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, 03/11/2012 - 22:46

Again welcome. That 24 inch B5 is a great loom. I have a friend with one that has 10 H. Cheryl would love a small Macomber. Weaving scarfs, dish towels on a 48" loom is overkill.

Enjoy your Mac



Posted on Fri, 03/23/2012 - 20:51

My daughter is graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago's art therapy program, and I want to get her a Macomber foldable floor loom as a graduation gift. Does anyone out there have one for sale??? Thanks so much, K.J.

Posted on Tue, 04/24/2012 - 19:08

Hi there,

Thought this might be the place to ask...I am considering the purchase of the above loom. I sold my Artisat (which I didn't care for - felt flimsy) some time ago, and haven't been weaving since. I keep going back and forth between starting again with a tabletop (like Jane or Ashford) or going straight for another floor loom (I have a bad shoulder, and wonder if using my arm to "treadle" would be uncomfortable). This Baby Mac came for sale and it seemed like a good compromise. Wondering though, if it would not have either the sturdiness of floor loom or the true portability of a tabletop loom, making it not a very good purchase? Also, could the wire heddles be replaced with Texsolv? One of the things I disliked about the Artisat was the noise.

Thanks for any input. Jennifer

Posted on Sat, 05/05/2012 - 01:03

I have a chance to buy a Macomber loom, 10 harness, 12 treadles Type B Ad-A-Harness, and was wondering if anyone can tell me if I can weave rag rugs on it? Right now I am weaving rugs on an old Sears 2 harness and it seems to be ok., it is a sectional warp, whereas the Macomber is not. Any help will be appreciated.Thanks

Posted on Sat, 05/05/2012 - 08:46

The B type Macomber is a heavy loom and can be used for weaving fine silks to making heavy rag rugs. If you are use to working with a sectional beam, you could purchase a used/new sectional beam for this loom


Posted on Sat, 05/05/2012 - 08:55

Sorry no one replied to your question. I saw your posting, but since I am not an owner of a baby Mac I figured I would let someone else ans your question. I can tell you people have replaced both the heddles and the treadle rods with Texsolv. You could also post your question on the Macomber group page on www.ravelry.com


Posted on Sun, 05/06/2012 - 21:10


If you thought the Artisat was noisy, I don't think you'll like the Baby Mac.  You don't say if it's 4 or 8 shafts, 8 might make it heavier than you'd like for a portable, although wheels are available.  The wheels, though, are a little small for serious wheeling.  I tried wheeling mine along a brick sidewalk and it was a real wrestling match.  I'll be making a new device for wheels before the next MAFA.

Then of course double check to make sure it is a folding Baby Mac and not a very small standard floor loom.  Right now I don't think the Baby Mac is made in sizes smaller than 24"

Posted on Wed, 05/16/2012 - 23:05

I am planning to buy a 56" 16H Macomber loom this weekend. I need to know the dimensions -will it fit in my Rav4 or will we have to take a utility trailer (or rent a large van) to bring it back? 



Karen LeBlanc


Posted on Fri, 05/18/2012 - 01:56

Thanks for the message and the link - I was hoping we didn't have to drag a trailer with us to pick it up, but I guess we'll have to! It'll be a long day, but I'll have a new-to-me loom at the end of it!

Karen LeBlanc


Posted on Sat, 05/19/2012 - 11:36

Does the 56" 16H loom fold? If so, what are the folded dimensions? We're still trying to figure out what vehicle to take or whether we should rent a truck. Thanks! Karen

Karen LeBlanc


Posted on Sat, 05/19/2012 - 12:29

The B5's front and back beams fold in, but the whole loom is solid and quite heavy.  It's roughly the size of an upright piano when folded.  In nice weather you could take a flat trailer with lot's of rope for securing the loom, or you could rent a small truck.   Even with a tall camper shell, mine is too tall for my F-250 pickup.  Check Michael's link for dimensions.

Posted on Sat, 05/19/2012 - 12:58

This helps a lot (especially since we have a piano!). 

Karen LeBlanc


Posted on Sat, 05/19/2012 - 17:13

Thanks. Perhaps it was the weaving width of 20". It is a 6 shaft loom. I think I'm going to pass. I talked to the owner and she suggested that as a jack loom it might need the weight of with wire heddles to treadle? I'm having a heck of a time. There are so many Baby Wolfs and other good small looms for sale in the US, but not much here in Canada. It is all LeClerc, which I really don't care for.


Posted on Sun, 05/20/2012 - 13:34

The big looms fold somewhat, but they can be disassembled as well.  You would still have to deal with the central "castle" area without disassembly.  You sure don't want to mess with the mechanical jacks if you don't have to.  The front breast beam assembly and the treadles can be removed, and so can the back beam(s) and brakes.  Of course all the shafts come out too.  Pretty soon you're down to something two or three brawny teenage boys can lift.

Posted on Sun, 05/20/2012 - 14:42

If a newbie  does more than take the shafts & beater off, they should take photos before taking it apart.  How to reassemble things may be obvious to those of us that have us that have used these looms for 30+ years, but putting the slot of one end of the beater on the wrong peg may mean a crooked fell line, and turning the lever on the front brake the wrong way means it doesn't work.  And these are things I take off every time I thread my loom!

Failing photos, though, we're here to help.

Posted on Sun, 05/20/2012 - 18:01

I have loaded a 56" 16H & a 56" 8H and a few 48" Macs into the back of my S10 by myself with out taking anything off the loom. It is all a matter of physics. I never try an pick up all the weight; what I do is stand the loom on end and back my truck up to with in two feet of the loom and then lean the loom over ontill the tailgate then a lift the other end into the truck and tie it down. I weight 195 pounds.


Posted on Sun, 05/20/2012 - 21:45

Wow, Michael, that is amazing! My loom is only 40" wide with 8 harnesses, but room for 16. I was fortunate to have the husband of the gal I bought it from disassemble the bottom foundation feet from the uprights in order to get it upstairs into my little loom room in my house. That part had been originally glued and bolted, but he was able to get it apart. Disassembled with the front and back beams removed, as well as the harnesses off the loom, it was fairly easy for two women to help a guy move it and get it reassembled. Disassembling it was the only way I was able to buy it. Otherwise, I would be weaving in my front yard under the oaks...

Posted on Sun, 05/20/2012 - 23:19

is a task. But, with a good handtruck (appliance dolly) I can move most anything. With a piece like a loom the turns are tricky.


Posted on Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:00

Are you certain it is a 52 inch Macomber?


Posted on Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:14

We drove ~ 5 hours to see the 56" 16H Macomber loom yesterday and it was no good - all rusted and in pieces. Strings and cords were rotten. So I didn't get it. 

If you know of anyone selling a smaller loom with 16 or more harnesses, I would be very interested. I'm thinking a 36" would be a perfect size with 16H.  Thanks! Karen

Karen LeBlanc


Posted on Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:45


Sorry you want all that way for nothing. Maybe the lady above would want the pieces? I think  herloom must be a 56 inch.


Posted on Wed, 05/23/2012 - 22:12

I recently adopted a Baby Mac.  It has 6 harnesses, no room for 8, and is only 20 inches wide.  I am in process of replacing the wires that connect the treadles to the lams with texsolve.  I agree about the wheels being small.  The paperwork that came with it has a typewritten note from Mr. Macomber from the late 1950's.

I accepted a 3 week teaching job (I am recently retired) and will get back to the loom rehab and use early next week.

I do look forward to using it and best of all, the price was right!


Posted on Thu, 10/04/2012 - 22:07

     Please any advice on buying a used Macomber loom.  What are the pitfalls?  What parts should I look for excessive wear or what might break the deal?

Posted on Fri, 10/12/2012 - 13:20


There is not a lot that can wear out on a Macomber loom. Depending on how much work you want to do: a deal breaker could be excess rust, peeling finish. If you plan on getting a Mac and totality refinishing it just about any Mac will do. You can get parts for any age Macomber. You can look at this web site at pictures, also here under resouces, looms. To see pictures of Macomber looms. It you know how a loom works even if it is in pieces you can tell if everything is there. Check out this link:


Have fun and welcome to the Macomber group. Where do you live?



Posted on Fri, 10/12/2012 - 13:19

I learned to weave as a 14 year old in Norway about (mumble, mumble ) decades ago. (late 60's to be honest). I have had some great opportunities to use my 4 harness table loom and learn from some great people.  Real life seemed to have other ideas for awhile, then a couple years ago I decided I was going to get really active again come heck or high water!  Well the high water came (actually a relatively small leak) and now that the damage is fixed, I am finally getting my Macomber going. 

Its a 40" 12 harness older beauty that I was insanely lucky to be able to buy for a small price from a local weaver who was downsizing.  I should have spent time fixing up and refurbishing it, but so many things have gotten in the way the past few years that I just decided to jump in.  I am just finished with warping an 8 harness twill for a blanket and hope to start weaving today.  I learned a lot about the loom to say the least, like how much I don't know about it.  But we have time to get aquainted and I think we will become great friends.  

I have more of an idea of what I don't know now and I am sure will appreciate everyone here!!

Posted on Fri, 10/12/2012 - 13:31

Yes, weaving is like rideing a bike. Once you learn the basics it all just comes back to you. I am certain you and your Mac will soon have a love affair going. We would love to see pictures of the blanket when you have it off the loom. Yes, everyone here on the Macomber group site is ready to answer your questions. We have a great group of weavers here.




Posted on Fri, 12/21/2012 - 01:08

hello group,

     I bought my used 32" B5 Macomber last November and have only woven one project on it (house remodel and limited room). It has 4 harnesses and I would really like to add 4 to 6 more. Any ideas on how to find some used ones, or do I pretty much have to buy new from Macomber? I live in Oregon. Are there loom frames in bad shape with good working parts out there?  Thanks for any suggestions.



Posted on Mon, 12/31/2012 - 15:25

I am soon to be the new owner of a 1977 built B5C 40" 8S/10T Macomber! I just have to go pick it up next week. Thank you to everyone who has and is posting helpful information about Macombers, refurbishing them and learning to weave on them. I am grateful. Michael, you're so great to host/moderate. I'm very appreciative. I'm looking forward to chatting with you and getting answers to my questions. Happy New Year to you all. Judy

Posted on Tue, 01/01/2013 - 12:11

Hello, I don't have a Macomber loom, but it's certainly one I'm considering purchasing. I notice some models are very wide indeed. At what width does it become too hard to use an ordinary shuttle and instead use a fly shuttle? Are fly shuttles available to purchase for the Macomber looms? I haven't had any experience in weaving on a wide loom. My current loom has a 24 inch weaving width but I would really like to weave wider cloth, but I'm just not too sure how wide to go. Many thanks for a very informative forum.

Posted on Tue, 01/01/2013 - 14:39

There are a number of ways to go. A sliding loom bench seat, a fly shuttle or you could stand and weave. When we were in MI picking up a 56 inch Macomber, the lady had , if I remember right, a 120 inch loom with two sets of threadles. She wove standing up and would throw the shuttle and walk to the other side and throw it the rest of the way. She make blankets. Does Macomber make a fly shuttle? I would think so. You could check here: www.macomberloom.com


Posted on Tue, 01/01/2013 - 14:34

Depends on how tall you are . . . Macomber makes a fly shuttle, but without one you need to be able to throw the shuttle from one edge and catch from the other while depressing a treadle.  If your treadles go out to the edge of the frame, you should consider treadles as part of a stretch test, and the more the shafts tied to the extreme treadles, the harder it becomes.

Most adults should have no problems with 48" unless it's because > 10 shafts are tied to the outside treadles.  Even 60" should be reachable, but they are harder to move indoors. 

You never have to weave full width, after all.


Posted on Wed, 01/02/2013 - 04:21

Thanks so much for your comments Michael and mneligh. They've given me food for thought. Now I just have to find a distributor in Australia, or save up my pennies for shipping. Thanks again.

Posted on Sun, 01/20/2013 - 15:06

Michael, I have a new to me 32 inch Macomber. I just finished my first projects, 2 rag rugs using Pendleton wool selvedges. Very satisfying. My questions are about the brake and tension. Both seem stiff, which works fine for rug warp, but what if I wanted to use something a little more delicate like Handspun wool? I step on the brake treadle then ratchet the gear in front, sometimes it is difficult to get the back beam to move Initially then it let's go and rotates. Do I need to oil something? The cable looks to be in good shape, but the loom was stored for several years. By the way, Thanks for the help with the beater, it seems to be working fine.

Posted on Sun, 01/20/2013 - 15:54

Since you said cable I am guessing you have a tension brake. One of three things could be happening. The cable is too tight, try lossing it a little or the beam may be binding. You can test this by releaseing the brake and turning the beam it should move smoothly. Are you using the tension cords on the left side of the back beam? Glad to hear the beater is working well.


Posted on Mon, 01/21/2013 - 04:04

Ok, I looked at the brake, and it seems like it's in working order, but I wouldn't say the beam moves freely, but it does move. I don't see any tension chords on the left. As I sit facing the loom the cable mechanism is on the right. Can I send you a picture?

Posted on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 02:59

I'm a new weaver with a new to me loom. During the day, I am a mild mannered Second grade teacher in Hollister, California. At night I'm super fiber artist, spinning, knitting, processing wool from my small flock, and now weaving. My loom is a 32 inch Macomber b-5. I'm weaving rugs from Pendleton selvedges, and loving it. I noticed that advancing the warp can be difficult initially, and then the beam rotates. Sometimes I have to connect the handle and rotate it that way. Is that normal? I have a new brake cable and jack pads, but can't put them on until this warp is off. Also noticed that the warp will drag the harness forward sometimes, unless I stop, and step on the heddles. Any advice would be welcome.

Posted on Mon, 04/01/2013 - 19:49

Hello, I am also a Macomber owner. I have a 40" 10H, 14T with a sectional beam. I have owned this loom for about a year and I just love it. I have woven many, many, dish towels and currently I have a rag rug on the loom. This Mac handles both beautifully. 

I recently bought a 4H, 4T counterbalance loom with a pulley system instead of the bars. I have no idea what brand or the age but its almost restored. Does anyone know a website or somewhere within Weavolution re this type of loom? I bumped into a reproduction of a loom with the same pulley system on Weavolution but no info on it. 


Posted on Mon, 04/01/2013 - 19:51

Hello, I am also a Macomber owner. I have a 40" 10H, 14T with a sectional beam. I have owned this loom for about a year and I just love it. I have woven many, many, dish towels and currently I have a rag rug on the loom. This Mac handles both beautifully.

I recently bought a 4H, 4T counterbalance loom with a pulley system instead of the bars. I have no idea what brand or the age but its almost restored. Does anyone know a website or somewhere within Weavolution re this type of loom? I bumped into a reproduction of a loom with the same pulley system on Weavolution but no info on it.

Posted on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 22:55

I help manage a weaving studio for blind and seniors in Hartford, CT.  Currently, we have a baby mac, 8 shaft, in good working order.   It's a great loom but our students, blind and senior artisans have trouble recognizing when one of the tieup hooks falls off which does happen with this loom.  So we plan to sell it.  Can you all help me with a sale price?  Does $1000 seem like too much?  Thanks, Claudia