Saturday, October 11, 2008

4 Harness Conversion for Rigid Heddle Loom - Cheap!

4 Harness Conversion for Rigid Heddle Loom - Cheap!

If you want to try twill weave with your rigid heddle, you will have
to add heddles or harnesses. A neat trick was just posted on the internet
a few days ago.

Leigh Dudenhoeffer added string heddles and harness sticks to her
rigid heddle loom. This site shows pictures and description of the

Build a Loom Frame and How to Use Your Table Loom As a 4 Harness Loom!!!
(two short articles on the page, large pictures)

There is also a VIDEO of weaving on the modified loom 10/09/08

The RH actually sits in the holding slot. The string harnesses go
behind the RH since the area in front of the RH is used for the shed.

Be sure to make the recommended visit to
Marla Mallet's website for instructions on primitive loom
construction, heddles, and heddle bars.

Don't put warp through the little holes in the RH, put two threads
through each slot. The RH is used as a reed to maintain spacing. A
comb is used beat/place the weft.

The process is not as fast as using multiple rigid heddles. Advantage is
the cost is low and it uses your existing rigid heddle loom frame. It
give more possibilities to existing equipment for the cost of sticks and string!

It is a very clever application.

Much applause to Leigh Dudenhoeffer for sharing her loom conversion
trick on the internet.

Have a good day!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sat Sept 20 2008 Stockton CA BVRA Rabbit Show

Sat Sept 20 2008 Stockton CA

Big Valley Rabbit Association held a rabbit show at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds.

There were 2000 rabbits and cavies entered in double shows which made for 4000 entries to be judged and 19 judges to handle it all in one day!

The weather beautiful, clear skies, temp in 85F range, temp which is 10 degrees cooler than average for Sept.

There was plenty of room under the roof of the livestock barn, the open sides allowing for mild breeze to blow through. Other people rested beneath the shade trees adjacent the livestock barn.

Vendors like KW Cages, Barbi Brown, and Randall's were on hand to provide equipment, feed supplements and supplies. There was a rep on hand from Purina rabbit feed to talk to people and answer questions.

The food concession had a steady stream of business for most of the day as well.

Mike Morris, Show Super, told me there was 37 different breeds of rabbit being shown, which is a great variety for a local show.

Here is a sampling of entries, this list is not official or complete (O=Open, Y=Youth, Number entered)

Holland Lop O-120, Y-95
Netherland Dwarf Y-94
Minirex Y-111
Polish O-50, Y-75
*Polish are making a great comeback from a couple of years ago when only a handful were found in the showroom!

Angora English O-25
Angora French O-27
Angora Satin O-9

English Lop Y-3
Jersey Wooly O-43, Y-22
Dutch O-71, Y-85

French Lop O-34
Flemish Giant O-5, Y-8
American Sables O-23 Y-3

American Chinchilla Y-6
American O-17
Britiannia Petite O-10

Mini Satins O-13
New Zealand O-9, Y-34
Silver O-8, Y-5

Beveren O-13
Thrianta Y-13
Rhinelander O-15

Tan O-29
Silver Fox Y-1
Lionhead O-69

As you can see the Rare Breed rabbits and the new breeds are hitting the table and being counted as more people add them to their herd to help promote the breeds.

I did not see the Best In Show awards but I would like to congratulate whoever it had the top rabbits!

It was a good day!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Carding wool with dog rakes and slicker brushes.

I have used dog slicker brushes as hand cards to process wool and it can be done, if you are patient. Carding is a great excuse for sitting in front of the TV or watching DVDs.

I would sit down with a paper grocery sack of washed wool on one side and empty paper grocery sack on the other side. Make little mini batts with the slickers and put those in the empty bag. Be sure to have 3 or 4 empty bags on hand because the fluffy mini batts will take up much more room than the washed wool.

If you are really in need of obsessive compulsive activity, use dog rakes to pick the wool first, then use the slickers to make mini batts.

You can use a c-clamp to attach one rake or slicker to a table, to reduce the wear/tear on your hands.

Do not do this activity on the good sofa or wearing good pants. Put down a cloth if you do it over the carpet. Much dust and Vegetation Matter (VM) will fall out of your wool no matter how well you washed it.

It was this activity that allowed me to whole heartedly give my lovely wife Tracy permission to shop for a drum carder when she asked. We now have a Strauch Petite.

But I still plan to use my rakes and slickers just to keep my hand in. At least I have been using rakes to pick the wool before putting through the carder.

Dog rakes can cost less than $10 each. Slickers cost around $10 to $15 each, compared to $50 to $100 and more for a pair of regular wool cards and/or combs.

Have a good day!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Link on World Rabbit Links

Added this link to World Rabbit Links

The Rabbit: Husbandry, Health and Production (Jun 22 2008)
by F. Lebas, P. Coudert, R. Rouvier, H. de Rochambeau
Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO.ORG), Rome, 1986
A booklet, information now available on the web.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Swedish Fur rabbit info & other links

Found this link on another group.
Very interesting look at Swedish rabbit shows
and the Swedish Fur rabbit

Amanda Galfvensjös Rabbitry
Breeding Swedish fur and NZW rabbits in Sweden

Swedish language site
Svensk päls translates to Swedish fur

Swedish Rabbit Breeders Association

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Brazilian Rabbit Info

The Homesteading Today forum has a topic of Brazilian rabbits that
has been running since 3/18/08

There is some people on there that would love to buy some, but like
with most rare breeds, small quantity available and location are
obstacles. Hopefully things will work themselves out.

New Group on Yahoo - Brazilian Rabbit Fanciers North America

Brazilian Rabbit Fanciers North America - This discussion group is for
the Brazilian Rabbit, also known as Zils.

The Brazilian rabbit in North America is rare but beautiful. We want to encourage more people to raise these rabbits. We are committed to the goal of seeing these rabbits raised all over North America; USA, Canada, Mexico.

Docile in nature and known to eat just about anything green, they can fill a niche for rabbits that will breed and thrive in less than optimal conditions. We promote real world discussion of real topics related to breeding, showing, raising, selecting, selling, buying, and culling the Brazilian rabbit. I invite you to join us.

Another yahoo group that has info on zils is
Arizona Bunny Swap

Join the group and search the message archive for
"brazilian" or "zil" as search words

Have a good day!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Keep Your Fans Clean

*re-post from May 23 2007*
Keep Your Fans Clean

Using electric fans is great way to circulate air around your rabbitry and keep your rabbits more comfortable.

One problem is that rabbits shed fur and this fur can collect on fan blades and housings, reducing the efficiency by blocking air flow. Especially if you have angora rabbits.

This blockage can also lead to motors overheating, causing tripped electric breakers if you are lucky and electrical fires if you are un-lucky.

Cleaning your fans should be an item on your weekly chore list.

The fur and dust can become densely packed on the fan housings like a felt blanket. This can be pulled off by hand, improving the air flow somewhat. There will still be a lot of fur and wool wrapped around the wire or plastic grids on the fan housings. Very diffiicult and tedious
to remove with fingers, tweezers and/or needle nosed pliers.

A faster method is to use a blower. A shop vacuum with blower option, a grooming force air blower, or even a garden leaf blower will work. Unplug the fan. Move the fan outside to an area where you don't mind a lot of dust and lint blowing through.

Take the air flow from the blower and direct it through the fan backward. That is, the direction the air normally comes out from is the direction you will blow air in with the blower. You are sending the fur back out of the fan the way it came.

By now you should have a blizzard of dust and fur blowing out of the fan. Be sure you blow out all the corners of the housing. There may be streamers of wool holding on the fan grid, feel free to grab those and pull them off with your hand.

When you are done with the first side, turn the fan around and be sure to blow out the passages around the motor. Keeping these passages clear will help keep the motors cool, reducing the chances of overheating.

If you can't blow the dust out somewhere on your yard, use a vacuum cleaner to clean the fans. Or you can take the fan outside and with the fan turned on, you can use a whisk broom or a dust brush to brush off the grid, with the fan blowing the dust away as you brush. It doesn't do as well as the other method, but it helps.

One more place to watch is the leading edge of the fan blades. If dust and wool build up on the leading edge of the fan blade the fan doesn't cut through the air as efficiently and the air flow is reduced.

You can open most fans with just a screwdriver. Wipe the leading edge of the fan blades with a cloth. I was surprised how much better the air flow was after I cleaned a couple of fans. Re-assemble the fan.

You may have to do this every one or two months.

I hope this info is helpful.

*Update - You can purchase or make fan covers of cheesecloth or cloth screening to keep dust, fiber, and lint from entering the intake side of the fan. Use elastic bands to secure the cloth to fan. Then remove the cloth screen when it gets clogged and shake it or wash it.*

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
*This article may be cross-posted*

Updated Fiber Links

Updated Fiber Links to include weaving info