Artag's table loom
It's an 8-shaft table loom made by Harris (a manufacturer particularly popular for college looms). It's fitted with dual warp beams (allows for mixed tension or swapping between alternate warps), a 32 inch wide reed, a pivoting beater, 4 levers on each side to raise the shafts and some rather grubby wire heddles. It came with a few bugs / poor previous repairs, but they're not difficult to redo. No major damage or missing parts.
This project will mostly be done away from the hackspace as it will use a largish space and probably proceed rather slowly. I'm interested in working with other people on it too though - I can bring the loom to the hackspace if you have a weaving project you'd like to do, or there may bits of hardware to make that can be assembled and tested at the space before being added to the loom. There are also some accessories that may be built at the space. I welcome any ideas or expertise, especially from experienced weavers. Or indeed, beginner weavers, since I'm about as beginner as they come..
First job is to make some fabric. I want to produce a scarf with wires woven into it to form touch-sensitive pads.
Then there are a number of 'improvements' I want to make :
Andrew at Edinburgh Hacklab has started a project to build an electronic Dobby loom. A Dobby loom is roughly the same setup as this one but has automatic, programmable shuffling of the shafts (harnesses), thereby speeding and helping with the patterning. I'd like to help the project along by doing some similar work on the table loom.
A Kickstarter project (Osloom) was set up to build an open-source Jacquard loom. Progress is quiet, but sounds as though it's not dead. I have some ideas of my own that I'd like to try, concentrating particularly on the idea of a jacquard head that might be made more cheaply - albeit with some restrictions - than the usual massively parallel ones.
First inch woven. Plenty of faults, most notably that it's about twice the density it should be (25wpi instead of 12).
All threaded and warped ! Not very ambitious .. 160 ends. It's a start, though.
Prepared a warp for some first experiments . Started to put on the loom. I'm using some cheap knitting wool - it's a bit fragile, will probably cause me some problems. Derusted and polished the shafts, replaced missing metal uprights on two of them. Cleaned and adjusted the heddles - this is a temporary measure, they'll probably need replacing at some point. Replaced cruddy bolts holding beater, now running in brass bushes instead of directly in the wooden arms. Replaced frayed cords controlling warp beam release mechanism Removed light rust and polished shaft-lifting levers etc. Installed in loft, required taking it mostly apart to fit through the hatch.