I only warp front to back. I prefer to fold my back beam all the way IN instead of lowering it. That gives me something to lean on while I thread my heddles.
Cheryl and I warp BTF. When she is dressing her loom I hold the warp and apply tension. We can put on a 17 yarn (max on her warping board) warp in 20 mins. She can then slay the heddles and reed. Put on a short warp and try both to see which one you like best. Remenber to put DH to work helping you dress your loom.
I learned with the front to back method and for my first two looms that was satisfactory but not easy on the back. I confess I was a little scared to change from what I knew. But....
Once I got my Macomber I decided to try the back to front method. I am hooked. I feel like there is less stress on the yarn and less tangling.
I used to get my husband to help with the warping because I couldn't wind on and untangle at the same time.
Now I put a rod through the loop at the cross, put the raddle in and the lease sticks and start winding on. I attach some half filled gallon milk jugs to the warp and drag them across the floor for tension. The tension never varies and I don't have any tangling! Then I can just lower the front beam, thread the heddles, sley the reed, tie on and BAM! I'm weaving! Bliss!
done back to front and with getting my DH to hold the warp for tension lately, I am able to get it on pretty quickly. I fold the front beam closed and use it for support when I thread the heddles and sley the reed. After I get the warp beamed, I love the rest of the process. As I get better at threading correctly, I am having fun. I still have not done a LARGE warp, like Cheryl, but for me, I am happy.
Like everything else the more you do it the better you get. This is why Cheryl has her students dress their looms with short warps. Practice, practice and practice some more. A trick for slaying the heddles & reed. Have check points, If you know that every 10/20 epi should be on a nr.1 shaft. When you get to the end of that group it should be on the nr. 1 shaft. If not stop and check that group. This will save you a lot of headaches when you start to weave.
Back to front, hands down. I warp alone, use weights to keep warp tension while winding on, as well as tugs from side to side (alternating). Perfect warp each time. Most important to find a comfortable height chair to use while threading. I suspend the lease sticks behind the heddles, using a hanging device I manufactured from coat hangers.
Another convert to back to front. I drop the front beam and sit inside the loom, very close to the heddles. I also fold the back beam in close to the castle so I don't have to stretch too far to get the threads - tying the beam to the castle for security. I'd emailed Sarah Haskell at "Macomber Looms and Me" and she refered me to a great photo of Harriet Tidball warping that way. No more warping contortions for this old gal.
I love warping back to front in the same manner as Vicki. The raddle is crucial for me when doing loom-width (35") warps. I'd love to have info from someone who has used both backbeams warping doubleweave or differing front/back colors.
Macomber group. Somewhere here is a picture of a Mac setup to use two warp beams. Then using both warp beams you use a separate back beam for each (see the picture) (maybe Connie remembers where it is) The top warp beam goes over the main bar and the lower warp beam goes over the extra bar. What brakes does your warp beams have? You can also get different front and back colors using one beam. I am haveing a senior moment. Tell the dog to have one for me, today is my 68th birthday. Sue you can see a two color dish towel here
I have figured out how to move the front beam in closer to the heddles, but, for the life of me I cannot figure how to drop the front beam. Can someone please explain, or post pictures of it dropped? It probably is something really easy, and I'll feel dumb when I finally figure it out.
You can drop the front beam with the beater in place. Remove the heel rest and turn the brackets up. Loose the two metal bars on either side and lift up. Lower the beater and the back beam. You can lower the front beam even when the loom is dressed, just release the cloth ratch or the back brake or both.
I have a B5 C loom (8-10H) with one brake and metal cable ending in S-hooks on each beam. There is one S-hook for attachment at the top for both beams to connect to (one hooks into the other, I presume). I've woven rep & summer/winter using different colors the usual way, but think it would be fun to warp the beams separately instead of having to figure in the color repetitions for both in one warp - more ways to play! And since I can't find directions in any of my weaving books, I'm guessing other folks would find this useful, too.
If you will type supplemental in the search engine on the top right. You will get some information. Or ask your question in the Weave forum. Does your loom have two friction brakes?
Yup. Two friction brakes (one on each beam) with only one release pedal, so I guess everything must move together (makes sense). I think writing about the setup is a lot harder than the actual task. I'm going to just throw myself in there & try a small project and let you'all know what happens.
recommends when using two beams at the same time one be a ratch brake to have better control of the tension. Try it what can it hurt.
I'm a sectional warp (back to front) woman. For longer warps I use spool rack & tension box, but even for shorter warps I use a chained warp throught the tension box onto the sectional beam. If I need warp on the other beam, I thread the loom like normal, crank the warp onto the cloth beam and back again. Because of where my loom is located, I do not have the space either in front or in back of the loom to do it any other way. I warp alone, and the tension is generally perfect.
On my smaller, portable floor loom I warp front to back, using gallon jugs as weights on the ends of each groups of warps. The tension is also quite good, but it takes me about twice as long per thread to thread front to back as it does back to front on the Macomber. Likewise, the height on the Macomber is ergonomically correct for a 5'7" person on a low stool, whereas I've never warped another loom straight through without a back ache.
Welcome to the Macomber group. I hope you have been getting enough rain for your pasture. My pastures here in my part of Georgia are very dry. Too hot and dry too dry soon.