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 Sun, 04/10/2011 - 02:08

to the Macomber group. Looks like your hawk ate well. I guess you are going to have a "heat" wave up your way. But, it is still early enough for you to still get snow. Go figure.


Posted on Sun, 04/10/2011 - 15:18

Thank you for the welcome, Michael.  I'm in Maryland.  I have a 40" Macomber which which I bought in 1983 with four shafts and room for four more.  I have just recently begun weaving again, so far only on a table loom but I'm clearing out space to be able to use my Mac again and, hopefully, to finally add those last four shafts.  


Posted on Sat, 04/23/2011 - 20:04

to the Macomber group. Natural Fibres how is everything in Canada's Northwest territories? Vette67 please tell us where you are from.

Again welcome,


Posted on Mon, 04/25/2011 - 00:55

Moved from A IM posting with Organis1 permission:

I live in Alpena, Michigan on the shores of Northern Lake Huron which has yet to see Spring- 8 inches of heavy, wet snow yesterday.  After a long search, I finally found a 6 shaft Baby Mac in great working condition and just in need of cosmetic TLC. I'm very interested in the restoration posts of the group and am very impressed with the work of the members. My loom currently has a sectional warp beam which I would like to change out for a regular one. Lacking another beam,  conversion of the sectional beam would be my next alternative. Does anyone know if the metal pegs can be pulled out with pliers or is it necessary to take the arms off and remove them from the back? Any suggestions will be valued.

Thanks, Marion aka organist1 

Marion, I know all about your part of the country. Two years ago a purchased a used 56" 16H Macomber in Oct. from a lady in the Bay City area. I had her hold the loom to spring. We were going to go in early May but your weather was still cold so we went in June and the temp was still in the low 70s. I have a friend south of Lansing (who is a weaver), we started our trip to "Pure MI" there and when W to the lake then N then E to your lake then to Bay City and home. We drove in MI for 10 days.

To answer your question, yes the pins just pull out. You can use that beam (without the pins) as a plain beam. Just add strings or a apron.

Michael, Bay City is 140 miles South and about 2 weeks ahead of us in the coming of Spring, Lansing about 3 weeks. When Spring finally appears, we hear four little words in the weather report, "cooler near Lake Huron" which means as much as 10 degrees 8 miles inland. Yes, we get more than a little testy this time of year but in the Summer, we only usually have a few really very hot days. When can you safely plant a garden in Georgia?                                                                                                                                               Thanks for your help with the beam conversion. The pegs on the sectional beam pulled out with vise grips and I'm making the aprons today. I've also converted the tie up cords to texsolv with arrow pegs in the slots of the treadles which is how my friend's baby mac is set-up and I've been using for the last month. Kati is very inventive and has many useful ideas for efficient weaving.             

Cheers, Marion

Posted on Mon, 04/25/2011 - 01:05

Vjjleo, please tell us where you are from? Dizzyd I know you are from WI, I looked at your "new" weaving building (studio) a few months ago very, very nice.

Again welcome to the Macomber group,


Posted on Tue, 04/26/2011 - 20:10

to the Macomber group. 60 epi you must be doing some fine weaving in WV?

Again welcome,


Posted on Tue, 04/26/2011 - 20:09

The Macomber group. Please tell the group where you are from?

Thanks and wecome again,


Posted on Tue, 05/10/2011 - 22:46

the Macomber group. We know the folk school well. On the first week-end of Oct. they have (had) a craft festival. Cheryl and I did weaving demos there for 10 years. Say hello to Pam Howard. Tell her Cheryl didn't get "Gus" but she did get a 56" 16h Macomber.

Take care & enjoy the mountains.


Posted on Wed, 05/11/2011 - 23:33

I am new weaver from Winston Salem, NC.  My weaving instructor is loaning me her B4D Macomber.  The person she has sold it to cannot use it right now.  It is now in my house and I am starting the process of restoring it for use.  This group makes the project seem a little less scary.

Posted on Thu, 05/12/2011 - 00:16

You have found just the right place to get information on restoreing a Macomber loom. Have fun, we all look forward to seeing the loom when you are done.


Posted on Sat, 05/14/2011 - 00:42

My name is Robin.  

Today I put some of the info found on this site to good use working on the B4D.  I cleaned the wood then used Howard feed-n-wax.   Just getting all the dead spiders, their old webs, old sacs, yucky I don't-wanna-know things gone --- feels better already.  

The wood was so thirsty it absorbed the Howards with no need to wipe off.  Scary rust jobs are next.

Posted on Sat, 05/14/2011 - 12:19

Getting you loom cleaned up is a lot of hard work that you do with love and understanding that you are giving this loom a new life. We look forward to hearing about your journey.


Posted on Sun, 05/15/2011 - 19:13

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the welcome and for moving the post about the SFSU textile dept sale to obtain broader attention.  I live in San Francisco and have a Baby-Mac, 8-H that I bought from a professional weaver around 30 years ago.  She had purchased it from CCAC.  


Posted on Sun, 05/15/2011 - 20:56

Over the past year I have see over 200 looms being sold my CA schools as they close down their Textile programs. A lot of Macomber and other looms being sold cheap.


Posted on Wed, 05/18/2011 - 17:47

I had a 40" 4 shaft Macomber and sadly sold it a couple of years ago.  I currently have a 20" 8 shaft Baby Mac.  It was a rental/workshop loom at a guild so it's a little beaten up but works great.  The only problem I have is the back shafts sticking sometimes.  I know it has to do with which shafts are lifted together so I just need to put on a sampling warp and try to figure out where the problem is.  I'm sure it's nothing that can't be fixed!

Posted on Thu, 05/19/2011 - 01:54

I would start by giving your loom a good cleaning and a lub job.



Posted on Thu, 05/19/2011 - 02:25

There were 4 harnesses on ebay yesterday and the bids were at $38 can't locate it right now but I thought there was a few more days to go, also a 48" Mac in Utah with a starting bid of $100 and a buy it now of $400.

Posted on Thu, 05/19/2011 - 17:38

I did clean everything up on the loom, but I think maybe one or more of the lamms is a little bowed or something.  When I release the pedal, it comes down part way until the lamm is just above the others.  I then have to push down on the shaft to get it down the rest of the way.  I have a scarf warp on now and will really pay attention to what it's doing and write it down so I'll remember what to look at when I can take it apart.

Posted on Tue, 05/24/2011 - 17:08

I love my Macomber loom that I've dubbed Mab for the fairy queen. I rescued her from oblivion when Florida State University closed down their weaving program some years ago. When I got the loom at auction she had just 4 shafts but room for 10. Today she's fully rigged with 10 harnesses and 18 treadles (40" weaving width).

I'd really love two more harnesses and have wondered about the feasibility of changing out the castle to a 12-shaft one. But that feels a little like ripping the heart out of my dear old gal.

Comments? Suggestions?


Posted on Wed, 05/25/2011 - 21:43

It will take more then changing the castle. You would have to change the jacks rods, lamm rods, divider and guides. But it could be done.



Posted on Wed, 05/25/2011 - 19:30

That sounds like getting a whole new loom would make more sense. That's the sort of information I was looking for, Michael. Thanks.


Posted on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 15:43


I'm Marlene from soujthern oregon and I got my loom home yesterday. I have a 2 harness loaned to me to make some rugs on but I wanted a 4 so I started looking a few months ago.The new to me loom came from a local thrift shop and I got it very resonable.I will have to add a reed and a part on the front but I think it will all be great. It appears to be a 40 inch Macomber with 6 tredles and 4 harnesses in place. The finish is dry and the whole loom is dusty but not really dirty so she should be fine after a cleaning. There are two  metal hooks on the front of the legs. They look like they would hold a board or a rail along the bottom?

 What about instruction books? Are they available? I can not find a plate or lable on this loom either.

 Thanks so much for being here. I know I'll have lots of questions as I learn how to use this loom.


Posted on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 16:07

The brackets on the front legs of what looks like a Macomber are for a wooden bar that sits in the brackets.  The bar is a foot rest.  You have a choice of two positions for the bar, depending upon how close or far from the treadles you like to rest your feet.

Posted on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 17:26

Thanks so much Weaver/dyer. I had thought as much. On of the sides has a divider missing in the bracket so I may try and get that replaced.

 Now I need to learn how to attach the tredles. Was there an instruction page or shhet some where?

Back to looking for id  too.


Posted on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 22:12

From the front look on the left hand side of the upright and see if there are 2 holes, this is where the plate is/was.

Treadles-did you get some hooks with the loom?  They are about 5-6 inches long and bent on both ends made out of wire.  Basically one end hooks into the slot in the pedal that you want and the other end hooks into the holes in the bottom of the lamn.  If it doesn't have holes, in the lamm then you need what they call super hooks which slip over lamm.  (This will also give you a clue to the age of the loom - the newer looms don't have holes the older ones do)  You can buy the hooks for $1.00 a piece from Sarah who handles Macomber parts.  She can also help with the foot rest. I will put her website and contact info on the bottom.  I have one of my dividers missing on my 16 harness and I am still able to use the foot rest with no problem so try it first.

There is no booklet or instruction info which is of any use.  The one that came with the original looms assumed you knew how to weave-it is definitely not user friendly!!

Have fun, Macomber's are wonderful looms and the one you have is a real work-horse.  Mine was a gift after 25 years of weaving on another loom, and it was like going from a Ford to a Cadillac for me!!  If you need help this is a great group and over 100 people with Macomber looms!!  My husband who is the official group guru sends you a warm welcome.

Cheryl, www.handweaver.us


I looked at the pictured you posted under looms. You have a sectional beam on this loom.






Posted on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 23:12

Thanks so much! This is like a new Christmas toy in July with no instructions to put it together. Can you tell me how long the hook for the treadles should be? Yes there are holes in the bottom of the sheet that comes down when you raise a heddle.When the Lamas are pushed down. New word for me,lamas. I know so little and only about 2 harness looms so this will be slow but I can make hooks or have them made too. Today I looked at the livingroom where the other old loom sits and there will be room in there if I fold up the older one and put it aginst the wall. But first I am going to use up the WARP I worked so hard to put on it.I've done two rugs on this warp so it is getting short. Then to the new loom! It will be so much better. I have to wait for a reed  anyway unless I use the 6epi from the other loom.

So Thanks so much for your help and question answering. I'm sure I'll have lots more.


Posted on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 00:01

Congratulations!  My first Macomber was a 40" 4 harness.  I loved that loom, but sadly sold it to make room for a sewing area so I could finish what I weave.  I do have a Baby Mac, but I sure do miss my big Mac.  It was such a pleasure to put a warp on it, so much easier than many looms.

Posted on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 02:11

First the word is a lamm. I will take a picture of a hook and give you the size tomorrow. If you can find the right gage wire I guess you could made them. Are you a member of a weaving guild?




Posted on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 03:21

No I am not a member of a weaving guild. I think there is one in Coos Bay but I am a long ways away from there across many hills.

 But I am a long ways from anything. I am even 18 miles north of Remote, Oregon


Posted on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 05:35


Welcome to the group! Along with the wonderful people on this group, I found Sarah Haskill's web blog to be incredibly helpful. If you start from the beginning and read forward, there is a wealth of information there with loads of pictures.


Sarah is the Macomber sales rep and will also answer questions and help you buy replacement parts.

Best of luck!