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Cleaning a reed

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JoAnnaWeaves's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009

Hi everyone!

I have a reed that needs cleaning. I'm not sure if it's rust or if the metal is pickled or what... but when I weave with it, the yarn gets all fuzzy like it's catching on the reed. I know that it's normal to catch some, but this is worse than normal. There are pretty big chunks of loose fiber when I cut a piece off the loom. It is not a stainless steel reed. It came with my loom and it says "Galvinized Steel" on it...I'm not sure what that means...
I have tried steel wool, a toothbrush, etc. It's a 15 dent reed so the dents are pretty small and hard to get between. I've thought about trying to spray something on it but my concern is that if I spray it with something, it will rub off on the yarn when I'm weaving. Is there some kind of cleaning solution that I could soak it in? Any ideas would be helpful. It's currently the only reed I own and I can't afford to buy another one right now.
-JoAnna

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Guiding Myth's picture
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Joined: 06/13/2009
 HI JoAnnaWeaves,   The reed

 HI JoAnnaWeaves,

  The reed is most likely too fine for the yarn you are using.  What yarn are you weaving with - the one that gets all fuzzy - what fiber and size??  

Try taking the reed off the loom and look through it outdoors in bright sunlight.  If it is rusty you should be able to see the rust.

 Someone once told me she put on a wool warp and sprayed the reed with WD40 and wove with it, occasionally re-spraying the reed when she felt the need.  She said that after washing there was no ill effects on the wool and the rust was gone from the reed.  My thought is that I would use cheap yarn and not worry if I had to throw it away if I needed to.  You could perhaps spray the WD40 and sort of "floss" it with string to experiment.

Hope this helps!  Good Luck.

Guiding Myth

 

 

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Michael White's picture
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Joined: 06/26/2009
If you hold up the reed in

If you hold up the reed in the sun light and you can see pits of rust, spraying with WD40 will not help. You will have to remove the rust physically. You can buy a fine file called a points file at most auto parts stores, you could use emery cloth, also sold at auto parts stores or the best way is to take the reed to a auto refinishing shop to see what it would cost to have the reed sandblasted. Once you have cleaned up the rust then you can rub the reed with or weave with some wool in the grease. Of course a SS reed is the way to go.

Good luck,

Michael 

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JoAnnaWeaves's picture
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I have woven with three

I have woven with three different sizes on it. An 8/2 Tencel, a 5/2 cotton and a 3/2 cotton. The 8/2 fuzzed the least (Obvioulsy because it was the finest thread.) I had never woven with Tencel before so at first I thought it was just the Tencel but when I put the 5/2 cotton on there it also fuzzed...Just more so than the Tencel. The 3/2 was by far the worst. (Again, that's pretty obvious.) I agree that the 5/2 and 3/2 were too large to weave with in that reed.

Thanks for the WD40 idea. I might spray some on the outer part of the reed and "floss" to see what it does.

-JoAnna

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JoAnnaWeaves's picture
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Thanks for the ideas. I shall

Thanks for the ideas. I shall ask my husband about the sand blasting idea. His cousin is a mechanic and might be able to do it for me. Would pressure washing work if the reed were dried quickly afterwards so that the water doesn't cause more rust?

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sequel's picture
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Joined: 06/09/2009
Pressure washing won't work. 

Pressure washing won't work.  Nor will Naval Jelly.  Someone is bound to suggest that and don't believe it!  The roughness caused by rust is due to the pitting of the reed it causes.  The pitting won't be removed by Naval Jelly and it could cause even more pitting of its own. 

If you get it sand blasted, you'll want to use glass beads or walnut hulls, not real sand.  Your mechanic will understand what I'm saying.

I've done lots and will do more with watersand, emery cloth and crocus cloth (fine abrasive papers).  Usually folded in half and pulled back and forth between the "teeth" of the reed, like dental floss.

 

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JoAnnaWeaves's picture
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I will probably try the emery

I will probably try the emery cloth and see what that does since a couple people suggested this. Thanks for all the help! I'm so glad I have a place where I can ask other weavers about things like this. :)

-JoAnna

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Sara von Tresckow's picture
Joined: 05/29/2009
The threads you are using are

The threads you are using are all too coarse to fit comfortably into a 15 dent reed. Any corrosion or pitting that has occurred will scrape on them. 8/2 Tencel works well at 20 epi - two threads in a dent on a 10 dent reed. 5/2 cotton would be best 2 per dent in an 8 dent reed. 3/2 cotton is uncomfortable set over 12 epi. Note, I'm recommending 2 threads per dent. Multiple threads in a generous dent keep each single thread from getting too much abrasion.

Think about getting yourself a few reeds that are sized appropriately for your yarn. And then try your 15 dent reed with 10/2 cotton of finer to see how it works. Perhaps when the dents are not crowded it will not scrape the yarn.

I have some corrosion on my oldest reeds, but they are 8 and 10 dent reeds and when not crowded work fine. Getting in between the dents to smooth out roughness will be next to impossible and probably not worth the effort.

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JoAnnaWeaves's picture
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Thanks for the info! Yes, I

Thanks for the info! Yes, I tried using fine grit sand paper in between the dents...I stopped after about 2 inches. I would have taken HOURS to sand each dent!

I'm still pretty new to weaving. I only bought my first loom about 2 months ago and 15 dent reed is what it came with. I had never woven with a sett that tight before. In the weaving classes I've taken I've used 8, 10, and 12 dent reeds but never a 15 so I didn't really know what to use and what not to. I guess that's part of the whole learning process though.

Eventually I know I'll need to buy different sized reeds, but since I have 48" loom, new reeds can be quite expensive. (at least for a married college student trying to build a house...*lol*) If we get any extra money I'll probably buy a nice stainless steel reed in a different size so I can vary my setts. That will be very nice. :)

-JoAnna

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Weaver's picture
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Joined: 06/10/2009
I've had to sand just one

I've had to sand just one reed in my life, and while it did take time, I got a rhythm going and it wasn't so bad.  Here's what worked for me:

I stood the reed on end and held it between my knees. Starting at the top, I used emery paper and polished the upper and lower faces of each dent, then moved to the next one.  Flipped the reed over after I got to the halfway point.

That said, I also think a 10 or 12 dent reed is far more practical, unless you plan to work with uber-fine thread most of the time. Does your loom support the use of a narrower reed? If you aren't weaving full width cloth, you might be able to get a less expensive reed for use with narrow cloth.

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JoAnnaWeaves's picture
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I could buy a narrower(?)

I could buy a narrower(?) reed. I guess I just feel like if I'm going to spend money on a reed it should be one that will be functional for both large and small pieces... Do you know anything about sleying sequences to change the sett? Heritage Yarns has a Sett Chart on their website. I suppose that still doesn't solve the problem of the spacing of the actual dents being too tight for big yarn but I'm just curious if anyone has experimented with something like that.

 

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Sara von Tresckow's picture
Joined: 05/29/2009
A 10 dent reed is pretty

A 10 dent reed is pretty versatile. To start, that would be your best option. Later you could get 8 and 12 dent reeds. I wove over 15 years with just those three sizes and wove a variety of fabrics and rugs.

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JoAnnaWeaves's picture
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Thanks for the input! :) I

Thanks for the input! :) I was thinking I would either get a 10 or a 12 dent reed. But it definitely helps hearing that from an experienced weaver.
-JoAnna

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sharon's picture
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I started out with one

I started out with one reed--the one that camewith the loom--like everyone else.  In those days a 15 dent reed was the standard (late 60s).  I weave all kinds of things from very,very fine to as few as 8 ends per inch.  Each time I thought to myself "Gee, a #____ dent reed would make this a lot easier" I made a mark on a piece of paper I had stuck to my loom.  By the time I tallied (5) I started thinking about ordering the new reed.  That way I got a variety of reeds in sizes that I actually needed and used.  I live in the desert so steel has worked but now I live in an adobe house which tends to hold humidity so gradually I will replace my steel with stainless steel reeds but I don't need to do that today.  As long as I use them all often, no problem.

Sharon

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JoAnnaWeaves's picture
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What a good way to figure out

What a good way to figure out what you actually need! I live on the TN plateau so humidity is definitely something to consider. I have been pricing reeds for when I get some extra cash and it's only about $20 more to get a stainless steel reed. Hopefully at the end of the summer I'll be able to afford one. I'm planning on sharing a craft booth with my mother at a local street festival in Sept. to sell some of my work. Hopefully I can make enough to buy more yarn and another reed. Thanks for the info!

JoAnna

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Weaver's picture
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I like that chart from

I like that chart from Heritage Yarns. I certainly have put my original 12-dent reed through a lot of the variations from 6epi all the way up to 36epi. The spacing really does even out as you weave.

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IsabellaParrott's picture
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Joined: 03/01/2010
Cleaning reed

Last week, when warping for our Sheep to Shawl in three days, I realized my 10 dent reed was just 22" and my warp was done for 24" wide. I had to scramble but our Guild had a 24" 10dpi reed. I picked it up but it was a disaster. I read all the comments above but since time was limited, yarn was handspun and light grey and white, there wasn't time for some of the solutions. I brushed it extensively with a steel brush to get as much surface rust as possible off and then I used some sheets of "drywall sanding screen" (abut 4"x12") between each and ever dent. It seemed to work better and hold up better than emory or sandpaper. It took about over an hour and I braced it in a vice without tightening the vice on the reed. Then I buffed it well with a dry, softer kitchen floor brush, blew it out well with the leaf blower, and it was shiny and smooth. Not a single probem at the Sheep to Shawl. Every time I think about downsizing, I remember why I have such a collection of odd things in the garage. Hope this helps someone else. 

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paulz's picture
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Join an Association?

I had a similar problem. DIdn't know which reed to use. Obvious that the reed I was using was too thin and eroding my threads. I joined my local weaving association and they have not only spare reeds but a spare floor loom as well. I have borrowed a couple of reeds to try out. Maybe I might even try out their floor loom as well.

Paul

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maggiescornerdotorg's picture
Joined: 06/29/2013
auto refinisher Michael White

A couple years ago I got an antique loom that had a rusty reed, that is when I found your suggestion about an auto refinishing shop. I been meaning to thank you Michael White for posting comment because that is what I did a couple years ago. They gave it a light coating of primer after sandblasting it. I've been using it; it's still in good condition, I believe it will be for many more years to come. 

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