I've got a 1959 Macomber B type loom with a 3/4' sectional beam and a pawl and ratchet type brake on it.  At the moment if I release the brake she bounces and I get the beam going backward way too fast releasing too much warp.  A live tension system has been suggested, but I'm not sure if that would work on the sectional beam or not.  Has anyone done this?  All the ones I've seen online are either round or hexagonal so there's plenty of grip for the rope.

Also this was my first warp and I found that when I was getting towards the end of it my shafts kept getting hung up on themselves.  Admittedly my warp was a very hairy carpet yarn which probably didn't help, but is this something that's a common problem?   She also rocks when I use the beater, not used to that, my previous loom is a countermarche and a lot heavier.

This is a new to me loom and I've done a lot of work to get her up to spec with locally sourced materials and so far I'm liking her so really want to fix these two problems.


Sara von Tresckow

Stop using the lever at the front to release the warp beam. Loosen the cloth beam one notch, get up and work the warp beam "by hand" so that it releases just a little - and slowly. Or, if you must use the lever, loosen the cloth beam a notch or two first anyway. Then there isn't such a sharp release of tension. Far too often what appears to be a wonderful convenience in the form of a tension release while seated at the bench winds up "jumping" and releasing too much warp. Live weight also works, you can try it, but that also has its learning curve and you generally sacrifice a little weaving width for the cords needed.

Michael White

Macomber does make a tension set up. But I just use a heavy string which can be wraped around the beam three times and then tied to the back beam. What you are trying to do is add just a little friction to keep the beam from jumping. Also be certain that you release the cloth beam before you step on the brake release. Now you say the loom rocks when you are beating? Check to see it the whole castle unit is loose. Mascomber has used both screws and bolts. Last year I removed the screws that hold the castle to the botton cross piece on 15 looms at the University of Georgia weaving room and replace them with a true bolt and friction nuts. No more "rocking" castles. Check to see that the loom is sitting on the floor level and the whole loom is not "rocking" because the floor is not smooth.  


It's fairly likely our floor isn't even, it certainly isn't in the kitchen, the fridge leans. Earthquakes aren't good for concrete slabs unfortunately. I'll see if I can level it off later today, once I've got the kids on their electronics since it's the school holidays now here. The castle is moving a bit as well, since she's older she's got screws rather than bolts so I may make some changes there too; I have the know how to deal with that. Thank you

Michael White

I would replace the screws with 5/16 or 3/8 bolts. Macomber uses carrage bolts I use a true bolt with a head. I have found that you can only replace 3 of the 4 screws. I could not figure out how to drill out one of the screws so I left it in place. So you will need 6 bolts, 6 flat washers and 6 lock nuts (this is a nut with a nylon insert)

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