Monday, January 11, 2010

Spiffing up your loom!

I have had a few requests lately about how to spiff up (translate as clean or refurbish) a Macomber Loom. Usually one thinks of cleaning as a Spring activity, but here in my studio, I find that winter is the perfect time. I don't have the distractions of the gardens or summer activities and today's weather does not lure me to be out side for long. So here in my studio, the time is perfect to do a bit of loom maintenance.

I blogged about the Vaseline on the B4 and B5 models. Read about this in a March entry.  Similarly you need to occasionally put Vaseline on the CP models where the jack post inserts into the bottom of the harness.


Like so:



Here are some other CP cleaning/spiffing tasks.




Use a small brush to clean the dust and lint out of the wooden harness tracks.

Spray a bit of silicon spray on these same tracks.











 The same steps are followed to clean the tracks below where the lamms slide in the wooden tracks.

Dust, spray with silicon and apply Vaseline to the brass jacks.  

If the wood finish on your loom is looking worn and scuffed. Use a fine grade steel wool to gently rub the surface. Then use a Pledge spray or similar product to seal the wood. I find that weavers often use masking tape to hold down their raddle.  Over this habit over time will build up a gummy deposit on the wood. Steel wool will remove this material and the oil will bring the wood back.
 


If the finish is in very rough shape,  use the steel wool to remove the flaking and chipped varnish. Then apply a satin finish polyurethane such as Minwax.


If the finish is simply dirty (coffee, tea or perhaps wine spills!) use Murphy's Oil soap to gently wash it. Dry and apply the Pledge.

These looms are work horses, but like all animals they need TLC, feeding and tending. Love your loom and it will give you MANY, I repeat MANY years of excellent service. I consistently sell parts to weavers who have looms that are 40, 50 and even 60 years old.

You will be a happier weaver from your time spent caring for your loom. Trust me!

Happy weaving! As always, I enjoy hearing from you ~ Sarah

34 comments:

  1. Thanks, Sarah! I knew about the silicon spray but not about the Vaseline.

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  2. No loom is better than a Macomber. My loom was originally purchased in the 60's. It sat in someone's leaking basement for at least 20 years. When I got it it was badly rusted and the wood was buried under tons of dirt, debris and plaster. We sanded the wood and refinished it with penetrating oil and furniture wax. Beautiful finish - almost looks like a french polish. The metal was sanded, some parts repainted and then oiled. The loom honestly looks better than new. The wood has a beautiful warm color and is looks as though it just came off the show room floor. Every time I start on a new project I always clean all the parts of the loom and oil where needed.

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    1. looking for advice on how to remove the rust on my newly purchased macomber 32 inch b Even the heddles have some rust on them. I'm newly retired so don't have a lot of money to buy new heddles. Beaming rods, Harness frames etc have rust that also needs removed. I am trying steel wool 0000, sandpaper, clr and still having quite a time getting it back to a new look. Any suggestions appreciated.

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    2. Removing rust is an arduous job...you are right on track. Steel wool, lightly sand. Then apply some light oil or even clear acrylic spray. It (sadly) will never look like new...but as long as the rust does not come in contact with your yarn at any time it will not effect your weaving. Keep at it!

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  3. Sarah,
    I have an opportunity to purchase a 48" Macomber loom for a good price. I am very new to weaving, just starting classes. My problem is, I live in Seattle & the loom is in Montana. Is the Macomber easily shipped ? Will it break down or would it be better to have a moving company ship the loom ? Thank for any help.
    Al

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  4. Al:
    Get a reputable moving company to move it. Be sure to have all the little parts (ie. tie-up hooks, crank handle, shuttles)packed well in a box. Have the harnesses secured so they don't swing. Basically all loose parts tied down. And be sure to have the seller document any damage, scratches, etc prior to shipping. Get it insured for any damage. Hope this helps!! Let me know if you have more questions. Sarah

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  5. Thank you Sarah !
    Al

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  6. Hi, I'm Janet from Old Town, Maine, however I'm posting as anonymous because I don't know how to post using the other choices (cyber-idiot, lol !!). Thanks for the information on cleaning the Macomber. I inherited my 48" 8H from my mother and by the looks of it she never cleaned it. I would like to know how to get the masking tape off of the top of the harnesses. I couldn't pick it off with my thumb nail so I started to use a razor blade and found I was removing paint as well and quit. Is there a solvent that will remove masking tape? Also are there serial numbers on Macomber looms so I can find out how old it is? Hi, to everybody. Glad I found this web site. Janet

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    1. Use WD40. It should loosen the adhesive nicely.

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  7. Janet:

    HI to you in Old Town ME. I know it well, as my parents lived there when they were newly weds! And my brother ran the water dept for a few years. Small world!

    There must be a solvent for this adhesive leftover, but honestly I don't know what it is...I'd ask your local hardware store what they recommend.

    The serial number is on the side name plate along with the model number. Call me or email with with this info and I can get the age of the loom. Happy weaving! Sarah

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  8. Hi,

    Just purchased a Macomber loom at a auction. I am thrilled to have it and it appears to be in good shape. I bring it home tomorrow. I am very new to weaving and looking for a good class.

    I do know that a product called GOO Gone removes tape residue without damaging surfaces. You can find it at Lowes, Walmat, Menards and other such stores.

    Vyki

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  9. Thanks Vyki~

    I had forgotten about Goo0Gone...it does work well, though I have not tried it on old dried up tape. Congrats on the new/used loom!
    Sarah

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  10. Hi, Today I purchased a 40 year old Macomber--22" weaving width and 8 harnesses. I was very happy to find your blog and the cleaning tips. Thank you! Any suggestions on how to clean the aprons? Can they be pried off, laundered gently and then stapled back on? Thanks in advance for any advice. Jan

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  11. Hi Jan:
    As far as cleaning the aprons, I would be hesitant to take them off and wash them...they might shrink. But then again, go ahead and do it. And if they shrink we can replace them with brand new aprons. Since Macomber does not make a 22" weaving width loom, I can't give you a price quote.Very ambitious folks make their own aprons out of heavy cotton duck fabric.

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  12. Thank you for the response, Sarah. Now that I've actually measured, the weaving width is 24-24 1/2". Its serial number is CPJ1295 and is an Ad-A-Harness model. Are there new aprons available for it? Jan

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  13. Yes aprons are still available, as are all parts. The aprons for the CP 24" are $24. A bargain!

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  14. I just bought an old 40" macomber and it needs lots of cleaning. I bought a new apron and will have to put it on the loom but it also cam with an additional sectional back beam. I thought I saw someone had both of these beams on her loom and she could use whichever one she wanted for a project without removing one. How can I put these both on my loom. Can you show me a picture. I would like to have both of them on my loom and if I do is there another break I have to attach and how can I get it?

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  15. Paula:
    Sure you can have two beams on one loom. One plain and one sectional. The sectional goes in the lower position. As far as brakes, as long as you are using them separately you can have two beams with ratchet brakes. If you need to order the brake, I can help with that. I do not have a photo of a sectional and a plain beam both on one loom, sorry!

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  16. Thank you for your blog and information on maintaining my loom! I have owned it for 16yrs now and have only cleaned it once (bad me!) I was just noticing it needs a good cleaning and wasn't sure how to proceed I am so happy to have found your site! Thanks again!

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  17. I just purchased an old Macomber 28 inch loom - it has a label that says Ad=A-Harness - Macomber. It was built in Saugus, Mass- not York Maine. It appears to be in ok shape - I will have to clean, oil, etc. The Brake needs some work though - parts aren't attached, but it has a spring on it. ANy thoughts?

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  18. Have you looked a the photos of a complete brake system on the CP. Scroll thru old blogs and you will find several images of these brakes. That should help. You can always send me photos to help identify problems.

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  19. Hi Sarah. Thanks for posting so much great information. I'm new to weaving and bought a CPJ 24" loom (#7579)at a junk shop for $100. I think it might need to be refurbished and wonder about how much that would cost. The reeds seem to be okay. They look like galvanized metal. The aprons are missing, along with anything not permanently connected to the loom (shuttle, treadle hooks, etc.) What would you suggest?

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  20. I am hoping to buy an older four harness Macomber made in Saugus. Is it still possible to get additional harnesses for a loom this old?

    Jim

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  21. Hi Jim ~
    Yes...those harnesses are available. Call me to place an order. 207-475-7083. Look forward to helping you.
    Sarah

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  22. Wonderful post! I just cleaned up the loom and the harnesses no longer hang, the treadles move properly and the squeaks from the sides of the loom are gone! I should of cleaned the loom 20 years ago (oops!).

    As I have been cleaning/repairing, I have just discovered why the metal bar (that holds the treadles, brake and the back of the loom together) keeps sliding out the side of the loom. Every hour or so of weaving, I have to hammer it back into place. There are round metal rings with a small screw inserted that look like they should be tightened onto the metal bar. Well, the screws are all missing, thus allowing the metal bar to slowly jiggle its way off the lower back of the loom. Is there a way I could get replacement screws? They look like they're a special size.

    Thanks for your help.
    Mary

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  23. Hi Mary:
    Thanks for your note! So happy that your loom is working smoothly! You should be able to get a new screw for that ring at a hardware store. Or you can replace the entire ring. I believe that a good/large hardware store should carry them.
    happy New Year Weaving! Sarah

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  24. Is it still possible to buy harnesses for the 28 inch weaving width Ad-a-harness loom?

    Thanks for your help.

    Carolyn H

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    1. Hi Carolyn:

      yes the ad-d-harness units are still available. give me a call!

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  25. Thank you Sarah! Going to look at the loom tomorrow, and providing it is in good shape, come home with it. If I buy the loom, I will definitely be calling you. Thanks again!

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  26. I'm missing the crank for my Ad A Harness loom. It's incredibly dirty and I'm still working on that issue... Thank you in advance!

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    1. I'm happy to help you! A new warp crank is $60.

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  27. Hi Sarah, I'm about to be getting an older Macomber that's in dire need of refurbishing. This post is going to come in handy, so thanks for writing this! Also, I was wondering if you could help me identify the model and age of the loom. The name plate is cast bronze and stamped with "Reed Macomber Ad-A-Harness B Loom 10 L. W. Macomber Saugus Mass". Thanks again!

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