Sunday, October 28, 2007

Macomber Mysteries

A week ago I bought my dream loom. It's a 45" Macomber 16 harness frame with 8 harnesses. The perfect width (not too big, not too narrow). The perfect number of harnesses. And room to expand should I outgrow 8.

Unfortunately, Macomber doesn't have much in the way of documentation. I have the catalogs the original owner received. And lovely catalogs they are! Someone spent a lot of time and energy creating such beautiful marketing literature. I, and probably many other Macomber owners, wish they had put the same energy into providing supporting documentation. So far, I haven't even found someone with a mechanical assembly drawing.

So I come to the community of Macomber owners with some questions. I am fairly mechanically inclined and can figure out most things on my own. I also have some experience with looms (I own 5 not counting the Mac - 2 tables, a floor, and 2 rigid heddles). Sometimes, stuff just plain stumps you.

First, what are these parts?

Macomber parts

The middle piece is used to connect the treadle to a shaft. I figured that one out because the previous owner left one still attached. I have lots of those which I assume you need to be able to set up complicated tie-ups. But I haven't a clue about the smaller wire-like piece. There are exactly 10 of those. Coincidentally, the loom has 10 treadles.

Next, what does this lever do?
black lever black lever with silver piece

The photos were taken from the back of loom. I think the black lever is used in conjuction with the big silver hunk of metal in the first picture. Threading the black handle into the slot and lining it up over part of the jack mechanism makes it possible to push down on a single shaft from the front of the loom. Is that how this is to be used? Why would you use something like that?

Last question: what is this for? And where should it be attached?

close up of spring, string, and chain spring, string, and chain in natural position

It hangs off the back beam near the warp beam. It consists of a small spring, some thin rope, and a chain at the end. I know it's not the warp beam brake because there's a ratchet contraption on the other end of the warp beam.

I hope someone can help!


Anonymous said...

Hi! I have a Macomber, too. I love it but have the same problem as you -- where does that white cord go to? I know it does something but I've been weaving for about a year with it hanging on the floor. I called the folks at Macomber and asked them and they told me it wraps around the back beam. And then what? Which way does it go? What does it attach to? I would appreciate it very much if you could post a picture on your blog or email me to let me know. I love your blog and I'm trying to keep up with you. Best regards, Kathy L.

Anonymous said...
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Kimberly said...

If you read my post on 10-30-07, you'll read what that string is for.

In a nutshell, it's a brake for the back beam so that when you release the tension to advance the warp, the back beam doesn't go spinning.

You pull the spring open, wrap the STRING around the beam twice and on the second wrap hook the chain onto the hook that the spring is hanging from. The chain is to give you some adjustability.

Hope that helps.