I have a Baby Mac that had a sectional beam that I converted to a plain beam by pulling the steel pegs out. It is made of 1x2 boards in an x cross section, the way many sectional beams are. I converted it because my sectional warping equipment is upstairs in my studio in the barn, not in the house, where the loom is. Since I did this, I have had consistent problems with tension. I have done several warps of different materials, carefully wound and beamed under tension, as usual, and had tension issues with the edges, which I have not had with any other loom, sectional or plain. I have used paper, sticks, sticks and paper. My suspicion is the problem is that the beam does not support the warp sufficiently. Has anyone else seen this happen? Any other ideas about what the problem is? I have finished several sectional warps without issues.
Is the skeleton of the beam collapsing on you? Maybe it isn't solid enough, with tension on it it may be decreasing the diameter. Got a photo of the beam?
The beam isn't collapsing. It is made by glueing two 1x2 boards to a 1x5 to make x cross section beam. It is not a hollow cage, like AVL sectionals. Thanks for the idea, but this worked as a sectional beam under the same tension that I'm using as a plain beam. The only thing that I can think of is that the warp is not supported by the beam between the arms of the x, and not supported by the pegs either.
Was thinking the rakes gave it more rigidity. But I better understand how it is constructed now, so collapsing would not be happening. But how do you use packing material on such a beam? Have you tried those bamboo blinds. It still seems like there is not enough rigidity between the X's and with the rakes gone you have slippage laterally. Get 4 pieces of lumber the thickness of the X , say 2 x 2 if the X arms are 2", now make an octagon. Sand them smooth and just drill and screw them on. :)
I was thinking about something like that. I use sections of screen moulding for sticks. It's smoother and stiffer than bamboo strips. I'm going to try a warp with stiff paper covering the beam, and a layer of sticks on top of that to start with. If that improves it, I think it will prove the support theory.