Union Loom - Misc
Subject: ORCo Looms
From: "Edgemont Yarn" <edgemont@maysvilleky.net>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002

The Oriental Rug Co., purchased the patent to the Union loom many years ago, and patterned their loom the ORCo after the Union.   Edgemont Yarn purchased the Oriental Rug Co and are still making the ORCO Loom in Maple.

>> I'm helping a friend sectionally warp her Union Loom. The rakes are bolted in with hardware that actually impedes a nice smooth section (there are 2 at about 4 or 6 inches in from the edges) What happens is that the newly wound warp peaks over the bolt causing a mountain effect. We put on 10 yards this afternoon and I was concerned that the bolt would create too great a mountain and cause for eventual uneven tension. Is there a practical workaround that we might try the next time.... short of moving the bolt??
Thanks for the insight. mary <<
   We struggled with uneven warp tension on the Union Loom caused by the projecting bolts on the warp beam.  Before the last warp was put on, my husband counter-sunk the bolts and eliminated the problem.  I was opposed to changing anything on this "tried and true" loom, but my husband was right.

Donna in colorful Western PA
   Recently I figured another way to correct the problem, short of taking the beam apart and counter sinking the bolts and then cutting them off.  I put two dowels the length of the warp beam on the outside of the dowels which space the sections.  The dowels must be thick enough to rise above the top of those pesky bolts.  Because the dowels go the entire length of the beam, each section winds on to the same length.  It works so easily I can't believe I spent all those years just hating to wind those particular sections.  I strapped the dowel on with duct tape but maybe there is a more *professional* way to attach them.

Dana, in California
Union Looms, Comparison Between the Union No. 36 and the Union Victory Loom

  These are excerpts from the Union Loom catalogues:
In the 1940s Union Loom No. 36 was the only loom offered. It is heavier (170 lbs.) than the Union Special Loom (145 lbs.) and could hold more warp on its beam (75 yards as opposed to 50 on the Union Special) and it is slightly longer from front to back and a little higher. In the 1950s it was shipped, complete, threaded with 10 yards of warp all ready to weave for $69.50 F.O.B. Boonville, NY. The price included threading hook,  metal "comb"  (the plate with holes which slides across the back beam, used for warping), temple, 6 shuttles and instructions. The brake system is a bed rail brake (angle iron) stretched across the warp beam catching against the pegs of the sections. A lever on the side releases this cross piece during the warping process.

The Union Victory Loom:  During  the war (WW2), materials were hard to get, hence this disclaimer: "We reserve the right to make any minor changes in specifications which may be necessary due to inability to get regular materials at time of manufacture, but we guarantee that no changes will decrease the strength, capacity of efficiaency of the loom."

It can be noted that the Union Victory has these variations: heavy braided cotton rope supporting the harness frames and attaching the treadles as opposed to chains on other models. The brake across the warp beam is made of wood instead of metal as is the hook to place the brake in a neutral position. The warp winding crank is all wood.  Otherwise, the Union Victory is just like the Union Loom No. 36 except it has a smaller capacity on the warp beam, 50 to 60 yards as opposed to 75 yards.

I have a drawing of the bed rail brake which I will send to all interested if you'll send me an S.A.S.E.   Hope to have this information and pictures on the web site soon  (www.weaversfriend.com). I would welcome any pictures which could be included of the brake systems of the Union Looms.

The Union Loom Company did not update the photos in their instruction books as the models changed over the years.

Janet Meany, Loom Manaul Library, 5672 North Shore Drive, Duluth, MN 55804
My DH brought my new (to me) loom home 2 days ago and it won't fit through the door all put together.  It looks like a union style loom. It is warped and a rug is currently in progress on it right now.  Is there any way to get it apart without messing up the warp/rug-in-progress so it will fit though the door?  The door is 31 inches and the loom at breast-beam height is 32 inches.

  If it is a Union (or Union-type of loom) it probably will not fit whole through a standard doorway, even if you remove the door. However,  with a couple of modifications you should be able to get it through the doorway, warp intact  (with the door still one it's hinges).  Will try to explain it if I can.

  Take off the spool rack if there is one with the treadles and the long strip above it which has the staples (or what-ever) to guide the warp threads up from the spool rack.Take out the two bolts on both sides that hold the harness up rights .  Lean it with the heddles etc toward the breast beam.

  Then lay the loom with it's back end down. The back beam will be on the floor with the warp beam just above it.

  Now you can swing first one side of the loom through the door way, sort of pulling it into the loom.  At this point one side of the loom *legs* are on one side of the door frame and one side are on the other side of the door frame. Jockey the loom around into the room, stand it up and put the missing pieces back together.

  This advice, in slightly different form, is in the little booklet which came with the loom when shipped.  The booklet has a picture of the loom around the door frame, which makes the concept easier to understand.

  I know this works, as I have done it.  But a word of caution, if you are going up a narrow  stairway, it may be easier to simply dismantle the loom and then reassemble it.

  Of course in that case you may as well just wind the warp back onto the warp beam, keeping it in order, with either tape, or by making a cross by opening one shed, inserting a stick, then the next shed and another stick, and fastening them to the warp beam after pulling the warp from the heddles.

  You will need to rethread your loom once assembled, but you need to learn to do that anyway, and it is not hard.

  My advice would be to get that loom into the house sooner, rather than later.  If you need to take the loom apart, look at it as *getting to know the loom*.  Talking a loom apart and then reassembling it teaches you a  great deal about your loom.  Once you do it a few times, it can be done pretty quickly.


  On moving the Union 36, still another way, which I've used.  Can tie the harnesses and both beams in one bundle after removing the sides, front and back beams, spool rack with treadles, can leave the treadles attached to the harnesses.  Then move and reassemble.  If the warp tension is good to start with, it will remain good. 

Alice in MO

  Just another thought about moving a threaded loom through a doorway.  In case it would be better to remove the beater, you can cut the warp in front of the beater and tie in one inch bunches in front of the reed.  Then slip the reed out of the beater and tighten the warp until it is snug through the heddles and through the reed.  Depending on how the beater is mounted on the loom, this action could give you a few more inches of leeway.

Lorrie Holzbach
(Is there a practical workaround that we might try the next time...?)
(My DH brought my new (to me) loom home 2 days ago and it won't fit through
the door all put together.)