Here’s where the fun starts. As I mentioned before, I have done a restoration on a 1950s Hammond M-3. While similar, this is going to be considerably more complicated. While “chopping” the cabinet of one of these instruments was popular in the 70s and 80s to make them more portable, I don’t see a good reason to do it. I’m going to “save” the chassis and build a more portable B3-style case for this to transplant everything into. That way if I ever want to go back to the A100 setup, I can.

I am good at following directions and figuring things out, but I am by no means an electrical mechanic-type.

The key here is no fear (and being careful and really cautious around enough electricity that can kill you). With time, research and usually money things can be fixed. If it takes me another month, then so be it. Time to start tearing it apart to see what I’m working with!

I want to take the keys off to remove 5 decades of dust, grime, nicotine and whatever else is in there. So I started by removing the top and removing some really large bolts to loosen up the manuals.

Removed a100 top

The reverb switch didn’t seem to work, even though I could see the (I’m assuming original) tubes were lighting up. After taking off the switch, maybe it is a really really gunked up pot.

Reverb knob

You use a 1/4” nut driver to remove the keys from the back of the instrument. Just be careful not to loosen the screws all the way.

Removing keys

Under the keybed, I started to see an interesting story unfold. At some point since the 1960s, a family or three of mice probably moved in and decided to call the keybeds home. While I didn’t find any nests, I could see food and a lot of mouse poop.

Mouse droppings

I’m assuming the rust on the keybed was due to either mouse urine or a beer spilled on the keys at some point.

Keybed rust

In order to get the manuals out, and to more easily get to the tonewheel generator to clean/recap, I’m unsoldering the wiring harnesses. Here’s my progress so far.

Unsoldering wiring harness

Unsoldering wiring harness

Here’s a little video tour of where I currently am at: