I have an 8 shaft/10 treadle 45" Harrisville jack loom that I bought used last year.  It is in excellent condition with all working parts.  I have finally put my first warp on it and everything looked okay until I went to check my sheds and tie-ups.  I have the warp in tension, it looks good, but when I press a treadle, I get really no shed at all, or a very bad one.  And my warp gets loose in places. 

At rest, the top of the shafts are about 8.5" below the bottom of the castle (which I think is the Harrisville recommended distance). But, I think this is the problem - they are too low.

With the beater bar against the loom, and resting in the bar slot that makes it sit at its lowest position, the eyes of the heddles are about 3" below the bottom of the reed.  So the warp travels from the front, over the shuttle race, through the reed and then down to the heddles and then back up to the back beam.  

I also have a 22" Harrisville which I have used successfully and the measurement from heddle eye to bottom of reed is about 1.5".  So same path, down to the heddle then back up to the back beam, but not as much distance.  I didn't know if this distance should be greater with the bigger loom.

So my questions are:

Where should the heddles/shafts sit with respect to the reed or something else on the loom besides the bottom of the castle? I don't want to start adjusting shafts up if this isn' the problem.

Is there something else that could be causing my problem that I'm just not seeing?

I appreciate all your help.  Thanks!



I am actually having the same problem with my new to me Mac. My other loom is a 4 shaft and my Mac is 8. I wove simple mats a few days ago but just used 2 shafts. Now I have 8/2 cotton using 8 shafts completely threaded and ready to go. Tight warp but as soon as I lift shafts, the upper threads become slack but the lower threads are still tight. I hope to find the answer as well. I have pics and will try and post first thing in the morning


Is your warp wrapped around over the top of the beam and then down and around? 

sequel (not verified)

The top of the shafts should be 8 1/2" below the top of the loom castle, not the bottom.  And not the tool tray!

sequel (not verified)

Waiting for the pics!

Michael White

I have 2, 22/2 HV looms and I am the group leader for Macomber here and on Ravelry. I have 3 large Macs.

Run a string from the back beam through one heddle and through the reed and attach to the front beam. Adjust the heddle frame so the heddles eye is 3/4 to an inch below the bottom of the reed. Adjust all the heddle frames to the same height. Try this as a starting point.



Michael White

You can post this over on the Mac group with your pictures as well. Have you locked the heddle bar clips in place? Pictures would help. When you lift the frames the eyes pull up the warp and it should be tight unless the clips are undone.




Michael, are your instructions for the Macomber loom or my Harrisville?  Thx.


pammersw,  I'm assuming you're talking about the back beam/warp beam.  If so, yes, the warp goes over the back and then down and around warp beam.


I have adjusted the shafts up and that seems to be doing the trick.  Still tweaking things a bit but I really do believe this is the basis of my problems.  "sequel" your comment confirms what I believed to be the correct relationship, not the bottom.  Thank you all for your input. 

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