New to Macomber, need advice

I am an elated owner of a used Macomber ad-a-harness B5 loom. The loom was used for many years by the original owner but following her death it was left for more than 10 years in a room gathering dust. The family recalls the original owner purchased the loom some time between 1968-1972. The loom has 16 harness and 48" weaving width. The loom was partially dismantled and the treadle hooks disconnected. I am not familiar with this type of loom, as my previous experience is with 8 harness table loom. I am eager to learn from experienced weavers.

I have not been able to locate a manual for this loom. In searching the Internet, I did see on Sarah Haskell's blog that she intended to publish a manual in PDF but could not find it on the blog site. Sarah noted on her blog that as of August 1 she is focusing more o. Her global peace project and is on sabbatical as a sales rep for Macomber.

I am looking for information on cleaning the loom, ensuring all parts are present, or in need of repair or replacement, and any information and advice that you think helpful to an eager, serious learner-weaver.

Thank you, Robin S

Comments

Posted on Sun, 08/28/2011 - 13:40

There is no "real" Macomber manual on the operation of the loom. You can find the answers to all your questions here and on the Macomber group on Ravelry. You could read the posting here or try using the search (upper right) I also have two papers on loom care (wood/metal) which I can email you. Sent me a PM with your email address.

Michael

 

Posted on Sun, 08/28/2011 - 21:19

Why don't you send photos of anything about which you might have questions to this group?  Besides the wood/metal major parts Michael mentions above, there are some obvious things to check:

  1. the felt or rubber at the back of the beater -- should be "robust"
  2. apron strings on cloth and warp beams
  3. rubber under the jacks on the top of the loom
  4. rust on reeds and heddle bars.

The treddle hooks are not a big deal.  I redo mine every time I warp.  If you don't have enough (some network drafting tie-ups can use 160 or more) Macomber will gladly sell you more.  Ditto for all of the above, although I would hate to have to replace a reed due to rust -- weaving with a dark warp works better than naval jelly and a brush.

Once we identify beam and brake types, we can help you with warping, etc.

The one word of caution I would offer is to be gentle and cautious.  You can easily shred the warp by overtensioning.  You can crush someone's hand if they stick it in front of the beater at the wrong time.  Especially when tyeing up the treddles to the lamms, stick a shuttle or two under the shaft you're tying up so it won't fall, because if the lamm depressor slips you can at best hurt and at worst break or (I fear) sever a finger if caught in the wrong place.

Going from a table loom to that type of Macomber is like going from a pony to a 17.2 hh Oldenburg or Hanoverian -- the forces involved may be similar in principle, but incomparably different in magnitude.

Posted on Sun, 08/28/2011 - 22:54

Check out Connie's thread on her beautiful restoration effort. I'm in the process of cleaning up a 48" 8-shaft built in 1967, and I've found her thread very helpful.

http://weavolution.com/group/macomber-owners/restoration-questions-resul...

I don't have a lot of photos up of my loom yet, but you are welcome to check them out. I'm adding as I go.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/13618079@N06/sets/72157627353141731/

 

Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 12:06

Hi,

I'm new to this forum, joining up after reading Robin's query.  I will follow this thread with interest as I too am new to this loom and was also going to ask about an instruction manual.  I'm also new to weaving so it's going to be a challenge for me but I'm keen to learn.  My loom looks to be in excellent condition so my main question is how to set up the warp.

Posted on Thu, 10/06/2011 - 18:37

Hi, our guild has just been lucky enough to be gifted a Macomber Add - a Harness Loom.

B-4 serial # 4932.  This loom was disassembled and when we recieved it.  I think we have the basics figured out but there are a few parts that we are not familiar with.  Can anyone explain these Parts?  Also is there an easy way to add the bottom harness lifters.

IMG_0281
 

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Posted on Fri, 10/07/2011 - 13:51

Your pictures are small, so it's hard to tell some of them. The far left one is the bar that pushes the lams down for doing tie-ups. You slide that silver metal piece onto the bar when you want to push down the lam. I took a picture of mine, in case that helps. You can see it in my flickr gallery. There should be two pics (front and back), but Flickr is being weird.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/13618079@N06/sets/72157627353141731/

The stair step thing is for holding down the brake pedal while warping. I'm not sure what the question is for the 4th picture.

Posted on Fri, 10/07/2011 - 19:10

I looked at your pictures,Kiiki are you missing the parts for the lamm depresser or are they being cleaned. You can see pictures of a depresser here http://weavolution.com/group/macomber-looms/question-about-hooking-treadles-17541 posting # 5

Darlene, Like Kiiki stated the step piece sits on top of the brake petal and locks the brake open.

The last questions. Are you talking about the lamms?

Michael

 

 

  

Posted on Sat, 10/08/2011 - 12:50

is used to lock the treadle in the down position. I guess you could make one out of a clothes hanger.

Posted on Sat, 10/08/2011 - 15:55

I'm actually wondering if it ever had it. There's no evidence that it was there. No hook for it, and the hole closest to the bar looks untouched--no markings to suggest anything was in it. Interesting.

Posted on Thu, 10/20/2011 - 21:45

My lamm depressor has one of the treadle hooks in that hole.  (The short kind, not the "super" hook).  It works fine. 

Posted on Tue, 10/25/2011 - 19:48

When I switched to super hooks (with a new loom that only took that kind), I kept a couple of the older short treadle hooks for just that reason.  Now I have a couple on back up incase I need to replace them.

Posted on Mon, 10/31/2011 - 20:26

You can also make heddle hooks, either the hook-in or super hook type, pretty easily with scrap wire and a pair of pliers.  Stiff wire hangers are a perfect source of the right guage wire. 

Posted on Mon, 10/31/2011 - 23:11

I've found that the wire for hanging suspended ceilings is the same gauge   and cheap. I don't have many wire hangers "hanging" around.

Posted on Fri, 11/04/2011 - 18:59

I too am new to weaving.  I have knitted and crocheted for a number of years, but always wanted to try weaving.  My son found and bought me a Macomber loom at an auction (yay me!)  After searching for info on weaving and/or Macombers I found this group.  New weavers, experienced weavers, Macomber owners - how cool is that? Happy to be here. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to read all of the old posts to see what I can learn.

Posted on Mon, 11/07/2011 - 00:54

Welcome to the Macomber group.
Michael

Posted on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 09:30

I'm looking at a Malcomber that's sat in a basement for 40 yrs.  I like that it has 8 harnesses & comes appart.  It needs a new reed & some repair on the back (don't know the term) cable pulley for winding up the back spool that the warp is wound on.  It has a 40" reed that needs replacing.  It is very dirty.  It is a B5 type.  Don't know what else needs fixing.  We have NO IDEA of a price.

Now I have a Kessenich 4 harness cherry(?) sectional beam loom.  I bought it without knowing anything about the sectional beam looms & never used it.  Actually I'm afraid of it.  It is much sturdier looking, beautiful cherry wood & has a casing that holds the harness frames. 

Now my question to you, if you don't mind, is the Macomber 8 harness a better loom that the Kesenich 4 harness?  I live in the Milwaukee area, where the Kessenichs were made, & far away from the east coast,  where the Macombers are made & serviced.  I don't have an idea what either loom is worth.  This is probably the biggest problem.  I just joined this group & need to decide right away, before it gets away.

Posted on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 21:22

RobinS: I would email Sarah Haskell.  She has a lot more scanned pages than are readily available on the weblog, and she is friendly and helpful.  She is bound to have an illustrated set of assembly instructions somewhere, or know someone who does.

Posted on Tue, 07/05/2016 - 13:09

I recently purchased an 8 shaft 10 treadle B5 Macomber from the family of a deceased weaver.  He had woven on the loom for years.  I think it originally belonged o his father.  All is well except for a slipping problem with the back brake.  Any advice would be much appreciated as I have a lovely warp begging to be woven.  

Posted on Tue, 07/05/2016 - 13:12

I recently purchased an 8 shaft 10 treadle B5 Macomber from the family of a deceased weaver.  He had woven on the loom for years.  I think it originally belonged o his father.  All is well except for a slipping problem with the back brake.  Any advice would be much appreciated as I have a lovely warp begging to be woven.  

Posted on Tue, 07/05/2016 - 13:14

I recently purchased an 8 shaft 10 treadle B5 Macomber from the family of a deceased weaver.  He had woven on the loom for years.  I think it originally belonged o his father.  All is well except for a slipping problem with the back brake.  Any advice would be much appreciated as I have a lovely warp begging to be woven.  

Posted on Thu, 07/07/2016 - 11:57

There is a nut/bolt under the arm that the cable go to. You need to tighten the bolt and the nut. See if this works.

    

Michael

Posted on Mon, 02/06/2017 - 21:55

I just bought an 8 harness Macomber,  48" . I managed to reassemble it today, but can't figure out how or where to attach the counter for the warp beam. Anyone know?

I also wondered if there is an easy method to attach the lams to the treadles, changing tie ups seems difficult. I don't have a lamm depresser.  Can I get one from Macomber? 

Posted on Mon, 02/06/2017 - 21:55

I just bought an 8 harness Macomber,  48" . I managed to reassemble it today, but can't figure out how or where to attach the counter for the warp beam. Anyone know?

I also wondered if there is an easy method to attach the lams to the treadles, changing tie ups seems difficult. I don't have a lamm depresser.  Can I get one from Macomber? 

Posted on Mon, 02/06/2017 - 21:58

I just bought an 8 harness Macomber,  48" . I managed to reassemble it today, but can't figure out how or where to attach the counter for the warp beam. Anyone know?

I also wondered if there is an easy method to attach the lams to the treadles, changing tie ups seems difficult. I don't have a lamm depresser.  Can I get one from Macomber? 

Posted on Tue, 02/07/2017 - 11:59

Yes you can purchase one from Macomber. Not certain what counter you have a picture would help. The loom will work without it.

Posted on Sat, 08/01/2020 - 00:04

<p>I inherited a Macomber loom that has been in storage for a long time. I&#39;ve cleaned it up and would like to try using it but it is different from my Schact looms. First there are chords connected to the front and back beams that are rotted and broken. Is there a way to replace them?They are stalled to the beams. Also what are the legs that are in the beams for? I&#39;m my Schact loom you wind a thin piece of cardboard between wraps of the warp. These legs would prevent you from doing this. I would appreciate any help I could get. Thanks</p>

Posted on Sat, 08/01/2020 - 00:31

<p>I inherited a Macomber loom that has been in storage for a long time. I&#39;ve cleaned it up and would like to try using it but it is different from my Schact looms. First there are chords connected to the front and back beams that are rotted and broken. Is there a way to replace them?They are stalled to the beams. Also what are the legs that are in the beams for? I&#39;m my Schact loom you wind a thin piece of cardboard between wraps of the warp. These legs would prevent you from doing this. I would appreciate any help I could get. Thanks</p>

Posted on Sun, 08/02/2020 - 03:21

You can replace the cords on the beams.  Take a good look at how they are attached.  Not sure what you mean by "Stalled", which means to stop. You can use the same method or staple them to the beam.  Your "Legs" are the dividers in your sectional beam.  Most looms, including Schact, can have sectional beams.  Look for information on how to use a sectional beam, it is faster, easier and allows for a longer warp, but takes some additional equipment.