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Problems with a countermarch

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theresasc's picture
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Joined: 05/24/2012

I have the third warp on my new-to-me countermarch loom.  This time I am using all eight shafts, but only four treadles.  When I pulled the locking pins, the shafts fell so far that the lower lamms are touching the uppers.  I tied up the far right treadle (furthest from the pivot point) and it has had no effect.  Now what??

The last project I wove on this loom was rep-weave place mats and I was very impressed with how well they wove.  I had then sett at 45epi, which is a high epi for me, and had no problem getting a nice clean shed and firmly woven cloth.  I do no think that I would have been able to weave then as well on my jack looms.  So that is the plus side to this CM loom.  The big downside is all of this terrible fiddling around to get the thing tied up.  Is it really worth it in the long run.  I have spent as much time just trying to get this thing tied up as it would to weave the project.  What are all you CM loom owners doing when you have less treadles than shafts?  What is the point of having to tie up more treadles?  If I wanted to weave something with eight treadles, thats what I would have put on the loom.  If I want to weave with four treadles, am I ALWAYS going to have more tied up?  I am very frustrated.  The loom is a Cranbrook, the "supposed" finest CM available, I am not impressed so far.  

Any help or solutions would be appreciated.

 

 

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kerstinfroberg's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
Does it matter?

The *only* important thing is how the sheds look. The sheds can be fine even if it doesn't balance in "neutral".

I never tie more treadles than I need for weaving.

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Dawn McCarthy's picture
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Joined: 06/09/2009
Oh dear, and so begins the

Oh dear, and so begins the journey of the countermarch weaver.  The first few warps I attributed to accumulating knowledge!  Now it takes me very little time to get up and running.  When you depress the treadle is the shed floor clean?  Are the lams causing issues or are you able to weave without problems?  Sometimes just weighting the lower lams helps but if the weaving is fine just go ahead.  While you are weaving your feet are always engaging the treadles so the clattering of the lams shouldn't be an issue.  Remember the treadles do not have to be tied too high, as long as your shed is clean.  

Dawn

 

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theresasc's picture
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Because the shafts are

Because the shafts are dropping so far which then brings the lower lamms up to bump into the upper lamms, when the loom is at rest, the warp dips down, because the shafts are so far down, the warp is not running straight across from beam to beam.  Also, the treadles are so high up, its almost impossible to weave.

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MaryMartha's picture
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more shafts than treadles

Forgive my ignorance, but an 8 shaft/4 treadle draft strikes me as unusual.  Is this a situation that's likely to occur often?  Or perhaps you have extended a 4-shaft draft to 8 in the same way that 4 shaft loom owners are often advised to extend plain weave over all 4 shafts rather than 2.  Nothing is gained in design complexity - there's just better balance on the loom.

I've owned or used a number of countermarches, and they all wove extremely well using as many treadles (or more) as shafts.  If what you have is really a four shaft draft, I would thread and tie up only the 4 front shafts to your 4 treadles.  I bet you will be much happier with the result.

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theresasc's picture
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I have expanded a 4 shaft

I have expanded a 4 shaft draft out to eight.  I never had a problem doing this on my jack looms, so I did not see the problems coming by doing it on the countermarch - I guess I was very wrong.   I don't understand why it makes such a difference, or why those lower lamms will not go down where they are supposed to be.

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Dawn McCarthy's picture
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Your warp should be tensioned

Your warp should be tensioned so that it runs in a straight line from breast beam thru heddles to back beam.  The shafts should not be heavy enough to weigh it down.  Can you post pics?  Can you indicate the tie up and weave structure?  

Dawn

 

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theresasc's picture
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It is rep-weave, the treadles

It is rep-weave, the treadles are tied as follows:  1-3-5-7, 2-4-6-8, 1-4-5-8, 2-3-6-7.  I am now at work, I will try to post pictures either tonight or in the morning.  I really do not want to have to rethread almost 600 ends to put the project on 4 shafts.  I just feel that this should work.

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Su Butler's picture
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CM looms depend on balance.

CM looms depend on balance.  Try tying up a couple of extra treadles to the same shafte you already have tied.  The weight of those treadles may be enough to balance the rest of the parts.  Your lower lamms need enough weight on them to keep them from rising up and hitting the upper lamms...which, since you are using a Cranbrook, I assume are attached to the bottom of the shafts??  Put the locking pins in place, make sure the warp runs directly from the back beam, through the middle of the heddle and onto the front beam without dipping, then tie the treadles so there is enough weight to balance the sheds.

Hope that helps!

Su

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theresasc's picture
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Okay,  this has been a very

Okay,  this has been a very confusing experience.  I put the locking pins back in, tensioned the warp, pulled the pins, and it looks like things are just fine.  What happened, I have no idea....I am thinking that it might have had to do with the warp. 

Is it true that one should have the warp already tied on before mucking around with the tie-ups?  That was something I did not do.  I lash on my cloth beam, so I really need to have at least one plain weave shed available to do that.  I have been going into the loom before the warp is on, tieing up the loom, then dressing the loom.  Everything is easier to get to when the loom is naked vs. when a warp is on that monster. 

I have to say that once the loom is up and weaving, its nice to weave on, but I sure do not enjoy getting it to this point.  I am still so surprised at how sharp the learning curve is going from jack looms to CM's.  Dressing the jack looms is almost effortless for me, while it seems like every step with the CM is a struggle.  I sure hope this gets better or there is going to be a large, very nice looking Cranbrook for sale.

Thanks for everyones feedback - its been appreciated!

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kerstinfroberg's picture
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Looms that rely on balance

both CB and CM, need to have a tensioned warp on before you can *evaluate* the tie-up.

It is, of course, possible to do the actual placing of cords (tying/fixing them) without the warp, but there will always be adjusting to do when the warp is in place (and tensioned).  The warp is an "actor" in the balancing. (and, to my mind, it would be near impossible to know at what height to hang the shafts without the warp... the first time; after that, you can always mark the upper texsolv cords)

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nieuwWeef's picture
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Oh my gosh, here I am,

Oh my gosh, here I am, struggling with my 'new' Glimakra CM and all those cords and lamms and treadles which all seem to have their own agenda and aaaaghhh, I was going mad! And now I'm reading: dress the loom first. Allrigggghhhty then :') I feel so stupid haha.

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big white sofa dog's picture
Joined: 10/21/2011
8 shafts and 4 treadles

One of the earlier posts mentions balance.  If your loom is designed to be balanced (treadles and lamms going down balance shafts and lamms going up) with eight shafts and 8 treadles, taking 4 treadles out of the equation will not balance and the shafts fall.  I'mn not sure why you would want to change a pattern that could be woven on 4 shafts to 8; twice as many shafts to thread and tie up.  If you are expanding the pattern, that would be understandable, but then you would need more treadles. 

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theresasc's picture
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Your post made me smile

StudioWeeft - I had a few struggles with my first CM loom.  I have finally tamed the Cranbrook and just recently got a Glimåkra.   I was and am still surprised at the learning curve on these looms especially coming from a jack loom background.  Just keep putting warps on the loom, it does get better and all those cords start making sense.  There are a couple of helpful books, The Big Book Of Weaving by Laila Lindell and Tying Up the Countermarch Loom by Joanne Hall.  With the Glimåkra I have had to reference the books to get the loom weaving smoothly.   Once the loom is set up, you should just fall in love with your Glimåkra,  they are a dream to weave on.

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kerstinfroberg's picture
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8sh-4tr

just an example... :

I have woven several pieces after this idea (ok, mostly in wool) w/o problems. (But then, I am never worried about "balance" when in neutral position... the sheds are what I am concerned about)

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Joanne Hall's picture
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8sh-4tr

Thanks Kerstin for sending the draft.  This is the one I first thought of when this came up. 

The idea of simply threading a four shaft weave on 8 shafts comes from the shed problems on jack looms when the sett is very close, as in ripsmatta, or rep weave.  It can be nearly impossible, so spreading it out on 8 shafts makes it weavable.

And for those who find this a problem on the countermarch:

Yes, the shafts may fall.  Yes, you can weave even if the shafts fall.  The problem is  that the treadles may rise higher and that makes it uncomfortable to weave.  To solve this, it is easy to tie up a treadle to all the lower lamms, which adds weight to the lower lamms.  Add extra weight to the treadle if needed. This makes the shafts stay in place and the treadles don't rise, making the treadling more comfortable.  And this is most helpful for looms which have the lower lamms no longer (no heavier) than the upper lamms.   

For those who have my book, it is on the bottom of page 26.

Joanne

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