Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Model numbers part two


Here's the scoop on the Portable Loom numbering system as well as the Extra Large Macs.
Portables (Baby Macs)that are older than about 1976 were all numbered as CP 11. After that date the models are labeled as follows:
  • CP-F = 16"
  • CP-G= 20" 6H frame
  • CP-H= 20" 8H frame
  • CP-J = 24"
And finally the Type B1 Folding Looms, or Extra Large Macs are the following models:
  • B1 - M= 98"
  • B1-N = 122"
  • B1-O = 146"
The serial numbers are as explained in my last post, sequential from 1- 10,000. And as I mentioned, these model labels are more for the loom builders, so that they can build the correct parts for your loom. Hope this unravels any mystery you might have had about the model and serial numbers!

This photo is of a prayer flag being woven on one of my portables.

Keep the questions coming! Happy weaving!
Sarah

Monday, May 25, 2009

Making sense



This blog posting is all about deciphering the model and serial number on your Macomber Loom. Every loom made by Macombers since 1936 has a metal tag on the side of the castle. This plate pictured here is from my 56" 16H loom that I purchased new in 1976.

The serial number is a sequentially assigned number that goes from 1 - 10,000. These numbers are tied to a date of manufacture and assigned to the original owner. Once these numbers reach 10,00, they start the numbering system all over. The serial number on my loom is 2489. Rick says that he thinks that all total Macomber Looms has built roughly 30 - 40,000 looms since 1936 when the records began.

The model number is defined by the size of the loom. The models numbers define the weaving width of the loom. B5 Looms are 24" , 32", and 40". B4 Looms are 48", 56", 64" and 72".

The letter following the number defines the weaving width of your loom.

B5~
  • A=24"
  • B=32"
  • C=40"
B4~
  • D=48"
  • E=56"
  • K=64"
  • L=72"

The model number on my loom is B4E. It is a 56" weaving width loom. The model numbers and letter help the loom builders decide what size wood to use to build your loom. There is an exception to this system. A 40" loom that has the capacity for 12 or 16 harnesses is built with the B4 size wood. So these looms would be model numbers B4C.

You don't really need to understand all this. These numbers are mainly for the guys at Macombers to know what size materials to use to build parts for your loom. In my next blog posting, I'll decipher the portable looms serial and model numbers.

Here's another shot of a model and serial label from a 20 harness 56 loom (the one that recently sold thru the blog).

If I have totally confused you, my apologies...and...no worries! Keep weaving, be happy. These numbers and letters are only important if you want to order parts.

~ Sarah

Monday, May 11, 2009

Spring Cleaning!


Look what I unearthed while looking for packing materials to ship some art work to a gallery!

This is a 3/4 yard sectional beam that I have hardly used. It was purchased in the 1980s for a specific project. It's time to sell it!

It has a friction brake, is 56" wide. A new one goes for $330 including the friction brake. I am happy to sell it for $200 plus shipping.

Email or call me, it can be yours!

Sarah

Down Under: the story of hooks and treadles




I have had a few questions about treadles and other moving parts down under the loom. The Macomber treadles are a piece of wood with a slot cut into it to accommodate the hook. There are two style of hooks. The old style hooks (also known as regular) and the super hook.

There are two styles of lamms. The older Macomber lamms are made from a metal bar with a heavy duty cardboard strip across the top. This cardboard strip has holes in it to correspond to each treadle. The regular hooks insert into these holes to create the tie-up connection.

The newer lamms are all aluminum. The super hooks simply slip over the lamm to create the tie-up connection. Here's a photo of a super hook.

Over time the cardboard strip across the old style lamms become worn out and the regular hooks often pop out as you are weaving. The solution here is to switch to the new super hooks. You can use the super hooks with the old style lamms.

Here's a photo of the newer lamm and super hook connection under one of my portables.

Sometime folks ask me about sticky treadles and hook connections. I went over the Macomber this AM to have coffee with Eddie. We chatted and here's our list of possible solutions:
  • clean out the dust from the treadles
  • silicon spray (or try soap or wax) in the slotted wooden track
  • do the same to the hooks
  • use a dehumidifier as the wood will swell with moisture
  • if there has ever been water damage, the treadles will be permanently damaged. You will need to return them to Macomber to be re-slotted.
Also underneath the Larger B-model looms is this item. Many folks have no idea what it is...so I thought I might help out. This is a lamm depressor. As you are working on a new tie-up, simply use this device to hold a lamm depressed while you connect all the treadles needed for that harness. It is very handy if you have a complicated tie-up and need to connect many treadles to one harness for a pattern. Simply put the aluminum part on top of the lam, use the lever to depress the lamm, and then slip the hook under the wooden cross piece to hold the lamm depressed. Now the lamm is in a position so you can attach the hooks needed for each treadle across the loom.

I no longer need this tool as I never do tie-ups any more...the air-dobby system is a dream!!

I hope my explanations and photos are helpful!

Keep the questions coming. I'm always happy to help out. Orders welcome too!

Sarah

Remember to check out the Woven Voices blog!