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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have borrowed a four-harness Harrisville loom from a friend who is unable to answer this question.

Something is wrong with the brake / ratchet - I'm sorry I don't have the correct vocabulary - that is connected to the warp beam. On the far right side of the loom as you're sitting to weave, there's the brake mechanism. There is a cable wound around a narrow wooden spool-like piece. At the end of the cable is a short chain. At the end of the chain is.....nothing. It's just hanging there loose, and hence there is no tension on the warp beam. This is not the part that you wind your woven work onto, but the part on the other side, that holds your wrapped warp yarn before you weave on it.

I found another inch of broken chain on the floor, but absolutely nothing else to indicate what might have broken; no S hooks, cables, or other clues. And there's nothing we can see that looks as if it's what this chain should attach to. I finished one project on the loom, during which time presumably this piece was appropriately connected, because the tension was just fine. Now, just a few days later, it's not. There was not a moment while I was weaving where there was a pop or a ping and the tension changed, so I don't even know when it happened.

Every picture I can find of this loom online or in books is taken from the other side, where the weaver sits, and usually from the weaver's left. So the part I so badly need to see is never in the photographs. I have reasonable basic mechanical skills, but I can't make sense of what's missing here.

I'm looking for one or more of these things: someone who can write a description of how the warp ratchet-brake-piece is hooked up, someone who would be willing to email me a photo of their own loom's warp beam brake, or someone who would be willing to look at a picture of mine that I'd email to them. With at least one of those three, I might be able to figure this out.

Thanks in advance. Despite all the hassles, I absolutely love working with this, and I want to utilize every day of the two month loan.

kate
 

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I don't have a Harrisville loom so probably can't help, but on my Macomber loom the chain is attached between the pedal that releases the ratchet and the metal piece that locks onto the teeth of the ratchet. Maybe that will help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Rabbitgeek, thanks. I'd looked at their site but hadn't noticed the contact info, so I sent them an email.

Katherine, what you said makes sense, but one more detail would help. Is the line connected to something that remains stationary the whole time, or does it somehow play in and out as you work the mechanism? If it just stays stationary, that means all I really have to do is tighten it up and attach it to something to keep it from moving. And I can figure out some way to do that.

kate
 

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Kate, I'll try to explain how my loom works. The chain is attached to a metal piece (actually called a pawl--new word to me :)) that goes into the cogs on the ratchet to stop the back beam from turning. That pawl is attached to a heavy spring whose other end is attached to an upright post on the loom; that's what provides the tension. The chain attached to the peddle is just a mechanism to let you release the back beam while still sitting on the bench (if you have really long legs!). You could just go to the back of the loom and release the pawl manually, but it would be rather fiddly to do. But your loom could be totally different; I think contacting Harrisville or going to an on-line loom group would be your best bet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, Katherine, that helps. I contacted Harrisville but who knows if they'll reply - in the meantime, what you told me gives me the confidence to go ahead and do it manually, which is definitely fiddly, but at least I can use the loom. I've only got the loan of it for a few more weeks and I hate to have it just sit here!

kate
 
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