I was weaving along on the Birthday Blanket at a good clip when the right treadle cable broke. This was frustrating, but I take it as a sign that I’m now a “real” weaver. Though as soon as I type that, I hear Laura Fry in my head saying, “Not until you fix it, you’re not.” Fair point, imaginary Laura, fair point.
I ordered a new cable from AVL and the following steps show how I replaced it. My loom is an Production Dobby Loom built in 1984. If your PDL was born in another year, these steps might not work for you.
First you need to loosen the set screw on the collar holding the cam shaft in place.
Then slide the shaft out. (No sniggering, I can hear you!)
Next, unscrew the three screws holding the cam on.
It is a good idea to take a pencil and mark how the cam lines up before you remove all of the screws. This makes it easy to line up later.
Remove the cam.
The plug end of the cable is held in place by a ring of metal with a slot in it. The hole in the wood is big enough to put the plug and cable through, the ring with the slot covers part of the hole, effectively making it smaller.
It is a good idea at this point to measure your replacement cable and make sure it is the same size as the broken cable. (Ask me how I know…) And yes, I am wearing a leopard-print polartec adult onesie. It’s cold in my house; don’t judge.
Using a screwdriver and a hammer, gently tap the metal ring until the slot just barely clears the hole in the wood. Do not pound it all the way out, that would make it harder to put back in place.
Now you can slide the plug end of the cable out of the hole.
Reverse the previous steps to insert the new cable into the cam and attach the cam back onto the loom.
Take the cable up and OVER the cam.
When threading the cable down to the treadle, make sure to go over the wooden pulley. If you fail to do so, the cable will rub on the metal rod the pulley rides on and break again soon.
Attach the loop end of the cable to your treadle.
And viola! You’re back to weaving.