Sunday, January 16, 2011

More Details on Cylinder Filling Machine

Here is some more info, for those who want to try to build their own. I will give the specs on mine, but it's possible dimensions varied with different "lots" of these.
Here is the machine and the cylinders and bat:

Here is the machine in use:

When in use, the cone on the side of the machine fits down into the top of one of the cylinders, standing in its holder. The overlap is small, maybe 1/4"-1/2".

In my machine, the bottom of the cylinder is about 9 1/2" off the floor. The needed height would be a combination of the length of a cylinder plus the thickness of the wood used in the box for cyliners, minus that 1/4" or 1/2", so the cone will slip down inside the cylinder slightly.

Here is a closer view of the "business" part of the machine:

The fabric strip goes up through eyebolt to the left of the rim of the cone, which is 18" off the floor. Then it goes over the left wheel, between the 2 wheels, and down through the cone.

The 2 wheels are each about 4 1/4" in diameter, by 1 1/8" thick. One has been machined so it has a convex rim, the other has a concave rim. So, the convex one fits into the concave one.

Here is a better view of that:

The convex wheel is on an arm that can be pivoted out of the way for threading:

Next is a closer view of the cylinder itself. It is made of tin and held in place with a tin strip, and a screw at the top. It is 9 1/4" tall, and smashed sort of flat, so the top rim is 5 1/4" x 3 1/4". The bottom rim is round (more or less).

Here is a view from the back of this whole assembly:

The concave-rimmed wheel, shown in the pic above, is on a wooden axle that runs through the uprights and also holds a pulley which is in line with the top wheel:

The top wheel & pulley are both 1 1/8" thick. The top wheel is about 9" in diameter, and the pulley about 2". The drive belt is leather, with a metal staple holding it together.
I think all of these parts & dimensions could be adapted to what you have on hand or can find. The important things are:
  • The cone bottom needs to be at the right height for the top of the cylinder. This will depend on how you are holding your cylinders upright.
  • The wheel at the front needs to be concave, to hold the fabric, and its partner convex, to keep the fabric in place. Both need to move freely. It took a lot of oil to get them moving, for me (not ideal for wood-against-metal, but wax wasn't working).
  • The ring needs to be at a good height off the floor as wells as in relation to the front wheel, so the fabric doesn't have much space in which to get off-course.
The little seat is handy & keeps the whole thing from tipping. It's 6 1/4" across & 12 1/2" back from the axles of the big wheel & the one with the pulley. But it doesn't need to be round!

The main plank is 1 1/4" x 2 7/8", and 24" long. The back legs are 20 1/2" long, and angled. A bolt goes through both legs & the plank. The front leg is 21 1/2" long and also angled. It gets wider toward the top & at the top it is forked to take the main plank, which stands on edge. A bolt goes through both sides of the fork, as well as the main plank.

The front upright is 20 1/2", and you can see that the axle for the wheel has been moved. It must have worn loose, or else the band stretched, so they raised it & put a small piece of wood into the slot left behind. There are wear marks in the lower position on the inside, where the big wheel rubbed.

I hope this info helps!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Finding a Cylinder Filling Machine

Melissa has posted a comment asking where to find a Cylinder Filling Machine. I think it's a great question, so I'm bumping it up here as a new post:
Melissa said...

Someone has gifted me a weavers delight loom, and I have found your blog a great help. I have never worked a loom before so this is all new to me!

I do have a question for you. My loom did not come with the cylinder loading machine, so do you suppose I can load them by hand? And, have you seen any of the loaders for sale?

Here is the reply I posted:

Hi Melissa,

What a fantastic gift! Congratulations on your new WD. I'm glad the blog is of some use.

I can think of 2 places to look for the cylinder loading machine:

One is Leslie at Riverside Loomworks, where you can buy parts:

The other is to join the RugTalk group on Yahoo Groups and ask there if anyone has a spare:

RugTalk is a great group of experienced rugweavers helping each other (and newbies like me).


I forgot to answer part of her question, so here's the rest: I haven't tried filling the cylinders by hand, but I suppose it can be done. Find a stick to beat the rags in with, and then try stuffing them in and beating them down. The goal is to beat them down firmly into flat layers as you go. If you can find a way to feed them from above, as the filling machine does, that will go faster. If you are handy you could probably build something yourself for filling cylinders.

The machine is fast though, so it'd be worth finding one if building one doesn't sound appealing.

Does anyone have other ideas or suggestions for her? If so, please add a comment.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Wonderful Wrench

One of the best things about this old loom is the suprisingly beautiful multi-wrench that came with it. I imagine many of these got separated from their looms, but not this one:

It is a super handy little tool, and cuts way down on the tools required in order to tinker & adjust things.

I haven't had time to work at the loom at all since my last post, and I expect to be booked well into October with other projects that were on hold while I got the loom going. One good thing about looms is that they will wait. And wait. And still be wonderful when we have time to get back to them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

First Rug on Loom

Here are the results of the first rug experiment:

It'll stay on the loom, since the warp is tensioned & working well. I will probably weave the entire warp and then remove the woven rugs & see how they look.

My 40" fabric tube made a rug that measures about 50" on the loom. With the 39" warp width (about 37" woven), that is a bit short. Especially since it will shrink once it isn't under tension on the loom, and probably further with washing. I would prefer something closer to 60" or even 64". But the length in this case was based on some cloth I had on hand.

You can see the thread repairs hanging down, these will have to be properly finished when the rug comes off the loom.

The structure is plain weave, so the log-cabin style threading pattern shows a little bit. But with these bright colors, it doesn't show much!

I have selected the fabrics for the next experiment, but not begun the process yet.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More on Old Yarn

Lou pointed out to me that he is still using Maysville carpet warp from the 80's with no problems. He's right, it's a great product and I've never had trouble with it. It's fair to say the problems Ive had with broken threads on this warp could be user error or a storage problem or something like that. I would never hesitate to buy Maysville warp. It's good stuff.
Thanks, Lou for pointing this out, I would not want to be misunderstood on this.

 I have had some cotton yarns that became weak with (great) age, but those were fine yarns & not made by Maysville.

I do wonder if there's a limit on how old a yarn must be before it weakens, but factors like brand, storage, and color (dyes used) would affect the answer.

If anyone has more info on this, please do share it.

Old Yarn

I have had a lot of broken threads on this warp so far. Far more than I would expect. I think it might be the age of the yarn. I think this yarn might be quite old.

Here is a box of yarn that came with the loom:

And here is what the yarn inside looks like:

I haven't used any from this box, but I have used several partially-used spools that came with the loom. Which means the yarn I put on the loom is at least 40 years old. I'm not sure I want to use the stuff in the box, if this is any indication of what to expect. I often use old yarn, I have a lot from the 80's and even a few cones from the 70's, but this yarn is 60's or earlier. Maybe that's the limit for cotton? My older yarns are all wool or linen, and seem to have held up well.

Maysville carpet warp is still made today. The Maysville Guild doesn't exist anymore, as far as I know. They had a newsletter and encouraged members to send in pictures of themselves and their work. Membership was free. I'm not sure where to find the old newsletters, perhaps some are online somewhere.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Selvedge Rollers

Called "Tension Rollers" in the manual, these fit onto the long rod that goes across just under the front beam. They look like this in use:

The device holds the roller itself - like a super-prickly little pine cone - against the underside of the cloth. The teeth on each roller are aimed toward the edge of the cloth, so that it always wants to pull the cloth out to its full width. This prevents draw-in, which can cause edge threads to break from high friction as they pass through the reed in a non-straight line.

These are an alternative to using a temple. You can see a temple in use in this picture, across the cloth that's just been woven:

It's a bar with sharp teeth at each end, you set it to the width you need and it keeps the cloth that wide. But it must be moved up the cloth regularly as you weave.

This is where selvedge rollers have a distinct advantage. They do not need to be moved, they just stay in place as the cloth moves past. Very convenient. They are covered in very sharp little needles, though. I scraped my finger pretty good on one when reaching into a box where it was located, early on in the loom set-up. I have had zero incidents so far while weaving with them, though. And they do seem to work.