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#2864420 - 07/04/17 07:01 PM My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet
Brad Kaenel Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 09/12/06
Posts: 654
Loc: SoCal
I found this old Hammond "A" cabinet that had been someone's Franken-organ project. Plan to customize it to house my Forte 7 and Numa 2 clonewheel for use at church.

"A" cabinets look nearly identical to classic "B" cabinets, except that they're less deep by about 10" - a nice size for a custom project.

Day 1
First round of paint/varnish remover. The veneer on the side panels was in bad shape, and a lot of it was already coming off. I decided to finish the job (no pun intended) to expose the lighter wood, as this will match the décor of the church (which is sort of nouveau-industrial; distressed, stained wood and tin siding). Other surfaces don't seem veneered, just deeply stained; probably won't have much luck getting them to look lighter. But, hey, a two-tone look might be cool. smile

OT: Anybody ever use "Rock-Miracle" paint/varnish remover? Had it recommended to me as *the* thing for peeling off 60-year-old finishes. Man, that stuff is serious; probably the most caustic substance I've ever used. A pin-head-sized drop of that on exposed skin burns like the dickens! Works great, but use goggles -- you definitely don't want an errant paintbrush flick putting a drop of that stuff in your eye!)







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KC Island
#2864421 - 07/04/17 07:11 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Brad Kaenel]
Pa Gherkin Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 03/27/11
Posts: 565
Nice project. Also,when using Rock Miracle always have as much ventilation as possible. The fumes will make you exceedingly nauseous. The stuff really does work great though.

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#2864447 - 07/04/17 10:53 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Pa Gherkin]
ClavAnother Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/01/13
Posts: 110
Or if you want to restore it, I have all the parts that go inside of it

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#2864448 - 07/04/17 10:54 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: ClavAnother]
ClavAnother Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/01/13
Posts: 110
I personally would pick up an A100 and do an organ transplant. I did that two years ago and it's awesome.

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#2864507 - 07/05/17 06:36 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: ClavAnother]
Outkaster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 5811
Loc: Rochester, NY
Yeah don't put clones in there. Try to restore it as a project. There were only about 2500 model A organs built from June 1935 to October 1938. There are only so many in existence.
_________________________
"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


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#2864511 - 07/05/17 07:00 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Outkaster]
WesG Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 3116
Loc: Inverary, ON, Canada
You're lucky you found all one colour of wood underneath the veneer! My '37 is a glue-up from two different species.

ClavAnother: did you do use a solid-state preamp for your transplant? If not, how did you fit an AO28 in the box?
_________________________
Hammond: L111, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, B3
Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 31H
Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85
Roland: VR-09
Band Site: http://DrBombay.ca/

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#2864594 - 07/05/17 12:12 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Outkaster]
Brad Kaenel Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 09/12/06
Posts: 654
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: ClavAnother
I personally would pick up an A100 and do an organ transplant. I did that two years ago and it's awesome.

Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Yeah don't put clones in there. Try to restore it as a project. There were only about 2500 model A organs built from June 1935 to October 1938. There are only so many in existence.


I appreciate the encouragement, but that ship has already sailed. I had a great condition RT3 under my roof for several years, and more than once I considered trying to transfer the guts into this much smaller cabinet. But the RT3 had already become something of a money-pit, and had developed some freaky electrical problems (and I'm a weepy little girl when it comes to old-school-serious electricity -- I've cheated death too many times).

To do a transplant of any 3-series organ, I'm pretty sure the preamp would have to be replaced with one of Trek's solid-state options, because of space; again, more money. So the real Hammond's gone, and I'm happy with the clones. Being a trained pianist, not an organist, I admit to treating a Hammond more like an effect than like an instrument -- so, guilty as charged for not wanting to go for a full restore. smile

The need at church is mobility. We're always moving the furnishing around for special events, and it's taking a toll on my CP-80M (which we don't disassemble, just to move it 50'). With digitals inside a nice cabinet, I can have two boards at my disposal instead of just one, and have it on wheels so it can be easily moved around by folks who don't really know how to take the proper care with vintage instruments. Plus, I can refinish it to match our interiors, so it doesn't look as out-of-place as a big chunk of black Tolex. thu
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#2864596 - 07/05/17 12:19 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Brad Kaenel]
timwat Offline
Quite wealthy...spiritually
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Registered: 11/21/01
Posts: 5358
Loc: Concord,CA,UNITED STATES
Brad, I envy guys like you who can get into these larger hands-on projects. I see some of the custom work you and others on this board do and I wish I had those skills. Sigh.

It sounds like you're using the cab as a custom stand. So are you going to essentially mount two "shelves" into the case for your two boards?

And is there already a back for the cabinet or will you have to fabricate one?
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#2864602 - 07/05/17 12:32 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: WesG]
ClavAnother Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/01/13
Posts: 110
Originally Posted By: WesG

ClavAnother: did you do use a solid-state preamp for your transplant? If not, how did you fit an AO28 in the box?


There's absolutly no room for an AO28 in there. The donor A143 already had the ssp3 so that's what made me decide to do it. I had wanted an "A3" for about twenty years. I'm quite pleased with the result.

To the OP, of course I can totally appreciate you not wanting to do it. It's no small job.

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#2864615 - 07/05/17 01:17 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: ClavAnother]
WesG Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 3116
Loc: Inverary, ON, Canada
timwat: you can do it. It's just a matter of acquiring those skills. One at a time. If you thinking you might like to get into Hammonds, I would be happy to hold your hand.
_________________________
Hammond: L111, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, B3
Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 31H
Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85
Roland: VR-09
Band Site: http://DrBombay.ca/

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#2864664 - 07/05/17 04:12 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: timwat]
Brad Kaenel Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 09/12/06
Posts: 654
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: timwat
It sounds like you're using the cab as a custom stand. So are you going to essentially mount two "shelves" into the case for your two boards?

And is there already a back for the cabinet or will you have to fabricate one?


Yes, exactly that. At minimum, just a couple of 1" horizontal "rails" screwed into the side panels would be enough for the boards to sit on, though I might choose to use full-length shelves. I also have a lot of old Ultimate Support aluminum tubes and crossbars; might try to use those.

Yep, I have the other sundry wood pieces: back panel, fallboard, cover. Will definitely use the back panel, but I probably won't utilize the others.
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#2864738 - 07/06/17 04:57 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Brad Kaenel]
WesG Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 3116
Loc: Inverary, ON, Canada
Brad - some aluminium channel and/or angle , combined with some angle brackets, would make a great lightweight "shelf".

Add some velcro to the pedal contact crossmember, and you will have a place to store pedals while in transit. Then you'll never need to break down your rig. Just move it on ROKs. smile

Don't forget to make sure the old joinery is solid. Hot hide glue is your friend here, you don't need to clean out the joint if you do a HHG repair.

Wes
_________________________
Hammond: L111, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, B3
Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 31H
Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85
Roland: VR-09
Band Site: http://DrBombay.ca/

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#2867706 - 07/18/17 04:28 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Brad Kaenel]
Brad Kaenel Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 09/12/06
Posts: 654
Loc: SoCal
Day 2 - Lots of sanding

Looking a lot nicer now after several hours of elbow grease with a sander. I thought I was past the veneer on the big side panels, having stripped off the outer layer. But as you can see in the two bottom photos, that layer of wood with the greenish tinge is still hiding the actual wood block underneath











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Fender Rhodes '73 Mark I Stage, Yamaha CP-80M




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#2867754 - 07/18/17 09:52 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Outkaster]
OB Dave Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/25/09
Posts: 968
Loc: San Diego CA, US
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
There were only about 2500 model A organs built from June 1935 to October 1938.


Did not realize this! I came very close to buying a Model A, I believe the serial number was 1001. The bass was unreal. I ended up buying a C2 with Trek II percussion instead, and TBH have never regretted the purchase.

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#2867787 - 07/19/17 06:15 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: OB Dave]
Keysguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/17/11
Posts: 197
Loc: Bluffton SC
My Model A story. Bought one for $1500 from a former Hammond Tech who had worked for a small organ service Co. in NJ. It had the solid state preamp, percussion, reverb and string bass installed. Came with a 145. Got it home and couldn't stop playing it for days. The Bass doesn't fold back on A's and the sound was so pure. That little monster just kicked ass.
At the time I was working with a Hammond tech in North NJ and he had a church in Queens NY who needed an organ. I already had 2 B3's so figured the A was the obvious one to sell. Made a nice profit on the deal and the Church was thrilled with it. A short time later the Church got flooded and I freaked and asked about the organ. The music minister had pulled it out in time and had it safely at his home. Out of all the Hammond I've owned or dealt with I still look back at that A as being one I wish I still had

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#2867791 - 07/19/17 06:44 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Keysguy]
Outkaster Offline
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Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 5811
Loc: Rochester, NY
What tech in NJ?
_________________________
"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


noblevibes.com


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#2867794 - 07/19/17 06:52 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Outkaster]
WesG Offline
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Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 3116
Loc: Inverary, ON, Canada
Keysguy: every time I hear guys like you talk about a model A, I keeping think I should modify my franken-CV to have no-foldback bass on the lower manual. I already have the right generator. I guess all I need to do is populate tones 1-12 on the terminal strip and relocate 12 resistance wires...
_________________________
Hammond: L111, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, B3
Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 31H
Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85
Roland: VR-09
Band Site: http://DrBombay.ca/

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#2867804 - 07/19/17 07:45 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: WesG]
mate stubb Offline
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10k Club

Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 15585
Originally Posted By: WesG
Keysguy: every time I hear guys like you talk about a model A, I keeping think I should modify my franken-CV to have no-foldback bass on the lower manual. I already have the right generator. I guess all I need to do is populate tones 1-12 on the terminal strip and relocate 12 resistance wires...


Do it! I did the same with my first B-2. No idea how a generator with smooth TW got in there, but I took advantage of it. As I recall, there were 12 blank spots on the manual terminal strips and I didn't use resistance wires, just ordinary wire straight from the generator. It sounded monstrous!
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Moe
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#2867817 - 07/19/17 08:08 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: mate stubb]
WesG Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 3116
Loc: Inverary, ON, Canada
Moe - Interesting! Non-resistance wiring must have been incredible! smile

That is a curious organ, you must have had a generator and wiring harnesses from an A/B/C/BC/D/E/G organ.

I think the manuals in the B2 would have had holes where there terminals would go in the strip, but no actual metal in it. I wonder if that B-2 was a Frankenorgan? Do you remember if you had leaf or coil springs on the keys?

Wes
_________________________
Hammond: L111, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, B3
Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 31H
Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85
Roland: VR-09
Band Site: http://DrBombay.ca/

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#2867822 - 07/19/17 08:19 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Outkaster]
Keysguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/17/11
Posts: 197
Loc: Bluffton SC
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
What tech in NJ?


The guy i bought it froms last name was Romeo, his father was my Music Supervisor in the School System I taught in. He used to work for the Union Organ service company in Linden.
The tech I worked with was Jack Pelek in Little Falls.
Lost touch and don;t know if he's still active but he did a lot fo top line work. Really made his living from churches, jazz guys and rockers had no money LOL!

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#2867824 - 07/19/17 08:20 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: WesG]
Keysguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/17/11
Posts: 197
Loc: Bluffton SC
Originally Posted By: WesG
Keysguy: every time I hear guys like you talk about a model A, I keeping think I should modify my franken-CV to have no-foldback bass on the lower manual. I already have the right generator. I guess all I need to do is populate tones 1-12 on the terminal strip and relocate 12 resistance wires...


Why not ? Do it if you can.

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#2867826 - 07/19/17 08:30 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: WesG]
mate stubb Offline
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10k Club

Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 15585
My organ was perhaps a frankenorgen - it's a big mystery. It was an old road dog painted black with musical notes, tacks in it, and "Tommy Dean" painted on the fall board.

I actually tracked him down:

http://campber.people.clemson.edu/deanie.html

It had all the correct parts for a B-2 - leaf springs in the keys, AO-10 preamp, but the generator had smooth TWs. Nothing about the wiring looked hacked or non-standard. The cabinet was so wobbly it could barely stand up on its legs.

The first thing I did was chop the legs off. Thus began many years of experimentation. I added an Orgonics tube percussion unit, built a new case with a Hohner pianet built in and the generator/preamp on the floor, and modded the pedal TWs into the bottom manual. At one point I even wired a discarded chorus generator into it.
_________________________
Moe
---
Kawai Novus: "Please feel surprised even more."

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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#2867832 - 07/19/17 08:49 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Keysguy]
Outkaster Offline
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Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 5811
Loc: Rochester, NY
Originally Posted By: Keysguy
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
What tech in NJ?


The guy i bought it froms last name was Romeo, his father was my Music Supervisor in the School System I taught in. He used to work for the Union Organ service company in Linden.
The tech I worked with was Jack Pelek in Little Falls.
Lost touch and don;t know if he's still active but he did a lot fo top line work. Really made his living from churches, jazz guys and rockers had no money LOL!


Interesting. My buddy Tom in NJ might know him. He is a tech and friend in NJ.
_________________________
"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


noblevibes.com


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#2872571 - 08/12/17 04:08 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Brad Kaenel]
Brad Kaenel Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 09/12/06
Posts: 654
Loc: SoCal
Day 3

For all of us who are on that eternal quest to find ways to make our favorite keyboards lighter, I've found the secret:

"Just keep sanding... Just keep sanding..."

After peeling off the ugly, top-most layer of varnished veneer on the side panels, I discovered an even uglier, greenish layer of wood beneath (see Day 2, above). But under THAT, it looked like good stuff...

I was right! Main cabinet looking nice and clean now. Legs are next up...







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#2872572 - 08/12/17 05:18 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Brad Kaenel]
b3plyr Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/03/11
Posts: 174
Looking great, Brad! Ah, the other skills of keyboardist! Can't wait to see the finished product.

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#2872633 - 08/13/17 10:32 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: b3plyr]
LX88 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1765
How are you going to finish it?

I know more than a little on the subject.

Hint... do not use hardware store stains.

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#2872670 - 08/13/17 01:33 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: LX88]
Brad Kaenel Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 09/12/06
Posts: 654
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: LX88
How are you going to finish it?

I know more than a little on the subject.

Hint... do not use hardware store stains.


The decor in my church is all distressed white pine, with a light oak oil, and corrugated tin accents. That's what I'm hoping to match, as best I can.

I'm sure the stain we've used is from Home Depot. blush

What would you recommend? I don't want it to be shiny or glossy like the original finish...
_________________________
Kurzweil Forte 7, Nord Stage 2EX Compact, QSC K8.2 Powered Speakers
Fender Rhodes '73 Mark I Stage, Yamaha CP-80M




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#2872800 - 08/14/17 06:32 AM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Brad Kaenel]
Musicale Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 798
Loc: Naperville, IL
General finishes has the best finish available. I think the place I but their products is Woodcrafters. I have been working on wood finishing for 50 years and this stuff is the best.

Musical

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#2873430 - 08/16/17 06:37 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: Musicale]
Jazzmammal Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/17/12
Posts: 1799
Loc: Redondo Beach, CA
Believe it or not good old RIT dye you can buy anywhere works great. That's what I refinished my Knabe grand with about 12 years ago and it still looks awesome. I picked up that trick on a piano restorers forum and lots of guys there agreed with that. RIT is so cheap you can easily buy a whole bunch of colors, mix them and test them until you find just what you want. I used a couple of browns with a touch of red and black to come up with a truly gorgeous mahogany color then I polished it with shellac.

The trick with vertical surfaces is to control runs because RIT is colored water. Use an old white cloth and don't use too much. When you see a run catch it immediately and it's ok but let it sit for even 15 seconds and you can't take it out with the cloth. I had to use some stripper once but that was still easy enough. I stripped the run and did the RIT again and it blended perfectly. Once I figured out I really needed to look out for runs and catch them RIGHT NOW it went smooth as silk. The water might raise the grain a touch depending on how hard the wood is but a light sanding easily fixes that.

Another great thing with RIT is you control it. You can mix it stronger or weaker and figure out how many times to stain it. I literally just eyeballed my piano until I got it right. Some areas soaked up the dye and I need a bit more while others only needed a couple of swipes. I'm sure you can figure that out.

BTW Brad, the SK1 I bought from you is still going strong with that repair you did on the knob. No issues at all.

Bob

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#2873451 - 08/16/17 08:37 PM Re: My fake Baby "B" project - Hammond Model "A" cabinet [Re: mate stubb]
zxcvbnm098 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1199
Loc: Southern Calif.
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
My organ was perhaps a frankenorgen - it's a big mystery. It was an old road dog painted black with musical notes, tacks in it, and "Tommy Dean" painted on the fall board.

I actually tracked him down:

http://campber.people.clemson.edu/deanie.html


It had all the correct parts for a B-2 - leaf springs in the keys, AO-10 preamp, but the generator had smooth TWs. Nothing about the wiring looked hacked or non-standard. The cabinet was so wobbly it could barely stand up on its legs.

The first thing I did was chop the legs off. Thus began many years of experimentation. I added an Orgonics tube percussion unit, built a new case with a Hohner pianet built in and the generator/preamp on the floor, and modded the pedal TWs into the bottom manual. At one point I even wired a discarded chorus generator into it.


What great story Moe! Finding the person who had that before you is pretty damn cool....

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