I have been renovating an English four poster 8-shaft countermarch loom made by George and John Maxwell in 1950's. I still need to buy some parts and find a carpenter for others.
I am intending to use it primarily for rugs and have a few queries. Firstly, I am wondering whether other weavers use steel rods for their apron or end warp rods? I don't have aprons so intend to thread Texolv cord through the beam, and around the rod/bar. I would appreciate thoughts on type of steel for optimum tensile strength, whether rod (diameter?) or a flat bar (width and depth?) and what to ask for at metal suppliers. I am in Ireland.
The maximum weaving width is 42", It has a plain back beam (not sectional). It only has one pivot point for both sets of lamms. I understand this was to allow for more space beneath and easier access for tie ups. It is definitely a countermarch with overhead jacks.
I presume the only drawback to this is confusion over which lamms are which.I presume they are arranged to alternate on the single pivot bar rather than one set next to the other?
Any thoughts gratefully received.
I am not an expert. I use as aprons at warp beam and cloth beam beech wood strips of 20x10 mm section, and and extra beech wood rod of 15 mm diameter to fix the warp to the warp beam apron. Going to metal I would recommend stainless steel (for no rust) 316L grade 10 mm round bar.
Hi, many thanks for your quick reply and suggestions. I've decided on metal ( and yes I've started looking into steel ) to avoid the potential bending which could result with wood on the tension necessary for rugweaving.
Thanks for the size and grade recommendations Tela1. It's very helpful. Two or more minds.... and roughly what I've been thinking. Between 15-20mm for either rod or bar. More than that is probably not necessary if steel.
I think 10 mm in diameter stainess steel is enough, see Big White Sofa Dog use 1/2 inch (12.5 mm). Stainless steel is toughten but more expensive than carbon steel but you are no buying meters and meters you are only buying a couple of meters so the increase in price would not be an issue. Stainless steel is normally available at hardware stores (not at any hardware store).
I use 1/2 inch steel rods (common steel) I get from the local hardware and have no rust problems. I have looms with aprons and looms with cords. I don't use Texsolve for aptron cords because it is more expensive, and these cords don't have to be adjusted. The reason to use Texsolve is that you have an attachment that will need to be adjusted. Any non stretching cord will do.
Thank you Tela1 and bigwhitesofsdog for your further thoughts.
So, as I thought, if I use rods they don't need to be bigger than 12mm max diameter. I'll probably get stainless steel if it's not too much more, and as you say, I wouldn't be buying more than the standard 6' length. Do you also use flat bars ? I suppose it's a matter of choice. The only benefit I can think of is that it would take up fractionally less space on the roller.
Yes bigwhitesofsdog, I've decided to use linen loom cord for the roller, using the lacing technique which evens out the cord across the width. I'll save the Texolv for other uses. Although I like the idea of a traditional linen tie-up I' m not sure how much patience I have for all those snitch knots, so will use it for the tie up and heddles.
I do not make rugs and I only use beech wood in my loom. I have strips of 20x10 mm section for front and back aprons, and and extra beech wood rod of 15 mm diameter to fix the warp to the warp beam apron. I tie the aprons by texsolv cords about every 18 cm. I do not use the lacing technique but using that technique your requirements for steel apron sizing get lower as the support (say tieing) points distance is shorter.
I think from the comments, you can see that there are many different ways to get your warp attached to your loom. My AVLs have a slot in the warp beam with a square slat that fits in it. You insert this slat through the warp, press it into the slot, and beam the warp. this gives you a very smooth, flat, uniform warp. Or you can use cords, or an apron, or cords and an apron. People use what is available, what is convenient, what gives them a secure tie. I used linen to tie up a loom once and found that the cords wouldn't stay tied. The lined was too stiff and the knots came out. Texsolve is much better for tie ups because it is easy to peg, and easy to adjust. Your linen snitch knots may work for you, or they may give you a lot of frustration as the knots loosen and you find patterning errors because the tie up has become untied. Depending on the type of loom you have and the weave structure, these errors may be on the underside of the cloth and you may not see them until you take the cloth off the loom.
Thankyou both again for your suggestions. All very helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to reply.
Another query bigwhitesofadog- by 'common' do you mean mild steel? Are they one and the same?
I presume it is smooth and that you haven't encountered any bending problems under high tension?
Mild and common steel are the same thing; they are not alloys and not stainless, buth of which would be more expensive. I don't have bending problems. I have an 8' loom with an apron with a 1/2" steel rod in a pocket in the end, which is laced to another 1/2 rod that the warp is tied to on the cloth beam. This works very well, I currently have a 6' warp for blankets on it. This loom has a sectional warp beam, and used to have another 1/2 steel rod attached to this beam that all of the tie on cords were attached to. This was the configuration that the manufacturer (Leclerc) sent it out in. I took the rod off the warp beam because the tie on cords can be attached to the beam itself, and the rod unbalanced the beam enough that it has hard to turn smoothly when warping it. An 8' steel rod is fairly heavy.
Hi big whitesofadog,
Many belated thanks for your reply and comments. You and others have been very helpful.
I just inherited a 1955 folding 32 inch 6 harness Gilmore loom. It has been sitting in a garage for years and I am cleaning it up. The straps that hold the apron rods are in need of replacing but I do not know what to replace them with. I thought about using a cotton twill webbing but am afraid it may stretch too much. Does anyone have a suggestion for what I should use?
Polyester cord will work. If you absolutely have to have webbing, webbing intended for marine use (Sailrite carries it) doesn't stretch, but may need to have the ends seared to prevent ravel.
thanks for the info I will check it out.