Hi Folks,

In December I bought a lovingly cared for, used Macomber B5 (10h/16t) from an elderly lady who was moving.   When we went to collect the loom, the lady’s son had already done most of the disassembling.  My hubby and a friend helped him carry all the bits out to the U-haul with the sole instruction that the harnesses had to go back in a particular order.  They were numbered 1-10 on bits of tape and the guys were absolutely sure that #10 went at the front of the loom and #1 was at the back.  All that is duly done, everything is back in place, but there is a tremendous rake to the way the harnesses sit, highest at front and lowest at back. 

Being the kind of person who’s prone to jumping in without knowing how deep the water is, I wound, sleyed, threaded, tied on and tied up.  Oh my.  The warp dips sharply down in the middle where it goes through the heddles and rises to both the back and breast beams.  I get a wonderful shed between the beater and the heddles and virtually nothing between the beater and breast beam.

I know I have to have committed a major clottery somewhere, but I just can't see where.  Can anyone help me out?

Best wishes,






If you could post a photo of your loom as it exists now maybe someone can help you with an "aha" moment.  In the meantime, check on this website for some Macomber photos, maybe you'll see something there.



Michael White

Jeannie, I have 4, B4 Macombers. So I am not going to try an answer your question on a B5. But I am certain all the frames would all be level when lifted. At rest the frames will slop. You can see a picture of a B5 here: http://weavolution.com/loom/macomber-b5-large-mac you can click on the picture to enlarge it.

Here is Sarah Haskell email [email protected] she is Macombers Rep, the web site is http://macomberloomsandme.blogspot.com/

The only thing that is different from one large Macomber to the next really is the jacks. Each heddle has a different jack.(all the heddles are the same, it makes no different which one go where, it is all in the jacks) This is done because of the way the treadles hang. The front jack has a hole near the end, each one then moves 1/4 inch in. This is a start, count the number of chain loops everyone should be the same. On a jack loom you will get a dip of the warp yarn, on the Macomber it is almost a 1/2 inch. Cheryl did not like that much dip so I remove one chain loom. Final note: check the hole in the jack. Did you remove the jacks??


Jeannie (not verified)

Thanks for the replies.  Sarah Haskell, lucky woman, is still on the high seas and won't be home until late March~

Deb, I have taken some photos and if the suggested solutions don't work, I'll post a couple.

Michael, I checked the jacks and they are they way you've described.  Fortunately they weren't part of the disassembly that was done to move the loom.  Peg Cherre suggested looking at the how the beater was set and perhaps adjusting the little iron swivel brackets at the base and well as maybe moving to the other slot on the beater support.  If that doesn't do it, my husband will take a chain link out.  By the way, I saw the photo of Cheryl's transparencies - astoundingly beautiful.

All the best,


Michael White

Jeannie, You can adjust the beater cam, to adjust the shed. But this will not solve the different in the heddle height. Try this remove all the lamm clips going to the treadles and let the treadles sit on the floor. Are all the lamms level? The heddles will slop when at rest. Do all your warp threads sit on the bottom of the reed/beater? We will keep working on this untill we get you adjusted. Where do you live? Thanks for the nice comments on Cheryl's transparencies, I think she is going to work on some flowers w/ dragon flies transparency this Spring.


Michael White

Jeannie, Let me understand. Are the heddles at different heights when the loom is at rest? Laurie I have to respectively disagree with you. The jacks are set on a ramp which allows the heddles to all come up to the same height. Jeannie here are some picture. The first one with the jacks has the front of the loom to the right. This is a 16 harness Mac. At rest the heddle frames will be level.

On this picture you can see a rubber bumper(White bar). On every Mac I have worked on this pad(2 one on each set of jacks) needed to be replaced.If one pad is damaged or missing it will cause the heddles to hang at different heights.



lkautio (not verified)

Michael, you are right, I stated it incorrectly.  I sold the loom and can't look at it now but what I recall is that when you press the treadle, the heddle eyes rake up from the front to the back to provide a clean shed.  That is, when the treadle is pressed the eyes are not all at the same height.  At rest there was a dip in the warp, and open, the warp threads formed a clean angle up.  It sounded to me as if Jeanie was not getting the clean upper shed but I think I misread her post as well.  That's what happens with a new puppy in the house and less than four hours sleep!

Laurie Autio

Michael White

Laurie, it sounds like that loom had the jacks put in wrong. On the Macomber each jack goes to a certain heddle bar (See the holes in the jacks in the posting above) The jacks sit on a ramp so when lifted all the eyes are level. The jack is the only part on the loom that is made different. I would love to see Macomber stamp a number on the jack when they drill out the "position" hole. Right now when I work on the jacks I have to measure the holes to see which one goes where. When I remove jacks I number them with a marker. All jack looms have a dip.

Have fun with your new puppy,


Michael White

Cheryl brought up this point, if this is a "add-a-harness" loom it may have been purchased as a 4 harness. And the rest added later. When I got Cheryl's 4 harness loom (add-a-harness) I contected Macomber and had a heart attack when I found out how much they wanted for one harness kit. Now, people sell add-a-harness kits on line. Which bring us back to the jacks. Say they had a 12 harness loom and converted it to 8 harness and sold the other four harness on line. Now you buy the four harness (9,10,11,12) and you place them in the (5,6,7,8,) slot. All four new harness will be higher them 1,2,3,4,. If you remove and/or add chain to correct this you will get a different shed. The way to correct this is to drill new holes (in the right place) in the jacks. Sorry got long winded. Can you take a picture of the jacks on your loom??


Jeannie (not verified)

Thanks, everyone, for your helpful comments.  It turned out to be a simple ID10T error - the beater cams were set too high and the beater was in the slot that also gave it the most height.  That completely distorted how the tread path was sitting.  Just to be certain, I un-threaded the heddles, un-sleyed the reed, and took down the treadle tie up.  Then I re-did the whole thing in a straight draw twill, one end per dent, and wove a few inches in tabby.  I got a good clean shed, so then did a tie-up to get a 'fancy' twill - still great.  I'm a really "happy chappy" now. Thanks again, to you each individually and to Weavolutionaries as a great group of people.  Jeannie

knitsew (not verified)

A few years ago - within the last 10 - I bought additional shafts for my Mac - 40" B5 -. The upper and lower lamms and the treadles and all connectors came with them. I had to tell Macomber which no. shafts I wanted and the upper lamms HAVE nos stamped in them. I have a beautiful shed BUT the shafts slope very gently to the floor - perhaps a total of 3.8 to 1/2 inch for the lot of 8. Great loom.

Michael White

Look at the pictures I posted above. The  heddle frames  slope  up from the front to the real. It you again look at the pictures you can see that the holes in the jacks move inward as the numbers go up. Jeannie who started this posting with the same problem. Read the above posting and let us know how everything turns out.


Michael White

Let me clarify something about the height of the heddles frames.This comes from the Macomber manual: "The mechanism is so designed that the back harnesses rise and drop more than the front, keeping the upper shed line even and clear and maintaining an even tension on the warp threads in both upper and lower positions."

Note: If you use the new (super hooks) and the old hooks mixed together the height of the heddle frames will raise to different heights.


I'm having a similar problem on my inherited Macomber where my frames aren't at the same height while at rest. 1 and 4 pull up higher than 2 and 3, and when I look at the jacks on the bottom it seems like the joints are perhaps looser and don't want to hold as tight of an angle? I didn't see anything I could tighten so I'm perplexed on how to fix. Any advice would be welcome!