better tension on my AVL

Hi everyone.  I want to get a tighter warp tension on my AVL (60" 16 shaft PDL built in the late 1980s).  I asked the company about how to do this, and I was told there were two options.  I could either buy a locking brake or a heavy duty spring and additional weight for the live tension system.  Has anybody tried either of these?  Have you come up with other options? 

I think I would prefer the heavy spring option, since it's both cheaper and would be very simple to implement.  But I wonder if I would end up wanting better tension than it would provide.  I don't know how much rug weaving I might want to do on this loom, or whether that would be rag rug or wool rugs, but it would be nice to have that as an option.

I'm currently weaving tote bags (rag rug style) and while the tension is acceptable for that I would prefer it to be tighter.



Posted on Thu, 03/14/2013 - 17:18

I have tried a little rug weaving on my AVL looms and I have one like yours from 1987. I managed to get a few small rugs and some samples, but I had to pull on the warp yarns after the rugs came off the loom to get a firm enough weave to satisfy myself. That convinced me to wait until I had a different loom for rugs, if I ever decide that this is what I want to weave. I don't think it would become a rug loom with a brake instead of the live weight.

Tote bags are not as demanding as rugs. You can line a tote bag. Is your weight all the way at the end of the bar? You might be able to add weight to this. When I visited Jim Ahrens, he was using an old metal coffee can with rocks in it for a weight. More rocks were nearby if needed. He was totally awesome and over 90 years old.


Posted on Thu, 03/14/2013 - 23:48

I tried using both 7 pound weights, both as close to the end as possible, but then the arm is way down (almost to where it would rub against the warp beam) and the spring is fully extended.  So I think my first step is to get a stronger spring and see .

A can with rocks does sound interesting and would be worth trying before buying the extra weights from AVL.  I was just hoping to find a weaver who has used one of these methods to successfully weave rugs on their AVL.  I didn't even consider it as an option when I bought the loom, but it would be nice to be able to make an occasional rug on it.

Posted on Fri, 03/15/2013 - 01:57

Also remember that if you have the sandpaper beam, it is hard to weave weft faced, as the beam is not in contact with the warp, only the weft.  A student contacted me once to ask why she wove her rug at about (x) wefts per inch and then after the rug had gone over the sandpaper beam, the wefts per inch were 3 times X.  (I don't remember the numbers, but it was three times.


Posted on Fri, 03/15/2013 - 15:12

I do have the sandpaper beam and didn't even think about how that would work with a weft-faced rug Joanne.  I think I'll just do some playing around before spending much money on this problem.