warping the beam

Good Afternoon, I am a brand new weaver and have just received as a gift a 45"LeClerc Counterbalance Floor Loom. There are no classes available in my area  I know very little about this loom so I am learning as I go.  This loom came with a sectional warp beam attached.  For my first project I would like to weave a scarf and from what I have been reading the sectional warp beam should be removed and the warp attached to the beam directly.  There is no apron for the warp beam so I am wondering how I should be attaching the warp to the beam.  The sectional warp beam had 20-30 cords(each ~12"cord had a small ring at the end) attached to it via a metal rod. Could these somehow be used in attaching the warp to the beam?  I have looked on the LeClerc site and have not been able to find an answer (although it could be there and I am just not understanding it).  Thank you for any help. I am enjoying the whole process so far and am excited to actually see everything set up and ready to weave!!


Posted on Tue, 01/01/2013 - 22:09

I have downloaded it and looked through it but have been unable to find the information I am looking for(not necessarily because its not there as I may just not be seeing it or understanding it)  Would you happen to know a specific page I should look on?

Posted on Tue, 01/01/2013 - 22:29

You can warp an 'ordinary' warp to a sectional beam.  I just posted photos to my blog a few days ago showing how I do this.  Granted the loom I used was my AVL, but the principle remains the same.


Click on the 'sectional warping' label.



Posted on Tue, 01/01/2013 - 22:29

There have been many discussions on sectional warping here that you can find, but yes, the cords attach the warp to each section.  Also, you do not need to remove the beam from the loom -- on most looms you crank it on in place.  You should also have something for tensioning the warp -- a tension box. 

Each section is beamed individually.  You need the number of ends per inch x section width (1 - 2") in each bout.  The goal is to wind each section with the same length of warp under the same tension. 

Inventory your equipment and get back to us with what you have -- a warping reel, spool rack, yardage counter, etc.  That way we know what tools are available.

Posted on Tue, 01/01/2013 - 22:46

Thank you for your response!  I do have a couple questions.  When do you do "sectional warping" and when "ordinary warping"?

Secondly, since I am just starting, would it be wise for me to buy an apron and use this and remove the sectional warp?


Posted on Wed, 01/02/2013 - 09:39

Your could use apron, or warp sticks, or kraft paper. You want to protect the warp threads from the beam cords that might cut into them under tension. I have a home built loom and just use the warp sticks. Some folks find wooden blind slats work well for warp sticks. I made mine because I have a shop and wood. Others don't have the convenience.

Maybe others will pipe in with their methods of warping, but if you search some of these ideas on the forum, they have been talked about at length.

Posted on Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:54

There is no reason to remove your sectional beam - you can use it to beam your warp even if you dont have a tension box or spool rack.  Daryl Lancaster actually explains how to do that in one of weavolution's cyberclasses.  I think one is scheduled for this week.

Posted on Wed, 01/02/2013 - 16:40

Thank you so much for responding!!! If you don't mind I have a few questions.

If I use the warp sticks or Kraft paper - am I removing the sectional warping pieces from the beam or using them in addition? Also, in your opinion, is it worthwhile to just buy an apron and go with that?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Posted on Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:54

Warp sticks, Apron and paper are used without the sectionals. If you read Leclercs book it clearly states that no apron is attached when a sectional is attached from the factory. It also clearly shows how to use the sectional with diagrams. Pages 28-33.

If you haven't the thread/tension box and a spool rack, I would remove the sectionals from the beam and either use a warp mill or a warp board to measure out the warps. Then beam with warp sticks. You want to use a set of lease sticks to hold the cross to keep the warp from tangling and helping in the threading sequence. Also a spreader (raddle) or reed is used to even out the warp while beaming. There is a looped cord on the tie on rod (usually 6 loops), so you have to measure to find the centre of the tie-on rod first and divide up the warp between the cords as you loop the bouts of warp onto the rod (between the cord loops).

Either way requires a way to measure off the warp yarn. Like say your warp yarn is 4 yards, a typical warping mill is 4 yards per revolution of the mill. You use a measured cord (4 yards lets say) as a guide from tie-on peg to cross pegs. The mill will have various positions to stick the tie-on peg into for various lengths.

Posted on Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:07

Warp sticks a/o craft paper are typically used on a conventional warp beam, not a sectional beam.  Even then, they are not vital for shorter warps.  You need them because on a conventional beam the layers of warp cut into each other, and much worse, fall off the edges and separate, creating uneven tension.  As long as you fill each section, only the one layer cutting into another can be a problem when sectional warping, and that  to a lesser degree.  I guess this is why many veteran weavers would really question removing a perfectly good sectional beam.  Once you understand sectional warping and have the tools, it's really much easier.  On my big loom, I rarely use my conventional beam -- only when doing double weave with 2 warps requiring different tensions.

Many sectional beams have a "round number" (such as a yard) circumference, so for each turn you're also putting on a unit of measure (yard?)  of warp.  Some sectional beams have counters, but I use old business cards inserted between each layer (I use a spiral pattern) to keep count of cranks -- one card for each crank + 1 section.  This has the same effect as craft paper on a sectional beam, although I use it to keep track of how much warp I put on in each section.

Unless you cut long strips of paper, it's difficult to use it on a sectional beam, and impossible to use lathing across, since you wind only one section at a time . . .

Posted on Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:57

Ah, yes the sectional does have a unit of measure to it. I over looked that because a lot of tension boxes use measuring meters on them. And probably the time to warp is a little quicker with sectionals because your measuring and warping at the same time.

Posted on Wed, 01/02/2013 - 21:25

Let me offer another point of view, consider winding small warp chains for each of your sections.  I don't see whether your sectional beam is in 2 or 3 inch sections.  Just wind off the appropriate width with the proper # of epi and wind on each chain individually.  

You could use a tension box but since you are just starting and probaby don't have a tension box you could also just bring your warp chain to your front beam and wrap it around the front beam 2 or 3 times.  That will give you some tension.  Wind around your back beam twice then come to the front and give a slight tug on the chain to give it some tension.  Do the same thing each time.  The important thing is to be very consistent in your tension and tugs.  Some folks use an s hook and a water jug to apply even tension to the warp chain and gradually release the warp as they wind on.

You are getting alot of good suggestions.  Before you make a major rework to your loom give this a try and see if you can discipline yourself to tension evenly with every warp chain you wind on manually.  

Good luck, try looking around for a teacher to run you thru sectional warping or a fellow weaver to help the first time since you are a beginner.  Your learning curve is harder than the actual task.  Take another look at Laura's video and see if you can apply it to your loom.  Regards  Deb Mc

Posted on Thu, 01/03/2013 - 18:44

My LeClerc Fanny has a sectional beam, but as I learned to warp front to back (and because I don't have the money for the tensioner, spool rack, etc.) I use a book bag to provide tension when winding on the warp.  I make sure to check that no threads are "caught" on the metal parts of the beam. 

I'd not thought before about winding smaller chains for each section; I'll give that a try on my next warp!

Posted on Thu, 01/03/2013 - 22:37

If you want to wind on a conventional warp, you may be able to slip a steel rod or a wooden dowel (available at your local hardware store) through the rings on the ends of your section cords.  As long as it doesn't land on the section dividers when the cords are wound onto the beam, a rod will work just fine.  Spread the warp in a raddle or push the looped end through the reed.  Then run the rod through the loops and wind on.  If you want to be sure and get it right, put the correct number of loops between each of your section dividers for a nice even warp.   

Posted on Tue, 07/09/2019 - 11:41

I have a Macomber loom with a sectional beam in the lower position and use a warping wheel to wind on.  Can anyone suggest a clever idea for how to get all the wound sectional bouts up and over the back beam to get ready for threading? I have done it, but my method is a chore.  I’m sure someone has figured out an elegant method and I would greatly appreciate any suggestions.

Posted on Tue, 07/16/2019 - 22:52

If the loom is big enough that I can't just grab them in two hands and pull them over, like the Kebec, I tape them to a lease stick and pull the stick over  the beam.  They already have the piece of tape on them that held the end of the section in place, so I stick that to the stick.