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 Mon, 07/18/2011 - 15:17

Hi, I'm Sequel and I'm in Richmond, VA. 

I own an almost new (second hand) Baby Mac.  I found the hook-hopping-off problem on my second tie-up ever.  It was only happening on the second and ninth treadles and I moved the hooks to the outside of the bar that attaches the lamm to the jacks.  That solved the problem for me.  Naturally, the other people in my class at MAFA had to be warned about controlling the fall of the shafts...

Michael, did I sell you a big Macomber for $2500 a few years ago? 

Posted on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 17:34

I did buy some books.  I remember selling a really big Mac (16 or 20 shaft, double back beams and really wide) to a couple that rented a truck and drove up from Alabama, or Louisiana or someplace to pick it up.  Actually I didn't sell it, but Pine Camp Art Center owned it and we sold it to a couple whose husband had a beard like yours.  But it might have been Santa Claus or Kenny Rogers...

Posted on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 17:35

I did buy some books.  I remember selling a really big Mac (16 or 20 shaft, double back beams and really wide) to a couple that rented a truck and drove up from Alabama, or Louisiana or someplace to pick it up.  Actually I didn't sell it, but Pine Camp Art Center owned it and we sold it to a couple whose husband had a beard like yours.  But it might have been Santa Claus or Kenny Rogers...

Posted on Tue, 07/19/2011 - 02:19

Good Evening everyone.

 Now that I got the reed for my Macomber I need some help as I have a few questions. I do not know which way the arm that holds the reed goes. There are stops on one side,like bumpers, do they go aginst the front beam or aginst the castle?

 Also that arm has two slots at the bottom of the legs and a bolt to put them on that they piviot from, Why? How do I know which one to put them on? 

Is there a best order to tie up the treadles in? I know it depends on the weave you are doing but I mean in general ?

Should I do the 12,23,34,14 13,24 or? I have 4 headles and 6 treadles and want to check out what I can do .

 This loom is so nice! Ihave 2 feet of warp on her to learn the basics with and be sure everything is working and so far I love her! So smooth and quite and solid. What a pleasure after the old one I was using.

 Thanks for all your help so far and hope I can get a bit more.

Marlene  in cold rainy Oregon, Oh wait it is Oregon.



Posted on Tue, 07/19/2011 - 12:06

You can not delete messages. You can send a PM to Claudia and she can do it.

He must have been a good looking guy (g)



Posted on Tue, 07/19/2011 - 12:45

You tell everyone it rains in OR to keep people from moving to your lovely state. Send some rain to my piece of Georgia.

The beater goes on with the bumpers facing the heddles. The two slots in the legs allows you to adjust the shed opering.

Marlene, what you have mentioned is a basic twill tie up with tabby(plainweave on the other 2 pedals-the 1,3 and 2,4 will give you plainweave IF you threaded 1234 or some variation of twill that allows plainweave)  There is choice as to where you put those plainweave pedals you can put them on the right, the left, or one on the outside left and one on the outside right,some people even put them in the middle.  This is something you need to try and see which you like.  The only reason you need to worry about this is if you are weaving a pattern like overshot that requires plainweave in between the pattern picks.  Right now I would put the plainweave on the right or left and you can weave a hem and try it out.  Then you will have the other 4 pedals to play with for all the variations of twill. I would do a direct tie up with the other 4 pedals (tying one harness to each pedal)and you may have to use 2 feet at once, but you will have greater variety and can do uneven twills raising only one harness at a time.  There are so many variations!! Do you have access to a weaving book.  Usually the first chapter has a lot of this as a guide. Margurite Porter Davison's Handweavers Pattern Book, has this in the first chapter, but other books have this info, and Handwoven had a sampler in one issue- I could find the ref if you need.

I hope this is not too confusing- I can clarify if necessary-main thing is play around and see what happens and most of all enjoy!!


Putting the hooks on the treadles. The way I do this on the 16 harness loom is as follows: First I remove all the hooks, I put my finger behine the hooks and pull them forward. These releases the old type hooks on the new "super" hooks you have to pust them off.

I work from the back to the front. Ex. I pull down the nr. 16 lamm and using my treadleing guild I put the hooks in all the treadles that get a nr. 16 tieup. I then move to Nr 15 and do the same. The reason I work from the back is so I don't have the front hooks in my way.



Posted on Thu, 07/21/2011 - 16:16


Good Am,

 Can someone point me to a web site where I could learn how to do a waffle weave? I have a great grand child coming in Jan and would like to do a blanket for them.  My library is no help so I am hoping there is some place on line that might have basic instructions.



Posted on Thu, 07/21/2011 - 18:39

 Thanks, That is a beautiful blanket but not exactly what I was looking for. I may try it anyway.

So Thanks again


Posted on Tue, 07/26/2011 - 22:20

Well the more I learn the more I need to know and the more questions I seam to have. This time it is about the sectional beam.
I am getting ready with the help of a frriend to do a sectional warp on my loom. The beam that is on there had some small strings fastened on with small staples next to the spikes. The strings are all but gone and mostly there is just some old staples. So my question is, How do you tie on the string that holds the sectional bundle of warp? Should I try and remove the old staples and fasten a new string with some small eye screws to the back of the section? One for each section? How are they attached now on the newer looms?
Thanks again for all the help.
Marlene (the sun is shinning in Oregon and I have a fan on. About 70 today)

Posted on Tue, 07/26/2011 - 23:56

You could replace the strings and the staples. You would need to use a strong cord and make them the size of the ones on the loom. I would not use eye screws they will stick out to far. You could purchase small wire staples, used to hold wire. You need to try and keep the strings all the same size. Macomber also sells a DYI kit to replace the strings. On the new looms they are still attached with staples.



Posted on Wed, 07/27/2011 - 00:03

Once again, Thanks Michael. There is nothing but fuzz of the old string remaining. I'll use some strong stuff I have here and I think I understand about having them all the same size. I'll make the strings all the same then attach them. Where are the staples on the newer looms? The grove at the back of each section seams like a better place than right up at the edge. But what do I know. Is there any chance anyone could get a picture of an empty sectional beam that shows the attachment of the string?



Posted on Wed, 07/27/2011 - 14:02

You are the best! Michael, That will help a lot. These old staples are in bad shape. Some are broke andhave sharp points sticking up and some are missing. The ones that are there had just a tuff of string left in them. Someone nailed web straps in there too to hold a rod for regular warping but I think I can get them out of the way.
Have a great day and Again, Thanks

Posted on Wed, 07/27/2011 - 16:23

Here are the pictures. The string is one long piece of cord attached at the staples to form a loop. What I would do is drive in the small staples just so they hold well. Then I would string the cord through the staples using a measuring gage to get all the loops the same. tieing each string and setting the staple before going on to the next one.



Posted on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 01:08

I have a 40" Macomber that will hold 10 harnesses. It currently has 4 harnesses and 6 treadles. Actually it's currently in pieces as I'm in the midst of restoring it. I have a small table loom that I bought for $50 back in 1996, but it only weaves 20" wide, which practically speaking means I get 18' wide shawls. So, I'd been looking for a deal on a larger floor loom. I got the Mac from an ad in the Houston Handweaver's guild website in 2009. The original owner was giving it away. She had bought it in 1974 and it was need of repair. So, she was looking for someone to love it and that was me! I just started the repair process this year after renovating my son's old bedroom to be a studio for me. I'm almost finished with refinishing all the wood, then I plan to move onto the metal parts. I signed up for this forum today thinking you might have some good info and I feel like I've found a gold mine!

Posted on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 12:58

Yes, there is a world of information here from people that have restored their Macomber looms. We look forward to hearing about how you are doing and seeing pictures as you work on the loom.


Posted on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 18:05

We've read lots of solutions for the hooks and superhooks falling off on the portable Macombers.  I tried all of them except for switching to Texsolv.

My new to me, 5 year old CP was throwing superhooks.  I could tell the hooks were binding in the treadle slots.  I tried sanding the slots, no fun, let me tell you!  And it still didn't work.  Then, I decided to loosen the screw that closes the slot at the end of the treadle, not a lot, just enough to say I did it.  And just to be on the safe side, I polished the superhook shafts with paraffin and a soft cloth - end of problem!

Don't substitute beeswax.  It may be natural but it's really sticky!  If I could figure out how to get it off the apron cords I would...




Posted on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 15:10

I have trouble with my brake releasing in the middle of my weaving, the cogs don't look broken or too worn, I always make sure when I make adjustments that it is well seated - what else should I try?

Posted on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 20:18

Macomber used a number of different brake set ups. Can you take a picture of your brake? It sounds like it just need adjusting or maybe a new spring.


Posted on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 22:08

Sometimes on my 48" Mac, the pawl on the cloth beam doesn't set exactly right in the gear and it will let loose.  There are two pawls (I think I'm using the correct term) and one of them has to be firmly at the bottom on the teeth. Sometimes they will both be just a little too high.


Posted on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 00:21

If you will remove the cloth beam and add 2 or 3 5/8" fender washers to the left side of the cloth beam shaft this will take care of this problem.



Posted on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 14:11

 I had the problem of the cloth beam slipping but the loom was warped and I didn't want to take it off right now. So I put a piece of 2x4 cut at an angle into a wedge on the left side between the geer and the side and it is working great. I just lift the handle and the wedge comes out and I can release it and take up .

 It is working great and after I adjustred te tension tighter the old loom is weaving great. This is the first full width warp I have put on the loom and was worried at first.I wasn't beating dow even. Then I tighten it all down and now it is fine. I also released the tension when I quit last night. Do you all do that?

Thanks again to everyone esp Michael for helping me so much get this loom working.

Marlene in cloudy and cool Oregon

Posted on Mon, 08/22/2011 - 05:24


 Well I got the washers and it sure fixed the problem with the take up geer slipping. Thanks again Michael.

 Now my friend that weaves rugs for a living tells me I can't weave rugs on a Macomber loom. Why? she did not say so I sent her a picture of my newest wool rug and asked her why.

Any of you ever hear  that? Do you know why? She said it was good for blankets  and fabric but not rugs. Sure seams to work well for me. Am I missing something here?Or just doing it wrong again?


Posted on Mon, 08/22/2011 - 12:14

Some people have the mind set that you have to have a "rug loom" to weave rugs. Not true, on your Macomber, and other looms, you can weave fine silk pieces to heavy rugs. It is all in your mind set.


Posted on Mon, 08/22/2011 - 14:23

Thank You once again Michael. I kind of thought that was the case and since I am on my second large rug and it is looking beautiful  I am just fine with weaving rugs on a non-rug loom.

The fender washers solved my other problem and that is justfine now. Wish you were closer, I would like to come to your house for a week long class!

Have a great week.

marlene who is going back to weave her rug on her non rug loom. lol


Posted on Sat, 08/27/2011 - 06:11

This past June I was loaned a Macomber to refurb and use. I first fell in love with these looms while using one at John C Campbell's folk art school. I so very much wish I had a happy ending to tell. I ordered the parts I needed from Sarah Haskell. She is truely great and has tried so very hard to help me. But it is August and the part I have ordered in June are still not here. None of my voicemails to the company were ever answered. I understand they are down to 1 employee. I am giving up. The Macomber is going back to it's owner unrefurbished and I just bought a Glimakra standard. Best wishes to all of you who are lucky enough to be happy with your Macomber...i'm not a just little jealous. I hope this company recovers and one day I have the confidence to try again. Until then, I can only advise caution to anyone buying a Macomber thinking the company will help them get it in working order.

Posted on Sat, 08/27/2011 - 12:29

I am sorry that you have had problems getting your parts from Macomber. Yes, the owner and the 1 employee are at times hard to get it touch with. What parts were you looking for?

Sarah "should" be back early this winter. Maybe she will put on her boots and get her whip out.


Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 12:19

Hi, I'm new to weaving, new to my Macomber B5, new to Weavolution & new to this group.  I know I have a lot to learn, so thank you in advance to all you very knowledgeable weavers ... I think I'm going to need you.

Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 13:13

Welcome to the Macomber group. I am certain someone on this group will have an answer for any of your questions.

Enjoy weaving on your B5,



Posted on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 22:00

I picked up the final parts of my Macomber, which had been in storage for some time.  I was surprised to not see a makers label/number on it.  It's a 56" 8H and everything 'resembles' a Mac.  The wood is a nice color so it has some age, and the metal parts all look like the photo's I have seen. There are a few (mostly minor) parts missing so in the time taken to source/order those bits I should be able to get cracking with the clean up.

Any advice on the missing label gratefully received.


Posted on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 22:33

Did you check on the left side of the castle. If the plate is not there look for a couple of small holes. Someone may have removed the plate to work on the loom.


Posted on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 22:38

What parts are missing? What is the condition of the rubber piece under the jacks?




Posted on Fri, 09/30/2011 - 00:39


I can't see any marks on the castle (either side) to indicate there has been something there, and no fading/marks obvious.


Posted on Fri, 09/30/2011 - 00:56

A quick 'muster' : the big one - no reeds, and mine (from other looms) are in storage in another country so will need to order one or two, the right hand support for the bottom of the beater frame is gone, a winding handle (can probably make something to do this job) for the cloth and sectional warp beams, the foot rail (straight piece of wood?), and some super hooks (there are only a half dozen).  The rubber under the jacks is discolored and a little dented, but seems flexible.


Posted on Mon, 01/16/2012 - 22:36

I have a 40" Macomber.  Bought it used in 1973 with four harnesses.  We just added four more harnesses and I am doing my first eight harness project.  I've never had any problems with this loom.  It's one of my babies.  My other baby is a four harness Norwood 16" workshop loom.  

Posted on Tue, 01/17/2012 - 02:56

Welcome to the Macomber group. We always enjoy seeing pictures.


Posted on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 04:06

any idea what you paid for your loom?  I'm trying to get a low & high price for another 40" 8 Harness Macomber B5 needing several repairs to work.  I know you bought several years ago, but the seller is a daughter & has no idea what to charge as it's sat in a basement the past maybe 40 years.  Thanks.

Posted on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 20:57

As I replied to this else where no more then $350

Posted on Sun, 03/11/2012 - 22:18

Hello. New member here! Yesterday I adopted a B5 24 inch loom. It is currently only 4 shaft, but I am planning to add the other 4 shafts at some time. My name is Carolyn, and I live in the southeastern- most county in Georgia. I am an active member of the Jekyll Isand Weaving Guild, which is under the expert hands of Betty Smith, who taught at John C. Campbell for many years.

I also own a 4 shaft Schacht Standard and an 8 shaft table loom.

I am very thrilled to have gotten a Macomber, as I have been wanting one ever since having the chance to weave on one.

I have already learned tons from reading through the forum posts. Thanks guys and gals!