Need to repair friction brake: any advice, photos or diagrams?


I have an old CB loom that has a friction brake that is in great need of repair.  There is a "switch" or pedal that controls it is at the bottom of the loom with an old spring attatched and a bolt on the frame about 1 in from the back beam. (please see photo.)  I have no idea how to repair it.  Any advice or photos appreciated.




Posted on Mon, 03/07/2011 - 19:14

This looks like a handle to turn the beam.  What keeps it from unwinding when you put tension on it to weave?

Most friction brakes I have seen are a metal drum with a wire wrapped around that is then attached to a spring and a cord/lever.  Here are some diagrams from Leclerc

Posted on Wed, 03/09/2011 - 04:30

Check this page out at AVL looms.

They show the progression of friction breaks over the years.  You can make one yourself using a large weight or rock.  With the stick in your warp beam, your solution could be the first one shown here.  There is lots of discussion and info at the above link.

Posted on Wed, 03/09/2011 - 17:45

Hello Candace, here are photos of the friction brake I built for my 90+ year old Marquardsen loom.The original brake was dead weighted, and now it is spring loaded with plenty of adjustments, a foot pedal releases brake tension. Perhaps something of my system may help you. Referring to the LeClerc loom brake information, at their site will also help.Regards,Frank-TheLoominary

Posted on Wed, 03/09/2011 - 18:09


That looks very professional.  How do you release the tension on the beam while weaving and moving the warp forward?  Or, is that not needed?

I have an old Leclerc Inca jack loom that has a similar friction brake.  But, it has a lever that reaches to the front of the loom that controls the tension on the spring.  When I lift it, the tension releases and I can move the warp threads forward.  Pushing the lever down, and under a wooden block to lock it in place, applies the brake to hold the warp.

Posted on Sun, 11/22/2020 - 22:27

<p>hi there, can I ask you about your Inca Jack loom? I have one too, you are the first person I have found who uses one!&nbsp; Can you tell me what way to wind the warp around the warp beam? Is it clockwise?&nbsp; Having a problem with holding tension..... one thing I found out, too, that the person who put it together did not drill the holes 1 1/8 inch for the beater as the original directions say- so my beater is too low.&nbsp; I love this loom!&nbsp; Would like to make sure I am operating it right....</p>

Posted on Wed, 03/09/2011 - 19:30

Hi, the tension is released with just a light touch on the brake pedal while advancing the warp. There is never more than four pounds tension on the beam from the brake system keeping things very easy to operate. This system does allow you to advance with some amount tension always on your warp if desired. Also there is a brake lock located on the right side that will hold the system slack when needed.Regards, Frank.

Posted on Thu, 03/10/2011 - 02:04

thanks for the advice, diagrams and photos, friends.  My husband looked at them and improvised something that will work.  Problem solved.

Posted on Fri, 05/06/2011 - 12:01

but thank god for my brother-in-law, we fixed it quickly. if it wasn't for this thread I would probably search for a new one. I bought mine a couple years ago from a Romanian supplier in Otopeni, they rent and sell all sort of stuff .. this is my baby

Posted on Fri, 05/06/2011 - 13:18

That is a beautiful loom and the piece on it is lovely! What is the fiber and what will the piece be when it is done?

Vicki Allen

Posted on Thu, 05/26/2011 - 01:01

I also have an Arthur Allen loom, with a friction brake on the warp beam. I'm just about to replace the old 3/8" solid rubber cord, but took some photos to give others something to reference for restoration efforts.

3rd pic is taken from floor looking back up towards warp beam

I've had two of these looms, and the brake was identical on both.

Candace, I'd be interested to know what your husband used and if materials were obtained in Oregon or online? I've located a supplier for 3/8" solid rubber cord online, but I would prefer to buy local if possible.


Posted on Thu, 09/12/2019 - 17:54

Hello Lisa, aka slumpyFumbler. I see your last thread on the Allen loom was in 2011. I hope you are doing well and are still in this group so I can get some help. I have this Allen Loom I bought "as is" at an estate sale. Am trying to figure out how to tie a cord to both the front and back beams so I can lash on the tie rods. There are tiny holes about 1/8 deep that follow a straight line along both beams. Do I use brad nails to hammer in to this? The holes do not go all the way through the beam, and they barely allow a T needle to go in. The booklet that was posted on this loom is of no help-it only describes how to calculate a warp.

Posted on Thu, 05/26/2011 - 03:15

Hi Lisa,

Actually, my husband just used a piece of cotton rope looped once around the beam instead of a rubber cord.  He hooked the rope to the "button" by the beam with a "tie wrap" and then tied the other end of the rope to the end of the spring.  When the brake was released, the rope loosened enough to let the beam turn, and when the brake was tensioned, the rope had enough grip to lock the beam like a rubber cord would.  I don't know how long that it will last, but it worked well.

Good luck,


Posted on Thu, 05/26/2011 - 03:25

Hello all, I was so glad to see this thread. I have an new-to-me Allen folding loom. It is in very good condition, but as I'm weaving, the warp tension loosens. The only thing we can think of is that the friction brake cord is slipping, although we cannot see it happening. It was suggested that I use rubbing alcohol on the heavy rubber cord and also sand the wooden bar a bit to see if the cord would "grab" better. I was also told that if this doesn't work, I might try replacing the spring. Does this seem plausible?

Posted on Thu, 05/26/2011 - 09:55

Hi Geri,

I have a background in wood/gen'l mfg. I agree with the suggestion to 'sand', however, use something of a large grit (like 100) perpendicular to the brake band wrap, on the warp might give that cord something to 'grab' better. If it's old rubber, it's probably shrinking and becoming hard (not much soft 'grab' left). In that case, no amount of sanding will help ~ just buy a new one. IMHO I wouldn't put rubbing alcohol on the cord you have, because I think it 'dries' things out as it evaporates...and old rubber is probably struggling enough with being too dry. I found Gridline Structures online that has 3/8" rubber cord (smallest amount is 10ft ~ enough to do two looms!) for only $7.

I'm thinking of re-wrapping the ends with linen drawn through beeswax (similar to quilting thread prep from 100 yrs ago). What do you think?

Posted on Thu, 05/26/2011 - 17:28

Thank you SlumpyFumbler. Glad you caught me before I used the alcohol. I checked the website for the rubber cord and will order some. Possibly someone in my guild can use what I don't need. I'll use the sandpaper also. I would think that the linen/beeswax would work well, but I am new to this and I wouldn't take my un-educated opinion to the bank.--Geri

Posted on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 13:32

Having same problem with back brake on my Cromaine Loom.

It release fine with the lever, but then will not release roller so I can advance the warp. any IDEAS?

Posted on Tue, 08/16/2011 - 13:09

I don't understand the problem.  Are you coming to Tue.weaving group? Bring fotos of the problem --we'll tackle it.

Posted on Sun, 04/01/2012 - 04:18

klarence? are you still having issues with your braking mechanism? sorry to reply so many months later. let me know if you want to bounce some ideas off someone else to possibly come up with new solutions. :)