposed be down but are up and tap them down. I do both, depending.
You can also reduce the tension on the warp (I like high tension) to reduce the tendancy of the warp to lift shafts.
I was weaving a turned twill that lifted four shafts with each treadle, and in some sheds, the threads on the furthest-back harness in the group would lie significantly lower than the rest. Actually I emailed Daryl L and she said that I could improve the angle of the threads on the back harnesses by lifting up the treadle bar a little and propping it with blocks. I got bricks and put one at each end of the treadle bar, lengthwise to it so as to give maximum support, and it did help the shed be more uniform so less likely for a careless shot to skip over threads.
Good questions and good points, Big White Sofa Dog.
Re: Graduated jacks.
I finally figured out what you were talking about. I had to lay down on the floor and look back up at the underside of the jacks. The graduation happens in the length of each jack and is apparent only at each side of the (inner) castle. I have a 12 shaft, and they appear to reduce in units of two, with the smallest ones toward the back.
I have a new to me ToTT loom #157, from the original owner. Everything has gone great getting my first warp on her... I have hit a wall on the tie up chains, I cannot get them hooked up correctly and while trying to do so my body says "Oh no, we're not trying that again!"
What is the trick to getting those warp chains tamed? I have the original typed instructions, however they aren't of much help.
I am assuming your are talking about the chains that tie the treadles to the lamms. You also mention warp chains, which are compeltely different, but say you got it warped well. There are two sets of chains. One ties each lamm to one shaft. The other set of chains ties treadles to the lamms. What treadles to what lamms depends on your pattern. I set a chair in front of mine and tilt the loom forward to lean on the chair so I'm not crawling around under it. What exactly is the problem you are having with the chains?
I have a 4 shaft 6 treadle ToTT. Each treadle has a set of eyebolts on it, and a cotter pin that can pass through the eyes. There are spaces between the eyebolts that correspond to the shafts. To tie up the treadles, I remove the cotter pin and thread a chain through a hole in the lamm under the shaft that I want to tie up. Then I return the cotter pin through the eyes, passing it though a link of the chain in the space between eyebolts that corresponds to the shaft I am tying up. If more than one shaft is being tied to that treadle, I graduate the length of the chains so that the chains at the back end of the treadle are shorter than the chains at the front end (since the treadles angle up toward the back). The only part I find can be difficult is that last push to get the cotter pin to click onto the eyebolts. Does this help, or am I not understanding your question?
Yes, Susan, sometimes it is difficult to orient the link in the chain to the appropriate segment in the rod, especially toward the back of the loom. (I have a 12-shaft - so you can imagine!) If you have to shorten the chain, letting some of it dangle beside the treadle, kinking can make it difficult to slide the rod easily.
The fit of the original chains is pretty smooth, however, additional chains I have bought (that match the size) are slightly different in girth, so they tend to be more difficult. I try to use those toward the front of the loom. (I have no idea if yours are original or not.)
Another idea occurred to me.
My rods have a curl on the end. This piece sticks up near where your foot hits the treadle, and some of mine have been bent into a more closed position compared to the others. So those are harder to press into position at the end of the process. They can be opened up slightly with pliers. Is this the same kind of rod you have, or is it really a cotter pin? #157 indicates an earlier loom. I know he made adaptations over the years. Mine is #368.
Perhaps attach a photo?
Also, I find it helps to shake the problem chain or move the treadle side-to-side, to coax a kinky chain into place and get the rod to go through the hooks smoothly.
I'm not having an issue with my tie up on my ToTT. I just thought describing the process might help Emcadam with her issue which I also don't understand. I called the rod a cotter pin for lack of a better term, it is as you describe. Sadly, my loom lost it's number before I acquired it (Emcadam's is #157).
Sorry Susan - yes I should have directed my reply to Emcadam.
Susan, that's exactly what I do with mine, and it's the same hookup as my Leclerc uses. I still don't understand what the problem is.
I put the rod in the reverse. I start from the back of the loom and thread the rod through the eyelts and the desired chains toward the front. I don't clip it into anything because gravity holds it in place. I tie up from the back because I lean the loom over onto a chair so I'm sitting behind it.
Interesting! I like the idea and it wouldn't cause the end curls on the rods to get compressed down when weaving.
Unfortunately, there are two barriers for my particular loom:
The second (sectional) warp beam is mounted below the first, blocking access to the rear of the treadles. And tipping a 12-shaft, 14 treadle, 2 warp beam, 45" loom is not real feasible. I think it weighs over 250 pounds.
(Gotta love that rock maple he used!)
I used to put the rod in from the back, but I usually weave barefoot and found the ends of the rod t be a little sharp on my delicate toes >.<
Ah, yes, that would make a difference. Mine is 25" wide, 8 shafts. I tie it up the same way as the baby mac, by leaning it forward onto a chair. I think for a big 12 shaft loom, I would construct a 20+ for it. My back doesn't tolerate the contortions that crawling around under a loom requires. Scoliosis is taking its tole.