mushy treadling

I purchased a finlandia a bit over a year ago, and finally have gotten it set up and ready to weave.  when I bought it, it wasn't tied up, so I couldn't sit down and weave, and I'm having issues with the mushy feel of the treadles.  up until now, I've been weaving on a 20" baby Mac and a 36" Harrisville designs loom (with texsolv cables and tie up).  is this normal, or will the action get firmer as the new texsolv stretches out?  right now there's so much give that I'm struggling to find the sweet spot in the lams and treadles that will give me a nice open shed...


Posted on Thu, 07/13/2017 - 19:06

I am assuming that your Finlandia loom is tied up either counterbalance or countermarch.

If you have your treadles tied up too high, you may be pushing your warp threads up against the neighboring heddle bars. The treadling should feel different on a counterbalance or countermarch tie up than on your jack looms. There are two main differences. One is that your treadles move about half as far on the counterbalance or cm. So, if you are accustomed to pushing the treadle 4 inches, now you will push it only 2 inches. The other difference is that it does not take much effort to move those 2 inches and you don't need to do it hard or fast.
If the treadles do not touch the floor when the shed is big enough, then either lower the treadles or just look at your shed as you treadle. The shed only needs to be 1/4 inch taller than your shuttle.

Another difference is that you can keep your warp tension tighter.

Posted on Fri, 07/14/2017 - 00:31

One reason that the CM and CB looms feel different than your jack looms is that with jack looms you are physically lifting the shafts with your leg muscles. On CM and CB looms, the looms are balanced so that it takes much less effort to lift the shafts.  On large looms, and as you age, this is greatly appreciated.

Posted on Fri, 07/14/2017 - 00:41

I'm currently set up for a two harness plain weave on the counterbalance setup, with a nice right tension.   the shed is barely big enough for my leclerc end feed shuttle.  the finlandia is so tall that I have to sit on a stool to reach the right height - if I adjust the treadles to hit the floor, I can't reach them.  I expected a different feel, in fact that's why I got this loom (a bigger macomber or similar makes my joints hurt on long weaving sessions because of the force needed), but this amount of mushy smushy is beyond annoying.  there's so much play and stretch that I am having to move my feet WAY further to open a clean shed than I should, and it's impossible to treadle by feel.   with only 2 treadles in play, I can keep one foot on each, but I didn't get this loom just so I could weave tabby.  it's got room for eight harnesses, and I currently don't see how I'd be able to use them.   

Posted on Sat, 07/15/2017 - 00:44

I suggest you visit the Glimakra website for information on tieing up CB and CM looms.

Posted on Sat, 07/15/2017 - 07:51

Also, on these looms you use a foot rest. And yes it takes getting used to the fact that you move to each treadle by feel and slide. It's all I have ever known as a weaver, since it is my only loom. And I built the loom. On these looms they do tend to be higher to get the clearance from the floor and all the levers and shafts. A basic plain weave when tied should have no issues with sheds. But is the piece narrow? On a CB loom a narrow weaving may cause dipping of the shafts. In this case a dumby warp end from heavy line tied from back beam to breast beam and threaded in a heddle eye helps with this. Lundell's "Big Book of Weaving" has information like this and much more about weaving on these looms.

Posted on Sat, 07/15/2017 - 21:21

On the Glimakra website there are instructions that may lead you to find out why you have a small shed.
Go to resources, then Learning about looms, then basic loom info. The first file, 9 pages gives information about the initial set up and warping, height of shafts, etc. The second file is on the counterbalance tie-ups.

Perhaps this will help you to see what might be set up wrong.
PS when you go to using more than two treadles, you can tie up every other treadle and they might help you to get acquainted.

Posted on Sun, 07/16/2017 - 01:53

You might try posting some pictures of your tie up;  we may be able to see what's wrong.  You should get a bigger shed with what you describe.

Posted on Mon, 09/25/2017 - 23:42

I've finally got things adjusted to the point where my shed is clean and my treadles aren't too mushy, just softer than on a jack, which I think I'll like once I adjust.

I'm left with 2 remaining issues.  1) the shed is still really small - just big enough for my regular shuttles, and definitely not big enough for the end feed shuttle I bought in anticipation, and 2) this sucker was definitely made for someone at least 5" taller than me

  I'm 5'2", with proportionally short arms and legs.  I'm had my dad install stops on the sides to keep the beater from going all the way back to the castle when at "rest," and added a handle to the beater to bring it within comfortable reach.  I'm also sitting in a drafting chair, since the stool that came with it still left me a couple of inches too short (my elbows were 2-3" below the breast beam, forcing me to reach up and over in order to weave). The treadles have been adjusted for height, but I may also have Dad make me a longer set, since right now I'm still reaching out in front and treadling with my toes.

is there anyone else short out there with one of these?  what modifications did you make to help?  I got this for production weaving, but right now I can only work for 1 to 2 hrs a day before I'm too sore to keep going :(

Posted on Fri, 09/29/2017 - 14:45

You really should be working on a standard Scandinavian weaving bench that is height adjustable. Your elbows should come over the breast beam when weaving. Sitting on a "stool" is not appropriate for your loom type.
The shed is greatest with the beater pushed as far back as you can reach. Some looms with standing beater do have points of adjustment at the pivot - in your case the farther forward the better.
You are using a shuttle that is probably a bit tall for the loom. The shuttles that work best with your loom type have quills instead of bobbins - letting you put the same amount of yarn on the shuttle with less height. I highly recommend the large sized Swedish shuttle from GAV sold by many dealers.

Posted on Mon, 10/02/2017 - 14:45

I am not thrilled with the stool, either. I have a custom bench ordered, but it won't be for at least 6 months, and for now the drafting chair is the only thing tall enough to get my elbows above the beam (on the plus side, I can rotate the seat forward to get a good tilt to the pelvis - much more comfortable for my back) - the stool that came with the loom is about 2" too short. I already have the beater in the most forward position (which is only about 1.5" closer than the back position, but I'll take what I can get).
Regarding the shuttle, I had planned on adding a fly shuttle to this - are there any Swedish style shuttles suitable for the impact of the fly shuttle mechanism? Everything I'm seeing on the Glimakra site looks like it would be beat to death pretty quickly.

Posted on Mon, 10/02/2017 - 16:22

You say that you have the beater in the most forward position, but as Sara said, you get the largest shed with the beater as close to the heddles as possible. I have a Glimakra fly shuttle beater that I use with a Leclerc fly shuttle. I believe that Glimakra makes a fly shuttle, but I have not seen it. I tried to order it and finally gave up. I suggest you solve your issues with your shed before looking at a fly shuttle.
On the other hand, the loom that I have the Glimakra fly on, I have the beater set much farther away from me than I would if I was throwing the shuttle. This gives me a larger, cleaner shed. It would be hard for me to reach the shuttle race to throw the shuttle on this loom, but it works perfectly with the fly.

Posted on Mon, 10/02/2017 - 21:16

Be sure that the shadts you are using are in the front position.
Press on the treadles with your hand, one at a time, to be sure that you do not have a lower lamm hitting a treadle, thus stopping the shed from opening.

Posted on Mon, 07/02/2018 - 20:48

I wanted to post a follow up to the thread, in case someone else runs into the same issue. 

Regarding the small shed - I started collecting and rereading every set of instructions for setting up a countermarche loom that I could get my hands on, and analysing every last word.  I noticed a small phrase in a set of Glimraka instructions that I hadn't seen anywhere else - when attaching the treadles, it instructed to set the height with the rearmost cord, then tie up the other cords on the treadle with a little slack.  My ohter instructions had been to tie them up the same, then adjust individual cords to get a clean shed.  I undid my treadle tie up and redid it based on the new instructions, and VOILA!  A perfect shed, even and open and HUGE!  There may have been some very enthusiastic, very bad dancing at that moment.  :)

Regarding the height issue, I scraped together the money for a bench weaving class with Walter Turpening, and got his sliding seat weaver's bench.  It was expensive, but solved the issue perfectly, and I had a really great time.  I also added a little extension to the beater bar so that I could reach it with a natural arm extension, rather than stretching.  Now my back, hips, knees, and ankles are all much happier.

I'm still considering swapping my treadles from rear to front anchors, based on some ankle issues and the reccomendation of my Physical Therapist (I had an at home evaluation with all my equipment.  He now understands why I spent so much time trying to explain why and how much my issues affected that weaving thing he couldn't visualize.  Worth every penny!), but it's nowhere as pressing as it was, and I may not bother if I continue having no issues.

Thanks for all the help, you guys.  I don't have a weaving community here that I'm tapped into, so it's been a HUGE assist to talk to folks who know what I'm referring to, and who have "been there."

Posted on Tue, 07/03/2018 - 20:35

Thank you for posting your success!  Sometimes something small can make a big difference.  I have a 12 shaft CM loom that was giving me fits.  I had tried everything.  I finally decided I didn't want this piece of junk taking up this space in the house, and moved it out to my studio.  When I took it apart, I discovered that when I had added heddles for the new project, I had some on several shafts where the botton loop was on one shaft, and the top on the adjacent shaft.  That never works.