I stopped by the Macomber shop yesterday and snapped several images to post here. One of you requested an image of a bench, so here's a couple of shots of a AD-40" bench ready to be shipped to Arkansas.
The bench has an adjustable height seat and a storage shelf underneath. Here you see Rick admiring his work, having just completed this 56" 16H loom with an Air Dobby system and two sectional beams.
Rick is chceking out the Air Dobby system to be sure that it is all working properlly before he ships the loom.
Rick and Eddie are getting the loom ready to ship. The loom will be placed on the large palette behind it, and then wrapped and strapped down. Behind Rick are the bench and the treadle cover. This box serves as a foot rest as well as protects your toes from getting squished when the Air Dobby engages the treadles.
As you can see in this photo the treadle cover slides easily over these treadles.
Happy weaving ~ from bitter cold Maine! Sarah
PS. NEWS FLASH~~ Local newspaper article about my art work in the community. Check it out!
Now that I am back in the studio, I can really make up for lost time! I found an image of the completed piece I posted yesterday. In this image the piece is being sewn to the backing and then it will be installed in a custom frame. You can see that the finished piece has the logo (inside the house) of the non-profit foundation that commissioned this artwork for their retiring executive director. The singing bird is a symbolic way of honoring this woman's work for the organization, a work of joy!
I had a call from a weaver who is refinishing a used loom. Her questions concerned the mounting of the beater, which by the way is a very SWEET feature of the Macomber Loom. The beater upright sits on a bolt which is screwed into a small cast iron piece. The small cast iron piece is screw mounted to the base of the loom.
You can adjust the height of the beater by selecting which slot to rest upon the bolt. The other adjustment is that you can swing this small cast iron part forward and backward (might need to loosen the bolt attachment).
When you swing this small cast iron part, it will adjust how close the beater sits against the castle. Often if the floor is not level, this will affect the way the beater rest against the castle upright, causing one side of the beater to hit and another to be a slight distant away. By fine tuning the beater with this small cast part, you can accommodate for any imbalance.
Your warp should rest comfortably on the beater race (the straight horizontal bar). By raising or lowering the height of the beater and fine tuning the left/right position, you can get it perfect!
And finally words from a weaver who has a Macomber Air Dobby System
"I continue to marvel that the system works so well. My back pain is a memory. I timed a chenille scarf last week and could weave 90" scarf in exactly one hour. I think that is probably substantially faster than foot treadling a scarf of the same size. Yea."
Here in Maine it is a blustery, stormy day. The Solstice in about two weeks away. I love this time of year. It is conducive to long hours in the studio, hunkered down with my threads, color, texture and patterns. I have been away from my blog, and way over-due for a refresher posting. So here's news that's been waiting!
Last month I completed a small commission on one of my CP looms. Here it is in process. And then a photo of the same piece with embroidery in process. I'll have photos of the piece completed soon (waiting for those from the professional photographer!).
At the Macomber shop looms are being built and shipped. Here's a happy weaver with his new loom!
Keith in New Brunswick Canada with his new 40" 8 H Macomber Loom!
Didyou know that you can get reeds in any size from Macomber? Rick was mentioning to me that he can special order reeds, even if it your loom is not a Macomber.
Did you know that you can send your loom back to the shop, where they will lovingly restore it? I had a student who did this with her CP, and she is SO happy! Her 30 year old loom is like new.
I have promised more photos and will drop in the shop this week to get photos of the current looms in process, as well as a bench photo.
48" Ad-A-Harness Macomber Type B folding Large Mac made from Hand Selected Kiln dried Hard Maple. 8 Harnesses in a 16 harness frame ~ can add up to 8 more Harnesses
1 yard sectional warp beam, friction brake, warp separator, bench, all stainless heddles, and 2 extra stainless steel reeds
Price for new similar equipment is $4441. Asking $3200. The buyer will need to arrange for shipping or pick up. Tracy Mannikko 730 Claremore Drive West Palm Beach , FL 33401 561-653-0108 home/office 561-676-2259 cell (back up only) email email@example.com
More fine words from your colleagues out there in weaver's world.
"Just back from a workshop in NJ. It re-enforced my love affair with my Macomber looms. I took my very portable 20" four shaft Macomber. I worked on Baby Wolfe, Schact, Dorsett, and table looms I refuse to mention.
Nothing worked as well as the 30 year old Macomber even with a frayed break cord which I will now replace. " ~~ Shuttle Song in MA
And because I cannot make a post without an image, here's one from last spring of work in progress.
I received this email from a weaver who posted herloom for salewith me back in April. She asked me to post these thoughts from her:
"I was asked recently if my loom was still for sale. Yes! It is.
I was also asked about AVL looms and if I had any comparisons. With 30+ years of weaving experience, these are my opinions. I have woven on both looms. It depends on what you are weaving.
In my experience, if you are weaving rugs or weft-faced structures, you need a strong loom that can take a lot of beating. Macomber is excellent for this. My first loom was the old Norwood, 4 harness loom, and it was beautiful. I had to put an angle iron on the beater, though, to weave weft-faced structures. Later, with my non-functional work, I used linen yarns and needed precise, strong, even tension, and the Macomber delivered.
When I purchased the Macomber, I had no idea what I would be weaving. I have thoroughly appreciated the versatility of the Macomber as it can handle yardage, scarves, pillows, etc., etc. Thanks. Hope all is well in ME" Karen Rutherford
And just to give you a sense of what is happening here in my studio, images of my work in progress. Happy weaving! Sarah
Here are some photos of the CP (portable loom) in both the open and folded positions. This is my 24" 8H with double back beams.
If you have one of the great small looms....PLEASE remember to unhook the treadles BEFORE you fold it up. If you leave the tie-up hooks on the treadles, you will bend them. The loom is meant to be folded up without the tie-up hooks in place.
The crank handle on the Macomber Loom fits over the squared off solid cast iron ends of both front and back beams. There might be a tad bit of "play" between the beam end and the inside of the crank. It does not stay on the loom while you are weaving. It is a removable tool that you take on and off when you need to use it.
I have had several requests for images of particular parts of the Macomber looms. Because many curious minds want to see these images, I will post them here for all to see.
First of all is the storage box that fits snugly on the castle of the portable. This storage box was recently made by Eddie to fit on my 40 year old CP.
Next is a photo of the front brake system on the portable. This is a dog and ratchet system. The dog is held in place by a wire spring. Often this wire gets bent and is non-functional.
The last image here is of the double brake system on my 56". Notice that the upper beam has a friction brake and the lower beam has a dog ratchet system. Both brakes are linked to the same release treadle.
Hope this helps those who are curious and need help. Stay in touch, happy weaving!
I have had a request to see what the treadle system looks like on a portable. Here is a photo of my older 20" CP. Notice that I use the newer super hooks that go over the older style lamms. Works fine!
Also notice recently vacuumed studio floor. I had clients come for a studio visit today...made me really clean up this place!!
And here is a lovely email from a weaver. I asked him if I could quote it. Every so often I get someone asking me why is a Macomber Loom better and an XXXX Loom. This weaver says it so sweetly:
"After a year and a half of instruction and lots of hours on various looms, all of which were thoroughly enjoyable, I've decided on a 'Mac' for my loom. Ease of tie-up, the consistently clean sheds that the tie-up system produces and the loom's rugged construction all appeal to me."
"I also really love the rear-hinged treadles on the Mac's since they don't fatigue me nearly as much as do the front-hinged ones. The collapsible cloth bar and removable beater also appeal to me since they facilitate dressing from the rear which is my preferred mode of dressing a loom. " Keith in Fredericton, N.B., Canada
Do you have a testimonial to share??
Or do you need a photo of some obscure or confusing loom part?
This part is one of loose objects that rarely gets passed on from one owner to another. It is the gizmo that you use to hold the brake down so that winding the warp is easier. If you do not have this part any more (and believe me most weavers do not!), you can easily fashion a similar device that does the same job. The goal is to prop something between the brake pedal and the cross piece at the bottom of the loom.
One photo here shows the device in place. Remember that I have an air dobby so my cross piece is cast iron, not wood. The green hose is the air pressure hose to run the dobby system.
Included here is a photo detail of the back brake system on my loom. I have two back beams. The upper beam has a friction brake and the lower beam has a ratchet brake. The friction brake uses the springs and the ratchet brake uses the spring. I hope this helps those of you who are struggling to set up loom that have been disassembled. If you need more images, let me know!
I am back to work steadily in the studio. Making serious progress on the "Tree of Life" commission. Happy weaving! Sarah
I have had several requests for more information and images of this piece of equipment. So I decided to take a spontaneous quick trip over to the shop. Eddie set up a tensioner and thread guide on a loom for a photo shoot. What a great guy!!
I also have scanned a copy of the set up directions for the tensioner/thread guide.
I hope this helps those of you that are sectional warpers!
Greetings everyone! I am home now, for a long spell. Grounded in the studio, preparing for the fall semester at the NH Institute of Art (Manchester, NH) where I teach a course to all BFA candidates that helps prepare them for the "real" world.
I am pleased that so many of you email me with your questions about your Macomber equipment. Thanks to all for your orders for part and looms.
My big news is that my Global Community Art Project: "Woven Voices" has received The Sarah Farmer Peace Award from the Baha"i's of Seacoast NH. I hope to post images of this award ceremony soon!
Greetings from Vacationland! This is the nick name for the glorious state of Maine. I must say that at long last we are indeed living in the land of vacationers. My little village of York swells with folks from all over the world who enjoy our beautiful coastline and beaches.
I have heard from many of you that you are getting great info from the blog and that you appreciate the support for "all things Macomber". Thanks to all for staying in touch.
I also really appreciate all the orders for parts and looms. Let me know how I can continue to help you.
I will be away from my phone and email from August 15 - 22. So hang on to those questions and orders until I get back, or rush them in before 9 AM 9/15.
These pictures are from my last few weeks of living large in the great state of Maine. I will be grounded back in the studio on August 24th. Look for more tips and photos about weaving after that!
Summer......at last! I will be away for three weeks from July 18 through August 9th. I will have sporadic email during this time. The first week I will be with dear women friends on a 200 acre private island off the coast of Brunswick, ME. I plan to draw, read, sleep, swim and eat. The second week I will be taking a graduate course out in Oakland CA, working towards my Masters in Art and Healing from Wisdom University. And the third week I will be sailing in Penobscot Bay Maine.
There might be small smidgens of time for me to respond to emails. But most queries will have to wait until I return.
Hooray for summer!! I hope that each of you find a time to rejuvenate your creative energy, to feed your spirit and to play in nature. Summer here in Maine is SO brief that I find it important to seize the moment.
Here are some photos of my current work in progress. You can see how I thread the reed. It looks like the reed is bending, but trust me it is fine in this position for short periods of threading. These skeins of dyed weft await my return.
Keep weaving, and stay curious. I am always happy to listen and help. Peace, Sarah
I was over at the shop this week, and picked up the closest thing to a manual that Macomber has. I have scanned the set up instructions for both the Type B and CP Looms. I hope this helps those folks that are restoring older looms. I am happy to post images if you send them.
I spoke with Eddie again about those tie-up super hooks. His advice for those of you using the newer hooks on the older lamms, is to be sure that they are "crimped" tightly at the bend. Since the older lamms are fatter, they will tend to push out the hook. Thus you will have troubles with the hooks falling off or catching on adjacent lamms. Hope this helps!
Here's a note from a reader..a historical tid bit for fun: " I don't know if you are aware of this, but 'way back "when" Macomber used to supply a hex beam that made it possible to use the Structo ready-wound spools with a Mac! Last Summer I purchased a 50-yr-old "baby" with all the extras still with it and, lo and behold, one of the hex beams! I used a lot of Structos in my teaching and had worked out a way to re-fill empty spools as if they were sections of a sectional beam. I had had the tension box on the back beam of my big Macomber and a small metal Structo clamped to the breast beam, but am going to experiment today with using the Baby Mac to do that.Anyway, just a little Macomber trivia for you!!! Nancy C.
That's it for now...gotta get back to threading, half way done! Peace, Sarah