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Union Loom Brake

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   The brake on the Union loom is a very basic brake system, and it would be hard for anything to go wrong unless there are parts missing. Mine consists of an angle iron bar suspended across the back of the loom under the sectional beam. It is on a pivot on one side, and connected to the brake handle on the other side. A small iron pawl is connected to the outside so that it can be pushed up or down to engage or disengage the brake handle. When the handle is disengaged, the angle iron is able to be moved down out of the way of the warp beam, and the beam will turn freely. When engaged, the angle iron is up and the pegs on the warp beam catch on it, and the warp beam will not turn. So you should have an iron handle on the outside that you can pull up or down, a small piece of iron connected to the loom frame just above the angle on it where it connects to the loom, either a heavy piece of wood (on the very old Unions), or a piece of angle iron inside the loom frame that goes across under the warp beam which is connected to the other side of the frame with another piece of iron on the inside, that allows the angle iron to pivot. No other pieces.

Gloria in central WA state
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  Gloria gave an excellent description of the bed rail brake system (angle iron bar) used by the Union Loom Company on their Union No. 36 models. These came out after WWII. The bed rail brake is in many ways superior to other brakes in that the tension is spread across the warp beam with the bed rail locking against the sectional beam pegs of the warp beam. On the Victory Loom, a wooden piece is used for tensioning instead of the metal bed rail.

  Earlier models, the Union Custom and the Union Special (20's, 30's) used a different kind of brake. Heavy metal ends (ratchet wheels) on the warp beam  were secured by two small metal pawls (dogs) which held the warp beam in position.

  The Union Loom Company did not make a new instruction book for each loom but merely added images to the original one. If you have an instruction book, you can see the earlier system in Fig. 1 where it shows how to get the loom through the door and in Fig 5 in "How to Warp" you can see the heavy metal ratchet  wheel on the end of the warp beam.

  The Loom Manual Library is attempting to register Union Looms. We already have a Newcomb Loom Registry . Send your name and address, Union Loom model and any story about your Union Loom or other information (brake system) to:

Historic Looms of America
5672 North Shore Drive
Duluth, MN 55804 or
e-mail jmeany@weaversfriend.com

Janet Meany

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     Union Loom Brake / Warping Problem
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Recently a student and I warped a donated Union 36 rug loom.  When getting ready to weave, we found that as the warp was tightened, the warp beam raised enough to disengage the pegs from the bed rail brake.  Obviously, we need to work on repairing the hole where the axle of the warp beam sits. 

  Do any of you have a "quick fix" that would temporarily help us keep tension on the warp until we can make permanent repairs?  Are there adjustments to the brake that are not obvious that I could make?

Hoping for wisdom,  Traudi

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  I have done exactly what you did. The problem is that you (probably) wound your warp beam back wards!  Don't panic though......

  Might I suggest that you take a good look first at the direction the warp comes off your beam, as it travels up around your loom to the harness. Write down on paper or draw the opposite path and keep it somewhere for next time.  Or even mark it on the loom if you don't mind marks. (personally I hate tape or marks on my looms)

  Then, for the time being, quick fix here.  Get about an 8 - 10 inch bungee cord, and put under side frame near floor and bungee cord the brake lever in the down position.   Each time you advance the warp, you have to undo the cord, but at least all is not lost.

KarenInTheWoods
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  This problem with the Union is one I had, also with a warp.  I took a half gallon bleach bottle and filled it with water, then hung it on the warp release lever.  Do screw the lid on VERY  tight, it can make quite a puddle if it slips off the handle and comes off.  (Don't even ask how I know!) Then later I found all I needed to do was tighten up a couple nuts and the spring on the warp bar.

Alice Murphy
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What can I say?  The people who wrote to tell me I had the warp wound on backwards were absolutely right!   Thanks to everyone who took the time to help me out.  We reversed the winding direction and now there's a rug happening!

blushing....

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http://www.oocities.com/rugtalk
(it would be hard for anything to go wrong unless there are parts missing)
(When getting ready to weave, we found that as the warp was tightened, the warp beam raised enough to disengage the pegs from the bed rail brake.)
( What can I say?  The people who wrote to tell me I had the warp wound on backwards were absolutely right! )
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