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Here are some things to consider when moving an organ.

Locking the ToneGenerator

Always, always make sure the ToneGenerator is locked down before you move a HammondOrgan. When unlocked the TG is suspended on springs in order to reduce the amount of (mostly acoustic) noise emitted by the generator. If you move the organ with the TG unlocked, the TG will swing around. The TG has lots of wires leading to it, and the motion of an unlocked generator can result in broken wires. Worse yet, if the TG bangs against other parts of the organ, the pickup rods can get smashed. If a rod gets smashed far enough into the TG that it contacts a ToneWheel, it will keep that ToneWheel (and it's neighbor) from spinning, and you'll be very sorry. (See also MissingTones.)

How to lock down the TG

There are four bolts with T-shaped washers which bolt the TG to the shelf. Locking the generator is as easy as unscrewing the bolts, and flipping the washers over (see illusration below.)

Use a (5/16") nut-driver or a wrench to tighten the bolts, as the have a tendency to work loose in transit. (They are usually very well-oiled, due to drippage of HammondOil.) If you're shipping your organ some distance, and want to make sure the bolts don't work loose, some people recommend wrapping some teflon plumbers tape on the bolt threads to keep them from working loose.

Instead of the T-washer arrangement, some older organs have captive screws with large fender washers. Simply tighten the screws to lock-down the generator. To unlock the generator, simply unscrew them as far as they'll go.


Running your organ with the TG locked down won't hurt anything --- the organ will just be a little noisier. Many people never unlock their generators (the extra noise will never be noticed at a gig). (If you're one of those people, check periodically to ensure that the lockdown bolts have not worked loose.) If the organ is in your living room or in a recording studio, you'll probably want to unlock the generator.

For A-100 series organs, the two front bolts can be accessed via the front of the organ, on the underside of the keyboard.

GoffProf sells a rubber TG shock-mount kit, which promises to forever free you from worrying about locking your TG.

The tone generator lockdown bolts have a #10-32 thread. If they are missing and you want to move the organ, you can buy 10-32 bolts and fender washers at a hardware store and use those.

Reverb Springs

Certain types of reverb springs also need to be locked for transit.

The ?NecklaceReverb springs have a slotted shaft which turns some cams which in turn open some spring-loaded clamps which hold the springs to keep the peizo-electric transducers from being damaged in transit. (I find it takes a lot of torque to un-lock the springs --- sometimes it helps to "help" the cams a bit by gently prying the clamps open while you're turning the locking shaft.

Some old tone cabinets have oil-filled reverb springs. Obviously, if you don't want a puddle, and you plan on tipping these cabinets, you should drain the oil first. (If you need replacement oil for your springs, mineral oil from a pharmacy will work just fine.)

Leslie Switches

If you leave those precious HalfMoonSwitches mounted to the front rail while you move your organ, you will inevitably break them off on the first doorway you pass through. Take them off!

Tipping a Hammond

As long as you're very sure the ToneGenerator (& reverb spring) is securely locked down, it is safe to tip a Hammond for transit. You might want to remove the tubes from the preamp, so that there's no chance of them falling out and getting damaged. (Also, you might want to check for excess amounts of HammondOil in the various oil cups before you tip the organ.)

Make Friends

Hammonds are heavy and awkward. You are going to need friends, particularly if there are any stairs involved. If you plan on moving your organ very far, very often, or up or down many stairs, seriously consider buying or borrowing a set of RollOrKaris --- the really are the shit.

To avoid scratching that beauty, get some moving blankets, or if you want to go whole hog, get some custom covers for your organ.


?TyBailie demonstrates how to load and unload a B-3 into an ?AstroVan:

See Also


Other Links

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