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My new/old loom needs some help! Gallinger loom

Blazingheart's picture

Hi everyone,

I recently acquired a loom that had been sold to me as a '42" Manning loom'.  A little research and looking at pictures has me certain it's a Gallinger loom, built and sold at The Mannings.  Most of what she needs is a bit of finish work (sanding, refinishing, etc), but there are some bigger issues, too.  The loom is a 4-harness counterbalance.

She's definitely missing her brake chain.  If anyone can give me an idea how long her brake chain should be, that would be a big help.  I figured that if I acquired some medium-fine chain at a hardware store, I could probably just replace that, as the spring is still in place.  Her sectional warp needs a few pegs replaced, and one end of it needs to be cut down a bit and sanded because it's been badly damaged (the round disk on the left end of the warp beam - not the brake side, thankfully!)

She's currently in 2 pieces - the warp beam etc is not currently attached.  The pieces that connect it to the castle have gotten flipped where they shouldn't be, but fixing that should be just a matter of loosening the bolts enough to flip them back into position and re-tightening them.

Here are the issues I need help figuring out how to fix:

Her harness aren't hanging properly from the castle.  The rear two harnesses are back and to one side of where they should be hanging, so they're outside of the kind of frame shape of the castle.  Do I just need to try to shift the straps, or is this a bigger issue? (most visible in pic 3)

There's a piece of wood whose purpose I can't figure out.  It goes through a slot attached to the castle, but down low.  In the side-on picture, it's the piece hanging diagonally that sticks out farther back than the castle, has an eyebolt on the end.  It looks like it's a handle, but to what? (pic 4)

I have a cloth apron on my cloth beam.  It looks to be glued on.  Is there a good way to get that clean without removing it?  This poor baby has been sitting in a garage for years, uncovered, so it's absolutely filthy.

I have a piece not currently attached to the loom that looks identical to the bottom piece of my beater.  Is that what it is, or is this some other piece of loom? (pic 5, the upper piece, I know the lower one is the top of the beater)

I know the first picture makes it look like the whole loom is cock-eyed, but it's not.  My fiance is not a good photographer.

Thank you in advance for your help!

~Blaze

Front view

Warp beam etc

Back of castle and harnesses

Side view of front of loom

Beater pieces?

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sequel's picture
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Joined: 06/09/2009
Gallinger restoration

Your best resource is still The Mannings.  They've got many Gallinger looms still in use in their teaching studio. They can tell you how long and what kind of chain to use.

The pieces with the long channels are the beater.  The straight one goes on the bottom and the curved one goes on top with the small grooved finger grip facing the shafts. 

You can level the shafts by makijng sure the webbed belting goes in straight(er) lines from rollers to the shafts or the lower rollers.

Try vacuuming the canvas apron... but considering the moisture damage, your loom's canvas and belting may be weakened.  Make your first warp an experimental (cheap) one and then decide if you want/need to replace these.   I've found the first things to go are the tie-up cords from the shafts to the treadles.

You'll want to replace the missing sectional pegs with dowels.  The sectional rakes can be removed, but not without effort.  They look like they just unscrew from the solid beam, but they are also nailed from inside the brake drum.  You'll need a hacksaw to cut them free if you go that route.  Later you can replace the rakes with just the screws.

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Blazingheart's picture
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Joined: 06/01/2013
I didn't think of contacting

I didn't think of contacting the Mannings, that's a great idea.  They emailed back to ask for more details, but it looks like they'll be able to tell me about the proper length for the chain.

I figured out how to adjust the hang of the harnesses.  It looks like I'll have to remove each pair of harnesses from the shed regulator so I can lay them down and adjust the way the straps lay.  The straps and the canvas apron seem have taken no damage except for the dirt (and man are they dirty!), so I won't be replacing them.  I guess I'll just have to do my best to spot-clean the apron.  Obviously, getting the straps cleaner matters less.  I've ordered some basic cotton to make at least the first warps.  I probably could have gotten it cheaper if I'd gone to synthetics, but I'd like to be making something I'll use, and I'm not fond of most synthetics.

It's weird that I have an extra of the lower piece of the beater.  There's already one attached to the loom, in addition to the one in picture 5.

I'm not planning on trying to remove the rakes on the warp beam.  I'll just cut down new pegs from a dowel.

I guess that just leaves me with my mystery piece of wood in picture 4.  Could it be some way of releasing tension on the brake?

~Blaze

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sequel's picture
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No Shed Regulator

The upper roller is not a shed regulator and you do not need to remove anything to adjust or level the shafts.  You may need an extra set of hands to hold onto the parts that have to stay still while you re-position the webbing straps.

The two pieces on the floor by your foot are the beater parts.  Were you asking about the piece inside the loom that angles up from left to right in the fourth picture?  That would be the brake release, the part that is connected to the cloth beam is the cloth advance lever.

 

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Blazingheart's picture
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I think taking the shafts off

I think taking the shafts off the upper roller is going to be my best option because I have limited hand strength.  Adjusting the straps will be easier if gravity isn't pulling on them.  What you're saying makes sense if I wasn't dealing with that.

If I have an upper roller rather than a shed regulator, that means I can't do 3/1 or 1/3 weaves, doesn't it?  I recall reading that you need a shed regulator for that.

I got that the two pieces on the floor are beater parts, I was only confused because I have a duplicate piece.  There is a lower beater piece already attached to the loom, in addition to the one on the floor.  Judging by the aging of the wood, I'd guess that the one on the floor is a replacement, but I don't see anywhere near enough damage to justify needing one.  Go figure, I guess you get the pieces you get when you buy a loom that has not been used in a long time.

I thought that lever might be involved with the brake, but I couldn't find an image of a Gallinger where I could clearly see that.

Thank you again, this is quite helpful for a super-beginner weaver.  I tend to self-teach myself crafts, and the more I look at this weaving, the more I doubt that I'll be able to do that well.  I'm looking into my local weaving guild, which I've been told is quite active, and which as it turns out is very close to my apartment.

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Joined: 06/08/2009
unbalanced counterbalanced sheds

While admitting I have very little experience with CB looms with rollers on top (instead of horses), I posted (as a project, to get the biggest possible pictures) the possible cb sheds on a very small an poorly designed portable loom - here.

I suppose the roller construction handle the sheds according to the same principles.

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sequel's picture
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Unbalanced sheds, et al

You can do unbalanced sheds on this loom.  Just not as easily as balanced ones. You may have a "split shed" with most of the threads either up or down, just choose the one that give you what you want... three shafts up and one shaft down or vice versa.  You may benefit from a low profile shuttle if the shed is very small.

You may have a replacement part because the old one was torqued out of square.  Happens sometimes.  Sight down the length of the part and see if it has any twists and turns.  Use the straighter of the two.  Gallinger looms use taller reeds than most jack looms, although you can substitute in a pinch.  Order appropriately sized reeds from The Mannings.

Again, I would not recommend removing the webbed roller belting.  Let me go over to the studio and check out the one we have there and I will make further recommendations.  Here's a link to a photo I picked up in a Google search.  This loom is at the Mannings.  It's an earlier version than yours, but the rollers are the same and you can peek up under the upper crosspiece to see the top roller.

Edited to add link.

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Blazingheart's picture
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Well, we got the harnesses

Well, we got the harnesses adjusted today.  With my fiance holding them up, it wasn't as hard as I'd expected to adjust the straps.  I had to adjust them as far as they would go to get the rear harnesses hanging inside the castle, though.  The tie-up line for the first harness was wedged between the pulley and the frame, which is part of why things were hanging wrong.  Once we got that back in the pulley, the harnesses all moved freely.  It seems like a somewhat odd setup; other looms seem to have tracks for the harnesses, it feels strange that these just kind of hang between the rollers and the tie-up lines.

While we were doing that, I saw why the lower beater piece needed to be replaced.  It's cracked.  I'm a little nervous about that repair, as the new beater piece isn't pre-drilled.  My fiance is not much of a wood-worker.  Hopefully he can drill the darn thing straight and in the right place!

I also removed the remnants of the last owner's last project.  Yuck, that was some really coarse, rough wool, and as dusty as you'd expect if you knew that the loom had been sitting in a garage without any kind of cover for about a decade.  I did that 20 minutes ago, and my nose is still tickling like I'm going to sneeze!

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sequel's picture
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All is well

The harness frames are supposed to dangle like that.  It's just how counterbalanced looms work.  They will be stabilized when the warp is threaded and tensioned.  You can do an image search online and see these looms.  There are some like yours and some of the earlier models that did not have a folding back beam.

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Blazingheart's picture
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I had hoped that was the

I had hoped that was the case, and I thank you for confirming it. Next task to tackle is making a bit of beeswax polish to refinish the dry old wood. I have all the ingredients anyhow, from other crafty pursuits. Then it will be on to getting the back beam assembly back in place. I have the chain to replace my missing brake chain, though as I am typing this I realize that I may need S-hooks to attach it.

Theoretically, I will then be at warping this beast. I will admit that as warping comes closer, I grow more uncertain of my abilities on this endeavor. Particularly as my fiancé's job uncertainty means that there may not really be money for lessons. I suppose I will probably end up starting with one of my smaller looms. Less expensive potential mistakes.

I wish I was not having so much trouble with my hands. The replacement beater piece still has me worried. Of the two of us, I am much more experienced with woodwork than he (I spent a year learning to make longbows in my teens). As it stands, though, I cannot tolerate vibrations on my hands, so it is him or no replacing the piece.

Thank you again for your help! I'm sure some of the things I have said probably sounded daft to any experienced weaver.

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sequel's picture
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Skip the polish for now

Find out from The Mannings what kind of finish was applied to your loom.  It was probably either lacquer or varnish.  Use any good furniture grade  wax, but only if it really needs it (it probably doesn't).  Use the loom first to decide if you like weaving on it before you waste time and energy on aesthetics.  Ugly looms work every bit was well as pretty ones.  If the finish is damaged on the parts that the warp or cloth touches, you may want to work on that, but only to the point of functionality.  If you apply a waxy finish over worn areas of varnish or lacquer, the waxy stuff can soak into the wood, making it even more difficult to repair the finish.  And beeswax is sticky.

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