Comfortable threading

Hi all,

I recently started working with my NEW (to me!) AVL, and I'm having a blast!  The questions are starting to build though, so a few will likely hit here over the next few months...

To start with, I am currently dressing the loom with my second warp.  The first one was pretty narrow with a relatively open set.  While threading, I was pretty uncomfortable.  I beamed sectionally, and was threading while sitting on the bench at the front of the loom.  This made me lean over pretty far, hunched over the cloth beam and beater to reach the heddles.  I eventually took out the cloth beam, and that helped a bit.  If I could easily remove the beater, that'd be ideal... but it's an overhead beater with double air-assisted flyshuttle boxes, quite a beast to get situated.

So - how can I improve on my position to be more comfortable, and work more efficiently?  Any ideas are greatly appreciated!


Posted on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 14:37

As you noticed, removing the sandpaper beam helps a lot.  I also removed the bench and use a low stool to sit on to thread and a tall stool that I can 'perch' on for weaving.  It will depend on your physical stature what size/height of stool will work best for you.  I experimented a bit before I found my ideal stool heights.



Posted on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 15:09

Ooh, good plan to remove the bench... I hadn't thought of that.  I've got a stool that should work well.  Only problem is that the beater will still be a bit cumbersome.  Even if I take off the reed, the race is still at an inconvenient height in relation to the heddles (for me).  Do you manage to just work over the top of it without any discomfort?

Posted on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 15:47

What I do (I recognize your ptoblem with the beater being too high) - what I do is raise the shafts: lock the arm in the low position, raise all shafts I'm going to thread.

Then, there is the "treadle-the-threading" which I suppose amounts to the same thing. The method sounds good, but I did not like it the one time I tried.

And I remember that someone had a trick to raise the beater (without disassembling it), but unfortunately I can't remember who, or where. If you are reading this, please tell us again!

Posted on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 16:01

Jannie Taylor uses two ratcheting straps to raise the beater assembly up and out of the way when she threads her AVL loom.  I haven't tried it, but I do lift the beater assembly up and rest it on the supports where the fly-shuttle cords are attached.  If I used the ratcheting straps, I would not have to lift the beater assembly nearly as high.  The downside of raising the beater assembly is disengaging the auto-advance, but I find that I need to adjust it with each new warp anyhow.    

Posted on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 17:09

Ratcheting straps... now there's an idea!  I think that would end up being simple enough I wouldn't have to dread it every time I need to thread.  I will see if I can find a couple of those and try it out.

Posted on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 21:08

Some of the newer dobby heads have a hole and pin that you can use to lock the sweep arm down with all the shafts engaged to raise them higher.  I guess I'm tall enough that the beater isn't a problem for me.  :) I also have an underslung beater which may sit lower than the overhead.



Posted on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 00:09

I couldn't figure out how to move the sandpaper beam myself in the limited space I have, so I followed the advice of someone else to just sit behind the shafts to thread the heddles.  It took a while to get used to, since it feels kind of backwards, but now I can do it with no problem. Then I just move to the front to sley the reed.

My AVL is a 60" PDL with underslung beater, old style auto advance, and compudobby I.

Posted on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 01:21

I experimented a bit this evening, with satisfying results. I took off the cloth beam, the top of the beater, the reed, the bench, and two of the cloth guides. I lowered my overhead better as much as possible using the screw adjustments up top. I was not fortunate enough to have that shed-preserving pin... but a little internet research and careful drilling took care of that! I found a stool that is just the right height, and now I'm quite comfortable! No ratcheting straps necessary yet, though I'm starting to dream up other uses for them as well...

At this point, I find my biggest time sink is actually queueing up heddles to be threaded. In particular, separating single heddles out and sliding them into place is downright tedious. On other looms, the heddles don't tend to "stick" as much to the harnesses, since AVLs use those floating ones. Has anyone figured out a method or trick to make this easier?

Posted on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 01:46

I tie a piece of yarn around the top and bottom rails of the harness at both ends to pull the bottom one up a little and tighten it just enough to take the tension off the heddles. They slide easier, but I still need to get around to sanding the rails to a really smooth finish. ("Rails" is the wrong word, but I can't remember what the correct one is.) I hope this helps.


Posted on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 05:44

Or, instead of yarn: take the outermost (texsolv) heddle - let it make a loop around one or the other heddle bars. Has to be taken out for weaving, of course.

Posted on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:48

Thank you all!  These suggestions are proving very helpful.  My [short] threading session last night, incorpoating all the tips above, was more efficient than the previous one by far, while being infinitely more comfortable.  Can't wait to finish it off tonight and get to weaving!

Posted on Wed, 07/13/2011 - 01:35

For the heddle problem, I just unhook the chains from the lower heddle bars and then the heddles can be moved easily.  Of course then I have to rehook them, but the heddles do slide nice and easy until I get the whole warp threaded and sleyed.