August 26, 2012

Betty Mac gets some new duds

A-way back in July (how can last month seem so far away already?) when I bought Betty Mac the loom, the lovely people from Macomber Loom told me that included in the price of the loom would be the reed of my choice, and a double back beam, aka warp separator beam. I ordered a 12 dpi reed, and I guess I get to keep the 7 dpi reed that came with. I didn't need the double back beam, so I said, "just ship it with the reed, once the reed is ready."

While I was waiting for everything, I decided I also needed a raddle, and a set of casters. Everything arrived last Thursday. The reed, raddle and double back beam don't need any installing, once I need them I can just put them in place.
raddle and double back beam
double back beam. the loom has another warp beam down below, and the warp from that beam would come up and over this. I think.
ohhh, shiny. the reed.
But the casters required installation. They didn't really come with instructions, just a drilling template. (Actually, nothing came with instructions.) This was a bit of a challenge. Here's a pic of the drilling template;
The side of the template you can't see says "Back Left", and in this picture we are looking at what would be the left side of the loom, if we were sitting at it. So the side that says "Back Left" is against the back left of the loom. The little blocks of wood nailed to the template are spacers to help line everything up, I think. The other writing says " Drill all holes 17/64" tap at 5/16". Looking at everything, and this blog, I thought maybe I knew what I was doing, or that I could at least figure it out. I used a C-clamp to hold the template secure, and I drilled the three holes. (I had no idea why 3 holes, I just went with it.) Then I moved the template to the other side of the loom and did the same.

I made a trip to the hardware store to buy the correct tap (5/16"x18), and took along one of the bolts to make sure I bought the correct size. Its a big tap that needs a big tap handle, or a pair of Vise-grip pliers. After tapping the holes, I sat down and puzzled out how to attach the casters. This is what I came up with.
These are the casters in the stored position. To engage them, you grab the handle and pull up, until they look like this,
On the left side, its pretty straight forward. On the right side, the warp beam brake release pedal is sort of in the way. Since my loom is only 32", I can push it around on 3 casters. If I had a heavier loom, I'd move the brake pedal out of the way. The bolts that go through the casters come loaded with a bunch of washers. The washer stack acts as a spacer to provide clearance for the caster wheel, so it doesn't bind up on the loom. I think.

So now that the casters are installed, I can go back to weaving.

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