|Dick Lindell from Geneseo , Illinois sent this tip to adapt an end feed shuttle for narrow warps. His adaptation is a variation (possibly better) of mine for narrow warps given in Book #3 Weaving & Drafting Your Own Cloth. Here is Dick’s method:
Shuttle Adaptation for Narrow Warps from Dick Lindell
Narrow warps cannot be woven on a fly shuttle unless the warp is offset in the reed by about 1/2 the length of the shuttle. This usually requires, for me, some trial and error to determine the right offset. The reason for the offset is that yarn exits from the end of the shuttle and is farther away from the center point on one side than the other. This can be eliminated altogether if a shuttle is modified so that yarn exits from the middle of the shuttle. This is a simple change. I use a ‘T’ pin and fix it to the side of the shuttle so that yarn can be directed underneath the pin. I cut the pin about 1/4″ longer than is needed and carefully bend 1/8″ on each end to a right angle. Then I drill two 1/8″ diameter holes to match the ends that are bent. Put a drop of super glue in each hole, insert the ends in the holes, wait for the glue dry and, Voila! You have a center delivery shuttle. I have used this on yarns ranging from 60/2 silk to 5/2 cotton with no problems.
What About Narrow Warps? from Peggy’s Book #3
If your warp is narrower than 12 inches, and you use a “normal length” (14-15″ long) end-delivery shuttle, one selvedge will probably be ragged. If the exit hole for the thread is on the right of your shuttle, the right selvedge will be ragged; if the exit hole is on the left, the left selvedge will be ragged. Why? Because the thread feeds out of the exit hole at the far end of the shuttle. So as the shuttle exits the shed it must release more than enough yarn for the next pick, just to clear the shed. See Figure. Shorter (11″-13″ long) shuttles are readily available. They are a great advantage over modifying a too-long shuttle. I found tiny end-delivery shuttles in Japan. They are about 5″ long, but they don’t hold much yarn because the pirns are also tiny.
You can modify your shuttle to weave narrow warps. Drill a hole in the middle of the shuttle on the same plane as the original exit hole. This is hole “A”. Drill a second hole, “B”, about one inch from the original exit hole between “A” and the original. Thread out from the original hole, into “B”, and then out again through “A”. This puts the yarn at the middle of the shuttle. See Figure. (Note that threading the yarn through these extra holes creates more tension. You may have to loosen the shuttle’s tensioner to compensate. With some yarn, very thick ones for example, you won’t be able to loosen the tension enough, and either will have to use a shorter shuttle or a boat shuttle.)
For very narrow warps I might simply use a small revolving bobbin shuttle (boat shuttle) if a short shuttle is still too long.
If you would like to correspond with Dick about his adaption or discuss weaving with him, you can contact him directly. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.