Well, I wasn't planning on purchasing a new-to-me loom in 2023, but here we are. Sherri (my now-retired fibers professor) brought up that Anne (another fiber artist who was weaving with me at University of Michigan's Art School way back when) was wanting to sell her 16-harness Macomber loom and I should purchase it. Sherri has brought it up every time we've gotten together over the past year or two. I figured that it would be much more expensive than I was able to afford, but I wanted to be able to tell Sherri I had at least talked to Anne about it.
Anne wanted to sell it to me at-cost that she paid for it back in 2002, she's taken immaculate care of storing it and it needed a good home. This loom new, with all the extras, bells and whistles she sent along with it would be over 10K and she made me an offer I'd be silly not to take.
Bryan and I went over for a lunch visit and to take a look at the loom, make sure it would (barely) fit in my studio and start planning on how to move it. No matter how we shifted it, it wasn't going to fit into my Explorer without taking it apart further than I was comfortable with. I took off all the beams, and we packed up what we could to lighten the load for the big moving day. I started thinking of a name for my new loom other than "the Beast" which kept turning into Beatrice in my mind, which is one of my favorite Shakespeare characters. So she was named.
I was going to pick it up sooner than later but then the box truck at work was out for repair and I got COVID the week we had planned. The Universe must have know I needed the extra time anyway. In the meantime, about a month and a half, I finished weaving the warp I had going on Delilah, made a rental reservation for the box truck from work, attempted to clean my studio (ha!), moved furniture to make a loom-path through the house. Two nights before the move I bought shoulder harness moving straps and we moved Delilah into the garage...
These shoulder harness straps are amazing. Moving really big heavy things sucks, but this product really made it suck less. For two in-ok-shape 41 year olds we were tired but surprised that it didn't hurt more. We tested the straps before the big moving day with Delilah so I could see what else we might have to move around for the loom-path. Delilah's second back beam is sectional beam which was really the hard part of not taking her beams off, the pointy metal spikes threatened to catch on walls and furniture but we made it out.
For moving truck rental we found it less expensive to rent the box truck from Home Depot because they charge by the hour whereas UHaul charges a flat "daily rate" rate but then has an additional per-mile cost. We were driving to and from Ann Arbor and the mileage was going to be more than double the cost of what Home Depot charges. The box truck was extra large for the loom, but it's the only truck that has a ramp and no way were we lifting this upwards onto a truck bed!
Moving Beatrice in the house was not the same as moving Delilah out. The 16-harness castle plus extra width for this beast of a loom made it juuuust wide enough that it was a struggle to get it through the back 32-inch storm door and then it stuck on the exterior door. I had to take the back door off of the frame (the hinge pins refused to budge for me) and the studio door off the hinges.
I was hoping that we would be able to walk her in place in a normal position, but the alcove before the studio was too tight to turn her around. Beatrice is 70 inches wide (longest side) and Delilah was only 48 inches wide...so we backed into the dining room, secured more of the moving parts that I was concerned about and lifted her on her side, repositioned the moving straps and shuffled her in. Beatrice just fits in the space with my mess of shelves all around. I can still move around her, but it's much tighter than with Delilah.
We got her moved in to the studio and I then waited until my next day off to put her all back together. I found that the beams had been in the wrong places, a spring was stretched wrong, some of it was not making sense and, thanks to google, I happened upon a blog that discussed Macomber looms specifically. Macomber Looms and Me turned out to be a help getting Beatrice put back together correctly.
It's taken me a while to adjust to her size, honestly it's been a bit intimidating. I should be working on a new sample for my "anger piece" but the desire to play with some more complex weave structures is really what I want to be doing so I've wound a warp to play with an undulating twill pattern. Undulating twill was the first thing that came to mind of what I could weave with more harnesses, and it was waking me up in the middle of the night with the need to sort out pattern drafts. I'm so excited to be warping something more complex than usual!