I’m not sure how other people spend their weekends. Recently I was under the loom, sitting on the floor with pliers and such making some adjustments. All this bringing back childhood memories of holding a flashlight for my father while he worked on the car.
I’ve blogged in the past about upgrading my LeClerc Minerva loom from 4- to 8-harnesses. Everything fit correctly but the 8-harnesses seemed to be floating or not dropping down as smoothly as 4-harnesses. I tried adding some weights to the harnesses but this wasn’t really a satisfactory solution.
In all fairness the original loom was build perhaps late-1960’s and the new parts were ordered in this century – something like a 40+ year interval. So this is not a complaint. In fact I’m grateful that LeClerc continues to sell parts for models no longer in production, continues to keep documentation available (online) and are generally nice people.
It finally dawned on me that over the intervening years there might be minute differences in the size of the Lams – the things that connect the jack-harnesses and the treadles. Link to Minerva Loom parts. And that the older Lams might have accumulated some slight warp which would also contribute to the problem.
I unhooked the Lams from the harnesses and the treadles and observed that there was a slight difference. By alternating the Lams – one old – one new – one old, etc – the harnesses drop smoothly (again), and I think that the floating harness problem is solved.
Lams unmixed – slight difference.
Mixed up the fill the spaces more evenly.
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Since the “loom upgrade” or adding the 4 extra harnesses to my LeClerc Minerva I’ve run into what I’ve seen described as a common problem with jack looms and 6+ harnesses – the floating harnesses. The LeClerc site suggested adding weights. Wandering around my local hardware store I found something that seems to work. I’m not sure what they are or are actually for but now are loom harness weights.
So far this seems to be solving the problem. I don’t know if anyone else has had any experience with this? Solved in any other manner?
My floor loom is a LeClerc ‘Minerva’, 23” weaving width, folding jack loom. It’s a ‘4–now-4–later’ model that allows you to add an additional 4 harnesses.
Because I’m interested in doubleweave I had always planned to add the extra set. Last summer I finally ordered the upgrade kit. (I guess you’d call this an upgrade kit, weaving being the ansestor of computers and all that…)
Before and after pics. 4 to 8 harnesses, 6 to 10 treddles.
Early on I found that with the extra harnesses (this is specific to jack looms as I understand the issue) – 6 or more, there is sometimes a problem with floating harnesses. Fortunately the LeClerc site describes the problem and makes helpful suggestions. Rummaging around at the local hardware store turned up something that I could use to add weight to the harnesses. So far this seems to be solving the problem.
Here’s my first attempt with an 8–harness twill. Pattern: Reversing Point Twill by Kris Bruland,
downloaded from the Weaving Draft Archive at (www.handweaving.net), Draft #102
for 8 Shafts, 8 Treadles. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t shafts and harnesses interchangeable terms?)