Friday, November 28, 2014

Day-after-Thanksgiving project: Re-stringing the Macomber

Well, here's a project for a late November day.

For a while now, I've been wanting to replace the apron strings on the warp beams on my Macomber loom.  These are the leader strings that the warp is tied to in the sectional beaming process.  Every time I would put a new warp on, I would cross my fingers and hold my breath, hoping that one more of these frayed strings would not break.

You can see some in the picture where I have tied in an extension with some waxed linen that was the wrong weight.

After looking at how Eddie of Macomber Looms re-strings a plain warp beam, I decided I ought to rig up some way to measure the strings as I was putting them on, to get them all approximately the same length.  This is the jig I came up with.  I used the board that I have been using a raddle with my other loom, duct-taped (aka duck tape) to the floor at an angle.  I placed it so that the old strings went around each nail.  Here I've started to take the old strings off.

The strings were actually one long continuous string, attached with small staples, and a half hitch knot.  This is a picture of the old strings before I took them all off.  I wasn't able to pry out those staples without gouging the wood of the beam somewhat.

Then I used the jig to measure the length of each loop of string, stapling each and tying the knots as I went across.

Then I repeated the whole process with the bottom beam.

...and yay!  New apron strings for my sectional warp beams!  Hopefully they will last as long as the first set, which was over 50 years if these beams are original to the loom.

I also replaced the little ties that hold the front tie-on rod to the cloth beam apron (first photo above).

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