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  • Barn Hammond M3

    Hey everyone! Back again in my quest for knowledge.

    Well, it finally happened. I found a Hammond. Not a B, as is my dream, but an M3. That's enough for me. Picked it up for free not knowing if it worked. It has sat out in a barn for time immemorial.

    As a testament to how these were constructed, brought it home and fired it up. Sounds great. Well, mostly.

    It's VERY dirty. Have some sticky keys that I think is just due to the dirt.

    My instincts are to go at it with an air compressor to start before I begin cleaning it up. Anyone think of a reason why I should avoid this? I don't want to push the dirt in any further, but I'd prefer not to take it apart too much. Aside from that, any tips to restoring it to (some) of it's previous glory? I don't need it to be perfect, but it deserves a good cleaning.

    Another piece of advice I was hoping for relates to the foot pedals. It seems all the sound I can get out of them is a raspy farting tuba. There is a distinct difference in tone as you go from up to down, but it just sounds chunky. I found the drawbar that controls some of the sound, but I don't know much on the Hammond side of things. Yet.

    One other thing to note is that I need to push the drawbar in just a skosh if it's fully extended. If I pull it ALL the way out, the sound cuts out. Will this problem be removed with some cleaning?

    I know this is kind of a meandering dialogue, but I've found this forum so helpful in the past and I thought I'd try again. Anything is appreciated.

    Model M3 Form A1 (what does the form indicate?)

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I'll get in first to tell you to switch it off until you get some Hammond oil! This is all mechanical, and you can guarantee that the farmer hasn't been giving it a squirt in between milking the cows. Others will give you more advanced advice, but to preserve the tone generator - GET SOME OIL!

    BTW, congratulations on getting it for free!

    Comment


    • mrdrmcgee
      mrdrmcgee commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, I've just finished ordering some!

    • Dik van der Noot
      Dik van der Noot commented
      Editing a comment
      And buy some environmentally friendly milk remover.

    • mrdrmcgee
      mrdrmcgee commented
      Editing a comment
      What is the milk remover comment about? I'm completely in the dark there.

  • #3
    Check the power cord.
    Jim

    Comment


    • mrdrmcgee
      mrdrmcgee commented
      Editing a comment
      The power cord is complete, but has two twist-on connectors that complete it. I'm not sure why, but it works as is.

  • #4
    Originally posted by mrdrmcgee View Post
    My instincts are to go at it with an air compressor to start before I begin cleaning it up. Anyone think of a reason why I should avoid this? I don't want to push the dirt in any further, but I'd prefer not to take it apart too much.
    No problem. Nothing that some compressed air can really hurt. Just don't go crazy with it at high pressures.
    If there's already contaminants causing problems, they will need cleaned. If you push MORE contaminants into those problem areas, they will need cleaned. That's the result. So no problem.

    Originally posted by mrdrmcgee View Post
    Another piece of advice I was hoping for relates to the foot pedals. It seems all the sound I can get out of them is a raspy farting tuba.
    As it happens, the lowest of the spinet wheels are not the regular wavy sine profile but are a square notch. So yes, they sound different.
    Obviously, your amp is in need of lots of attention as it's reacting more harsh than it should. This is nothing to be alarmed about, it's just you're gonna need some amp components, of course.

    Originally posted by mrdrmcgee View Post
    One other thing to note is that I need to push the drawbar in just a skosh if it's fully extended. If I pull it ALL the way out, the sound cuts out. Will this problem be removed with some cleaning?
    You've embarked on a journey with no immediate solution. You will find a LOT of tiny little things where a skoshe here and a hair there will be involved. Each will involve disassembly, cleaning, maybe adjustment, burnishing, or a dozen other operations as you go.
    Lots and lots of Hammonds on this forum are in various states of "perfection" where "everything works except...." or "just don't turn on that...." or some such reservation. Your Hammond has a long list of needs. As you go, the list will shorten until you're down to just a couple of things and maybe, someday, completely crisp and clean.
    Don't get in much of a hurry. It's not going anywhere and you'll really enjoy getting to know it.

    Comment


    • mrdrmcgee
      mrdrmcgee commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, I'm attempting to scour the forum here now for people who've tackled similar issues.

  • #5
    Rather than diving head-first with compressed air which will probably spread the mess around, I'd be more inclined to start first with a VERY gentle vacuum cleaner brush attachment and a small soft-bristled paintbrush to minimize the possibility of pushing dust and dirt further into the machine.
    There are a few obvious primary actions which will cost only a few dollars:
    • Oil the tonewheel generator with proper Hammond Oil, allow a few days for it to penetrate the bearings and work its way through the network of capillary threads and wicks. Several oilings may be required if it has not been done for decades.
    • Before you even turn the thing on, try turning the tonewheel generator by hand - this will give you an idea if anything is seized or gummed up.
    • Remove the tubes, clean the pins and sockets
    • Check the integrity of the power supply cord and as much of the amp as you are competent to do (WARNING: lethal high voltages. If you don't know what this means then get a tech to look at it for you).
    • At a minimum, the power supply caps are probably shot due to age and disuse - make room in your budget to have these replaced ASAP.
    • Check for signs of rodent infestation and damage (chewed cords, perished speaker cones, droppings, nests, etc.). You don't want to breathe that stuff - use a mask and gloves.
    • Check for venomous creatures - I don't know about your part of the world, but in Australia anything left in a barn for decades will become a haven for deadly spiders and maybe even snakes. NEVER put your hands where you can't see.


    Current:
    1971 T-202 with Carsten Meyer mods: Remove key click filters, single-trigger percussion, UM 16' drawbar volume correction. Lower Manual bass foldback.
    Korg CX3 (original 1980's analogue model).
    1967 Leslie 122 with custom inbuilt preamp on back panel for 1/4" line-level inputs, bass & treble controls. Horn diffusers intact.
    2009 Marshall 2061x HW Plexi head into Marshall 4x12 cabinet.

    Former:
    1964 C3
    196x M-102
    197x X5
    197x Leslie 825

    Comment


    • mrdrmcgee
      mrdrmcgee commented
      Editing a comment
      Is there any place that will provide some simple diagrams for where things are at in the back of this M3? I have a manual that came with it, but the M3 isn't even listed. I'm not sure how it got there and I can't ask the couple that originally owned it as I believe they've both crossed over.

      Edit: I have found the service manual at archive.org and downloaded it.
      Last edited by mrdrmcgee; 03-20-2021, 02:08 PM.
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