Welcome to the Macomber loom group site

I have been asked to form this group. Cheryl my wife of 33 years and I own, at this time, 4 Macomber looms. A 48 inch 4H (soon to be a 8H) this is Cheryl's workhorse, a 56 inch, 16H, a 56 inch 8H and a 48 inch 4H. The last two are being restored and will be sold. We also own a Newcomb studio loom and a copy of a Harrisville 22 inch 4h loom which I built in 1984. Since we are down sizing the Newcome loom will also be sold. Cheryl has been weaving on the Newcomb loom for 28 years but has since fallen in love with her Macomber looms. You can post your question here for everyone to see or you can IM me or sent me a email at whpenfield at hotmail.com




Posted on Fri, 02/25/2011 - 20:29

Thanks for starting this group Michael.  I got my Macomber a few months ago and love the loom.  I have a 4H/6T but plan to increase to the full 16H over the next few years.  It is a great loom to weave on and I can't see myself looking for anything different.  I may look for a portable Mac eventually thought LOL



Posted on Fri, 02/25/2011 - 21:07

Don't have one, yet, but I'm hunting for one!

This list is great. Thanks, Michael, for all your help so far!

On my wish list is a 40 or 48" with 16H or one with the room to expand to 16.

Connie in Ohio

Posted on Sat, 02/26/2011 - 15:39

Good morning Michael-

I have a Macomber B4-D and yes, it can hold 16 harnesses when full.  It is 48" weaving width and it has 4H/6T right now.  I got it on an unbelieveable deal a few months ago and love the loom.  It is so great to weave on and as a new weaver, I know I can really grow into this loom.  I did post a picture of it here on Weavolution.



Posted on Sat, 02/26/2011 - 15:53

Rena can you measure the space where the jacks are?



Posted on Sat, 02/26/2011 - 17:44

I measured the castle.  It is 9 3/4" across and the interior opening is 8". There are slots for all 16 harnesses.

Hope this helps.


Posted on Sat, 02/26/2011 - 18:49

who bought that Macomber from Durham, NC that had been advertised for so long?  I just realized that that sort of loom could be used for the harnesses it had to upgrade mine at a much more economical price.  When I finally realized this (thank you Connie), and emailed, it was recently sold.  Are you the people that decided to buy and rehab it?



Posted on Sun, 02/27/2011 - 02:09

Sorry Rena it was not Connie that got that loom it was me. I did the same thing. I removed four frames to add to Cheryl's 4H 48" loom making it 8H. I think I have some one that wants to purchase the loom and turn it into a 16H loom if the information from you is correct. I will check on this. To see the story of picking up this loom go here http://weavolution.com/forum/chat/my-corner-world-february-2011-16898 post # 26 and pictures of the loom at # 48


Posted on Sun, 02/27/2011 - 21:24

extra harnesses that might be available for purchase?  Just asking.  I am looking to add 4 harnesses by the end of this year.



Posted on Mon, 02/28/2011 - 00:57

Rena, If you have a 8 inch opening it should take 16 harness. Check one thing for me. The lam spacer, count the number of slots in it. If you have 16, yes. you are good to go. Everything on the Macomber is the same except the jacks. Depending on the shaft number the hole on the jack are different. But if you get a other 4H loom you can drill new holes to make a 1, 2, 3, 4, fit a 5, 6, 7, 8, slot. or for that matter a 1 can be come a 16. Does this make sense to you?


Posted on Mon, 02/28/2011 - 01:18

will take a total of 16 harnesses.  I just went and counted and there are a total of 12 more slots available. So if I understand you right, I need to look for a loom that will hold 16 but is being sold cheap and look for harnesses and jacks 5-16.  Not likely but worth the thought.

Posted on Mon, 02/28/2011 - 01:28

No, you can use the jacks from any 48 inch B4D loom. You will just have to drill holes in the jacks. See attached picture. Note how the holes in the jacks move. Right side is the front.


Posted on Mon, 02/28/2011 - 14:52

I'm Debbie, and I have a 32" 10H 14T Macomber B5. I got my loom used, and love weaving on it. I have some issues with it - some of the metal rods that go from the jacks to the lamms are bent (I'm not sure what if any difference that makes), and it throws tie-up rods with wild abandon when I use more than 4 shafts - but it's a wonderful sturdy loom. I've just ordered a Texsolv tie-up kit to convert it so that I don't have the thrown tie-up rod issue anymore.

Happy Weaving!


Posted on Mon, 02/28/2011 - 15:53

Debbie, are you using the rods that go over the top of the lamms or the ones that go into the holes? On the ones with the holes, over time the hole gets enlarged and they will jump out. Using the new "super" rods help. The jack rods can be bent if you are having an issue with frames not lifting right. Other then that I think all the rods bend a little.

Posted on Mon, 02/28/2011 - 16:55

I have both styles of rods. The ones that go in the lamms jump out, and the ones that fit over the top fly off. I don't let my treadles pop back up, but rather ride them up a little, and I still lose rods. I've been so frustrated with the whole system that I spent the money for the texsolv kit, and I'm going to convert it this week. I'll report on how that goes.

Thanks for the info regarding the jack rods - I was concerned about whether I should try to adjust them myself or not. I do have issues with frames sticking from time to time, and the bent rods might be the problem.

Posted on Mon, 02/28/2011 - 18:20

The frame sticking and the jumping can all be part of the same problem. A dirty slot in the treadles. What happens is the rod stick which causes the frames to stick or to move together. This also causes the rods (which are not moving freely) to jump off. You can clean this slot with folded sandpaper or a small file. Sarah (Macomber's sales rep) recommends using a silicone spray. I do not recommend using silicone anywhere on a loom because it makes it impossible to refinish the wood on top of silicone. I would just clean out the slot and leave it dry. You can try this before replaceing the rods with texsolv. Super rod are $1.00 each. Macomber recommends not mixing old and new.


Posted on Wed, 03/16/2011 - 19:02

I currently have a 40" 16 shaft Macomber (my Big Mac) and a 20" 6 shaft folding Macomber (my Baby Mac).  My original Macomber was purchased new about 35 years ago (48" 8 shaft).  I upgraded it to 10 shafts about 10 years later.  I found a used (from original owner) 40" with 8 shafts and a 16 shaft frame and purchased that about 15 years ago and sold the original 48".  I upgraded to the 16 shafts and then 5 years ago added a second warp beam. 

My Baby Mac was purchased used from a weaver down sizing and I have used it both for weaving at home and traveling for demonstrations and workshops. 

I love my Macombers.  My biggest worry is not being able to lift those 16 shafts as I get older.  I think of it as my "step-machine" now when I weave.

Posted on Wed, 03/16/2011 - 19:23

Yes, the Macomber is a stepping motion. I have found that my back doesn't hurt when weaving on May Belle. The Bernat I had would make my hips and lower back hurt and I could only weave for a short time. I use a swivel secretary's chair to weave with and I have it up high enough that I can just press down with my leg to raise the shafts. Between that and being able to advance the warp without getting up, I find I can weave for a long stretch before I realize it. I like to weave with the Weather Channel on: pretty music, repititous friendly voices, and every 8 minutes you can check your progress.

Vicki Allen

Posted on Wed, 03/16/2011 - 22:00

Argh! You have my dream loom! lol I've been hunting high and low for a 40" 16H Macomber. I did buy a 32" 12H that I've just recently finished refurbishing. Haven't gotten it from the garage and ustairs yet. I'm really excited to get it warped.

If you know of or see another 40" 16H for sale, let me know, please! (even if it is less harnesses but able to add up to 16 like you did.)

Best wishes,

Posted on Wed, 03/16/2011 - 22:32

Missed it by ***that*** much. (Anybody remember Maxwell Smart?)

Posted on Thu, 03/17/2011 - 01:13

I am old enough to remember Maxwell Smart. I remember agent 99 more, great body.

Deanna, A 40" 16H is a step machine. A 16h 56" is a leg killer according to Cheryl. But the cloth patterns you get from a 16H loom is worth the work out. I just need to work on my counter weight system to make treadling easyer.




Posted on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 01:41

mmrudy, Spindledreams, Penn and deepend to the Macomber group.


Posted on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 02:54

Amazing how fast the membership is growing. But with thousands of these looms out there, it really isn't all that surprising, I suppose.


Posted on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 18:29

I'm so glad to see a forum for Macomber looms. I have three, and am ashamed to say none is in operating condition.

Here's the inventory, in order of purchase:

1. 40", at harness capacity with 8H, 12T and room for 4 more, so it's potentially an 8H/16T loom.

I bought it because it was very cheap and was advertised as a 48". Picked it up in pieces from a dark garage in RI after a 400-mile drive in an F150, and didn't discover the measuring mistake until unloading it 2 days later.

A weaving pro had told me that the 40" loom had bad brakes, something about things spinning and losing tension on the warp when you advanced it. Said you had to get the 48" or wider loom to avoid it. It wasn't until recently that I learned that you just have to release the cloth tension before releasing the tension on the warp to avoid that problem. Wish I'd known that before I bought #2.

#2, 48" w/8H and room for 8 more, 16T installed, plain and sectional beams, and all the cranks and hardware and heddles it needs. In good condition, just in want of some cleaning and polishing (and un-sticking one stubborn lamm), plus a place to live year-round, since the room I planned to put it in just wasn't big enough.

After dealing with a few years of life crises and illnesses and no weaving, I wanted to get back to it, but rotator cuff problems weren't making wide looms appealing. I decided to get a narrower one, give it my best shot, and if I couldn't weave without pain, sell them all. So last fall, I got #3.

#3, 24" B5-A, at its capacity of 8H/10T. It's the smallest of the regular Macs and is a lot heavier than the 24" Baby Mac. Frame is sound and all parts are there, but it's been badly neglected and needs deep cleaning, refinishing, metal treatment, etc.

I plan to start work on #3 later this month or in May, when the weather finally turns warm. As soon as it's done, I'll start weaving!

Posted on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 20:57

Welcome to the group!

I sure hope you're able to use the small one. I just refurbished my 32" and am installing the new aprons today!

There is a lot of info over on the "Refurbish" thread that might be helpful to you.


Posted on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 22:47

I never saw anyone as happy about getting aprons as you were today. :-)

You and Michael are very inspiring when it comes to the hard labor of sprucing up these looms. It's especially helpful to hear about alternative ways to clean and finish the metal and wood. I'm committed to getting the little one fixed up and starting to weave again, I just want to do it when I can work in the garage without freezing.

I'm looking forward to hearing how things go when you attach the aprons, and what you plan to warp up for your maiden project.

See you on the Refubish thread!
- Penn

Posted on Sun, 04/03/2011 - 00:01

It sounds like you have your hands full of Macombers. yes, the wide looms can be a killer with out a (brain fart) fly shuttle (I had to go look it up). You could hire Connie to redo your loom. I am going to call her Mrs. Clean. When in a motel my mother-in-law makes the bed before the maid comes to change the sheets. She is the only person I know that wears out vacuum cleaners.

We all have all been following the adventures of Mrs. Clean, aka Connie (g) right now I would guess she is working on her new aprons and will have that loom dressed tomorrow.

Penn again wecome to the group and we all look forward to reading about your work on the looms. What part of PA?


Posted on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 03:11

I had to laugh about your name for Connie, but the photos of her renovated loom are proof that perfectionism sometimes pays off. It's just gorgeous.
I'm looking forward to working on my little loom. There's nothing like taking something apart and cleaning and refurbing it to make it yours, and it'll also help me understand exactly how it works.
I was downstairs looking at it tonight, and have a question. I think Connie left the rod in place that holds the treadles and worked around it, but I'd love to get it off my loom so I can remove all the corrosion and get the treadles completely cleaned and refinished. The couple who sold it to me tried to do that to fit it in my car better, but had no luck. (We had to knock the bottom of the tool tray out so I could see in the rear-view mirror for the 200+ drive home, so I need to replace that.) Back to the treadle rod, any tips on dislodging it would be welcome. I was planning to get a giant nailset and use my little sledgehammer to whack the daylights out of it until it starts coming free, but there may be a better way. ;)
Before I forget, I'm in central PA, north of Harrisburg. Temps may hit 70 tomorrow!
- Penn (HTML tags don't seem to work)

Posted on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 12:37

Penn, the key to removing the rod is to lubricate it with a spray lub before starting. Start by removing the set screws in the little locks on the rod. Get a long 1/4" drift punch and not a nailset. Used this punch to drive out the rod, it should move easy. If not check to be certain you have gotten all the set screws removed. Once you can, use a small wooden block and a hammer to drive the rod out. DO NOT use the hammer on the end of the rod. You will flatten the end and make it harder to reinstall. What loom are you working on?


Posted on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 16:55

I'll be working first on the 24" Mac, which is a scaled-down version of the bigger looms, not the portable "baby mac" (CP) model. It's in the worst shape of the three of them, but I want to start using it first.

I didn't know there were set screws on the treadle rod. I never heard of drift punches, but now I know. I'll use PB Blaster as the lube unless you have a suggestion for something better.

I've been avoiding work on this loom because of my knees, but I just realized I can plunk the whole thing on a big work table and won't have to kneel/sit on the floor. Might as well save the joints for the tieups to come!

- Penn

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 01:15

Let be know if you run into trouble.


Posted on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 01:10

we paid for that 86f (33c) day this past Sunday with tornados and 100mph + straight winds Monday night. Here in Georgia there are lots of trees down and 4 people dead. We lost power around 11:30 pm on Monday and got the power restored at 3:00pm this afternoon. Trees down everywhere in the county. Luckily I had cut down two dead trees on the side of the house this winter and the power company cut down a very large pin oak (half dead) in the front of the house this summer. We are all well and I will spent the day tomorrow cleaning up in the kitchen. Cheryl never missed a beat, she woven four scarfs. Something about a "foot/hand" powered loom.

Posted on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 01:58

Wow! So glad you and Cheryl are ok. I didn't even hear about tornadoes in GA.

I thought you were pretty quiet. Now we know why!

Posted on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 03:53

I live in Washington state north of Seattle.  Michael, I flew into Atlanta a few months back for some training in Alabama and while I enjoyed the education I was won over by the hospitality.  I hope to return some day for a more leasurely visit just not in tornado season!


Posted on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 13:51

I can't even imagine what a tornado would be like, we don't have a lot of natural disasters here in the pacific NW other than an occasional earthquake, some rivers tend to run over a bit and of coarse lots of liquid sunshine but nothing like hurricanes and tornados. 


Posted on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 14:14

Hello, just joined the group the other day.

I am Elaine, from Charlestown, Indiana, which is just across the river from Louisville, KY. I lucked onto a 40" B5 a couple of years ago for $600. I am only a sporadic weaver, though everytime I get the loom warped, I just love weaving. I just can't stop until the warp is all used up! Then I struggle with figuring out what the next warp should be and get all bogged down.

I've owned some other looms over the years, but only 4 harness. So when I chanced upon the Mac with 10 harnesses, I was excited to expand. I am extremely pleased with the way the Mac weaves and absolutely love it.

Thanks for the welcome to the group, Michael.


Posted on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 15:28

Nice to have you here. Are you polishing up the glasses for next months big race?


Posted on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 16:55

Hi, I'm Keith, from Elgin, IL.  I'm a Lutheran pastor who weaves in his spare (yeah, right!) time...  I started weaving about 4 years ago while on my parish internship, and got hooked.  I've been weaving on a Harrisville Designs 36" 4H-4T, which was a good way to learn, but not terribly sturdy and limiting as far as shafts and treadles...plus, I made one rug on it and that was not a happy experience!  (Though I did get a sermon out of it.  :-) ) 

I've been looking for a larger loom for a couple of years now, and just this week found a Macomber B4 48" 8H-10T on Craigslist here in Chicago.  I learned from Macomber that it was built in March 1958 for the University of Oregon arts program...not sure how it made its way to the Midwest, but it has done both coasts and is now in the middle of the country--hopefully for a long time!

I'll be refurbishing it, though it's usable, so the info I've been gleaning on here has been helpful already!

I'll look forward to communicating with you all!



Posted on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 18:16

Way to go! I'm glad somebody got that loom.

Good luck with the refurb. If you have questions, just holler!

Posted on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 21:27

A lot of schools have been closing down their textile dept. and selling equipment. Last year universities it CA alone sold over 300 looms. Last week I posted a sale of (?) 15 looms in Ohio. Enjoy your loom we are here to answer any questions you have about your loom.


Posted on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 21:40

I know periwinkle (phyllis) is from MA. geri518 please tell us where you are from. Phyllis I enjoyed looking at your web site. You need to touch base with suzyhok here on weavo. She and her husband spend the winter in GA then sail back to upstate NY for the summer.