AVL Power Assist

Okay, I'm using all 16 shafts of my new-to-me AVL for the first time, and I have a fairly wide warp (40").  I'm starting to see why a power assist might be helpful.  I see that AVL offers an electrical and a compressed air powered assist.  The air is certainly cheaper.  Does anybody have any thoughts on these two options?  Pros and Cons?  Love this loom, but this is hard work.


Posted on Sun, 01/03/2016 - 22:36

I think the big drawback to compressed air assist is the noise.  I have an AVL with compressed air power assist.  I bought it a few months ago and I'm still working to get it set up.  I'm glad I will have the assist, but I realized I didn't want to listen to a loud air compressor while weaving (loom is in an unfinished basement, so think ECHO).  I paid extra to get a quiet air compressor, but it still isn't quiet -- just quiet compared to a regular one.  Another option was putting the compressor in a garage and running a line, but we have a detached garage.  I was told horror stories of freezing air compressors exploding and freezing exterior lines, etc, etc.  So the best option for me was the quieter air compressor.  Hope this helps.  

Posted on Sun, 01/03/2016 - 23:51

If you can't afford the e-lift, be careful of the compressor you might choose. The air needs to be dry. The best choice would be a used dental compressor with a large capacity.

Posted on Mon, 01/04/2016 - 02:27

I now have the E-Lift on my 24-shaft AVL. When using my 16-shaft AVL looms, I generally choose to lift fewer than half of the shafts when I can, and not more than half when possible. Pay attention to the tie-up and liftplan and keep the effort in mind. It is hard on your right leg, right knee and right hip.

Also make sure you have the loom adjusted properly It takes some effort to open the shed but should not be hard to keep it open. You do not want the springs under the shafts to be too tightly stretched.

Good luck! Bonnie

Posted on Mon, 01/04/2016 - 02:48

Thanks for the info, Sara.  It looks like by the time I get the right compressor for it, I'm close to the price of the electric unit.  Considering the noise factor, and that I'd be using electricity to run the compressor anyway, the electric unit is sounding better.  I had thought that I might be able to run the compressed air unit on the large industrial compressor that we have here to fill tires, etc, but it's about 50 feet from my studio, which would be a long line, and it doesn't supply dry air.

Posted on Mon, 01/04/2016 - 15:59

I wove on a 60", 16- shaft AVL for a long time (Since 1989) and have problems with my right hip, probably for that reason.  I got an E-lift for it about 5 or 6 years ago and now have no difficulties.   The E-lift was on sale at the time, but I chose it so as not to have to deal with an air compressor and its placement or noise or maintenance.   But in the last two years, I got another E-lift for a 30" AVL with 24 shafts as, well.  The smaller loom was easier on my legs  when I treadled "manually", but I'm looking forward to weaving for a long time yet and don't want physical problems restricting me.    

I had an IDL for a while and a very large air compressor for it and I had to tend to the air compressor as much as the loom. The air compressor ran all of the functions on that loom.  (We had to build a shed at the back of the studio to keep it in and I had to go outside to turn it on all the time.)

 I like the simplicity of the E-lift much better.  Just make sure to close your shed when you stop weaving  or leave the loom, because if you stop when you have shafts up the cable around the cam and motor gets all messed up as the shafts fall when you turn it off. 

I learned that the hard way.  More than once!