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Topic: Brake band/Drive band problem: Ashford Trad. (I can't seem to make yarn.)  (Read 841 times)
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« on: April 13, 2006 05:07:47 PM »

Hi everybody. I posted a while back about needing parts for an Ashford Traditional that I found at an estate sale. 

Lucky me, the parts finally arrived today.  Unlucky me, I'm having one major problem.

SITUATION: I'm having major issues with driving this thing.  The drive band is on properly.  The brake band is on properly (I think).  However, when I start to treadle, there is absolutely no predictability as to what will spin when the wheel gets going.  If I loosen up on the brake band, the bobbin spins at the same speed as the flyer and no happy yarn gets wound on.  If I tighten up on the brake band, the flyer stops flying entirely, regardless of my treadling and the movement of the wheel.  Twice in the last three hours have I found that happy medium where the flyer is moving properly and the bobbin has enough tension on it to actually let some yarn wind on.  I have thus far produced about three yards of very ugly yarn.

I realize I'm a newbie at this, and that I have just enough information to make me completely dangerous.  If you have any guidance, it will be greatly appreciated.
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2006 08:16:14 AM »

If you post a photo(s), someone could check to make sure that you do have everything on correctly. Tension is a tricky thing sometimes. I remember just having to constantly tick back and forth with the Ashford traditional until I found the right tension for me. I presume you've got your lead yarn tied fairly tightly on the bobbin? I have found that if I tie my lead yarn too loosely, it sometimes doesn't like to take up at first. And then it's hooked across the flyer hooks, and strung through the orifice?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2006 08:21:31 AM by TheBon » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2006 08:38:19 AM »

Thanks so much for the reply.  I don't have a digital camera (gasp), but I've realized that it is very much a tweaking issue. 

I was definely having some problems with my lead yarn, and those have been corrected.  And other than that, I think it's just a matter of finding that sweet spot with the brake tension.

I'm a bit of an instant-gratification type person, so I always expect to be able to sit down and do something on the first try.  I just need to be patiend and give it some time and a lot of practice, and I'm sure things will come together.
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2006 01:53:04 PM »

I'm glad you worked it out!  I had the same prob when I got my first wheel (an Ashford traddy too!).

It took a fair few hours, and lots of naughty words before I'd managed to get the whole thing tension right, but once I'd done it once, it was no probs again.

A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2006 06:49:11 PM »

I had a few odd things because mine was also from an estate, but off ebay. I finally figured out later after engineering some intresting apparatus to get it to work before I discovered I needed a knob and the brake band went to it. First I just used kitchen cotton  yarn to tie it and adjusted it and cut the knot real short. You wouldn't believe that it actually worked....Anyway, the I got a replacement peg that winds the tension brake, what a difference..It's a little fussy though and I had to shave it down a bit though. Just keep trying.
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2006 10:01:10 PM »

One thing that you can do is swab out the inside of the bobbins with an oily bit of steel wool, sometimes its not a braking issue so much as a little bit of metal has oxidized and is jamming up the bobbin on the flyer shaft.

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