The Restoration Continues...
These are the four shafts for the Leclerc loom.
Two have been completely taken down, and only one remains intact.
Not only were the heddles and heddle support bars rusted, but the wood STINKS!
Seriously, they are not made of the same hardwood as the rest of the loom. While I don't know what kind of wood was used to build them, they are soft, porous, and light weight.
According to the Leclerc website: "All Leclerc looms are made of selected, well-seasoned, kiln dried Canadian maple, except for the harness frames and a few parts that require a lighter wood."
In fact, during the initial three hours I spent cleaning up the loom (after I had taken the harnesses off and placed them elsewhere), the loom itself had no odor at all.
The second I picked up a harness to clean it, I was overwhelmed with a sickly, musty, and strong mildew odor than made my nose run. It was awful!
Wiping them down with a mixture of white vinegar and water removed 75% of the odor, and I thought the remainder would dissipate over time; however, every time I lifted a harness to weave, the smell wafted through the room. It made weaving miserable, but I did not want to waste the warp, so I continued in brief spurts, until I could not take it anymore. I may have cut off three or four yards...
The current plan is to replace the heddles* (with inserted eye ones) and heddle supports entirely (the old ones are so rusted, they do not slide easily at all) and to sand and spray polyurethane the wood on the harnesses. I am hoping that will seal in whatever stench remains.
Fortunately, all the metal parts came off with a few screws.
I was afraid to brush on the poly because I did not want it to be too thick and possibly interfere with them touching or sticking to one another when in operation.
Wish me luck!
*The wire heddles are to be mailed of to a lady in Oregon, the same one to whom I donated the original reed. She found the frame of a loom in a thrift shop. Her mission is to completely restore it for something like $300. I am happy to help by shipping her what I cannot use.