Tuesday, September 6, 2011

All Things Hammond

Laurens Hammond was a engineering genius. Pictured are two Hammonds, a 1932 Hammond 'Como' clock that I recently restored alongside a Hammond A100 organ, also restored. The heart of both is a synchronous motor locked in precise time to the 60Hz alternating current provided by the utility company. In the organ, a rotating tonewheel assembly is locked to the 60Hz timekeeper which preserves perfect pitch.

I'd picked the Hammond Como up on eBay and while it worked, the movement was stiff with the original oil now grease from 1932. After disassembly, a bath in an ultrasonic cleaner, re-oiling, and a general cleaning it keeps perfect time and I anticipate it will run for another 50 years. The clock mechanism has a 1 RPM geared-reduction motor that maintains time with the precision of a quartz watch.


Mark Garrett said...

Great looking clock Dan. Got any photos of the insides and what was cleaned? Would love to find one of these as it would look great on the mantel with my 1932 GE tombstone radio.

Dan Houg said...

hi Mark-
yeah, i got some photos i took during diassembly so i could get the thing back together. essentially everything but the coil+laminations was cleaned in the ultrasonic cleaner by taking putting each gear stack in separately and then doing the plates with the bushings. i'll post some more photos.

HUH? said...

I have a hammond como that I'm considering parting with. The lens cracked at one time and I am attempting to find one to replace the broken one before I sell it. I'm at if you want to keep in touch. Thanks, KC