Leclerc Nilart – Dismantling, Cleaning, Polishing, & Refinishing

dsc00001I spent the day hauling in various parts of our Nilart loom.  I started with scouring the heddle support bars on the harnesses using 0000 super fine steel wool.  The loom is in great shape.  Nevertheless, these bars are steel and as such subject to corrosion.  Dust and grime also accumulate…in this case 42 years worth.  While it did not seem significant, once I did this, the heddles slid back-and-forth like they are now on ice skates!  I also lightly sanded the wood on the harnesses and wiped on a light coating of boiled linseed oil…my favourite natural finish.  While the finish on Leclerc looms is nice, it is far from being a fine-furniture grade.  Some of the wood’s roughness is from an incomplete sanding on the wood, and some is from roughness on the part of the varnish application.  Sanding with fine sandpaper and then rubbing with linseed oil makes for a smooth-as-glass finish.

The reed was likewise tarnished and grimy.  Steel wool worked off the worst.  Then with a new polishing wheel I worked in between the reeds.  It came out incredibly smooth.

Before scouring…

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After polishing…

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I went on to the larger pieces of the loom, sanding and finishing…

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The canvas on the front take-up reel was dirty…

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…and got washed; the rear one will be done tomorrow when I dismantle the rear beam apparatus.  And then the metal parts were scoured…

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It’s coming out quite nicely.  There is no reason to not do this.  First of all an evaluation of all parts should be made…better now than when I load up my first warp and find out that there is a problem, that’s for sure!  But just the prospect of alleviating any unnecessary friction in a loom that works 12 shafts will surely prove to be a benefit in the end.  Better now than later.  Today the windchill was -35, so it seems to be a great time to do this.

And it is turning out beautifully.

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