Rubber Bumpers

While Leclerc looms often have rubber bumpers installed at key contact points, sometimes adding some at other locations prevents undue contact, wear, vibration, or noise as well.  Our Nilart beater and breast beam uprights are now protected from one another.

Using a pair of soft rubber chair leg slip-on protectors I cut them down, drilled a hole in their centre, used a pan head wood screw with a washer, drilled the upright, and mounted the bumper.  I mounted this bumper a bit high since I hope to add a flying shuttle to the beater, which will contact the uprights a bit higher up.  I have used this method before on other looms and it really does make it a nicer feel…






Cut Tacks For Canvas Attachment

dsc00009Cut tacks are stamped out of square steel. The result is a square shank and head. This quality alone makes it both a stronger fastener in and of itself than a round nail, as well as able to grab more pitch on both the wood into which it is driven as well as the cloth/leather/reed that it is trying to hold. The process of cutting a product from stock can produce an extremely sharp point. Traditionally finished with a barbed end, when coupled with its sharpness (think of how sharp a sliver of steel is), these characteristics allowed for easier insertion of the tack by hand. This mostly was done in order to allow precise alignment of the tack, which was necessary for both strength in its given application as well as for having an aesthetically pleasing, precisely aligned row of fasteners. The barbed end also allowed for more easily clinching the end in tasks such as leatherwork or basketry. A tack which stood upright by itself was also a real finger-saver, something you know if you have ever tried to start a small nail by hand when using a hammer, even though tack hammers were traditionally smaller in size and weight. The traditional blue colour of cut tacks is produced by heat treating them, which is done after cutting and cleaning. This heating both allows them to blend more easily with coloured upholstery, as well as to produce a ‘stickier’ product by opening the pours of the steel, allowing them to grab better. For anyone who has ever tried to removed them, they are the devil to get out! They will rust if exposed to moisture.

~150, #8 x 9/16″ cut tacks (2 oz.)

Cut tacks are measured by the 1/16” and sold by weight. A tiny two ounce package of #8 x 9/16” tacks numbered approximately 150 and cost me $2.50 CDN…which is a royal rip-off.

Cut tacks should be used to fasten loom canvases to loom reels for all of the reasons listed above. While staples are common today, they are really inappropriate for a job under such pressure, in spite of the fact that canvases bind around themselves numerous times before having the warp attached. In upholstery applications, tacks are attached every inch.


Leclerc Nilart Castle Top Repair

Redrilling the holes for the screws that hold down the castle top needed to be done at a slight angle.  The epoxy used to fill the holes will never drill the same as wood.  In order to catch the wood I also changed the screws from pan top to wood screws that were 1/2″ longer so that, once realigned, they would catch the keyhole slots more easily no matter the angle and extend deeper into the castle’s uprights as well…



Once adjusted these aligned perfectly and made the castle top fit snuggly and look wonderful.  No more pressure on the top so that it might break out again…




Leclerc Nilart Tool Fabrication

On some models of Leclerc hand looms square bolt heads are used.  Accessing these bolt heads becomes a problem when the heads are recessed.  The 12-point sockets that might work are much larger than the recesses in which these bolt heads are housed.  Likewise, the crescent wrenches that match the bolt head wind up being too broad to be able to fit in the recess as well.  Tired of improvising (this is not the first of these encounters) I found a cheap, off-brand wrench in my tool box that fits – 9/16″…


…I then used a low-speed electric bench grinder to slowly remove metal parallel to the inner upper and lower jaws, flattening the external shape of the head to match.  After I had achieved this, while leaving a substantial amount of metal, it still did not quite fit the cavity around the bolt head…


I then rounded the edges of the crescent.  And it fit!


Using a crescent wrench with a box end opposite, allowed me to use a screw driver in order to firmly tighten the bolt…


Trimming Washed Nilart Canvases

I removed and washed the canvases once this Leclerc Nilart 12 harness loom made it home with me.  Canvases were attached with staples.  A stout, dull letter opener was able to be inserted between the staples and the cloth without cutting the later. Canvases should be attached with carpentry tacks.  Carpentry tacks may have come with the original unit, as there was a pack of them included in the items that I brought home with the loom.  Washing made the canvases much cleaner.  I washed them in hot water; I did not put them through the drier.  The pockets that hold the warping bars frayed.  Today I trimmed these pockets, a necessity as these threads can get in the way and hinder attachment of the warp.



Castle Top Repair


Evaluating why the castle top was broken today it became clear that the castle uprights had been incorrectly aligned during its initial drilling.  It did not require taking measurements to see this.  It is apparent by just looking.


There was no way for me to redrill new holes correctly lined up.  I mixed epoxy and filled the hole and will drill two new ones once it is set…


Industrialized Textile Production In Canada

The Primary Textile Industry in Canada: History and Heritage – A.B. McCullough

Since the mid-nineteenth century the textile industry has played an important role in the labour, business, economic, and architectural history of Central and Eastern Canada. It was among the first Canadian businesses to employ large numbers of women and youths in a factory setting. The industry provided a training ground for many Canadian businessmen who learned both the opportunities and the hazards of investment in manufacturing. It also provided many often-contradictory lessons for businessmen, economists, politicians, and labour leaders who opposed or supported government fostering of industrial development through tariff protection, subsidies, and legislation. And in many communities the mills themselves, massive and enduring, helped to define the community in the same way that churches and public buildings did. This study examines the major themes in the industry’s history and discusses some of the surviving mills. Illustrations. Tables.


…and a good lecture on the economic history of the British textile industry