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These are the archives from Mark Longo's original Hammond List, 1994-97

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Re: Hammond Organ Oil

Original factory HAMMOND oil in the blue cans, or even earlier factory oil in
the red label cans should ABSOLUTELY NOT be used.  Other containers
containing oil which has congealed or thickened, smells odd like "fish", or
is dark in color should also NOT be used.  
HAMMOND Organ changed the oil formulation to a clearer, lighter-oil base,
from the original yellowish color, or "fishoil" base.  The oldest oil
actually smelled like fishoil! 

Brand new Tonewheel Generator Oil is available in three sizes from us - a !/2
oz tube - $3.50; 4 oz bottle- $5.00, or 8 oz bottle $7.50   

Obviously, the last two are the cheapest way to buy it if you plan on keeping
and maintaining your own organ.  


DO NOT use 3-in-1, sewing machine oil, light motor oil, or ESPECIALLY any new
technology oil with Teflon or other additives.  The generator MUST have a
consistent type and weight oil throughout to run correctly!  Some of the
latest oil with new lubricants (teflon, PFTE, etc.) actually reduce the
internal shaft-to-bearing lubrication coefficient to below the factory design
levels, due to their SUPERIOR lubricating properties.  Tonewheels then can
run slightly FASTER, due to less drag from the improved oil, and the result,
as difficult as it is to believe, will be an organ out of tune.  

Imagine if several tonewheels accept the new teflon-additive oil, and the
rest remain supplied by the oil in the bearings!  Try singing with this
organ!  One of my Canadian customers had this happen after he used a light
automotive oil with an Teflon additive.  I told him not to, but he tried it
and then called for HELP when his generator went crazy in an audio sense!

For the people using Tri-Flow oil, it certainly is great stuff, BUT it may
cause EXACTLY what I described, as it did for two other customers who used it
in two different models of organs (CV in California; B-3 in New York) with
"frozen" generators.  It took almost six months before the organs ran
consistently, and BOTH were reported to run slightly off pitch on the high

Our bottles of Tonewheel Generator have a squirt-top which can be capped with
either a small red cap which fits over the squirt tip, or a black cap which
replaces the squirt-top for storage.

Old HAMMOND oil, due to it's non-detergent, very light oil base, will lose
it's vehicle via evaporation and internal chemical processes common to
lubricants.  The oil thickens or increases in viscosity and will NOT
lubricate the generator properly. Some new oils with thickeners will actually
cause the generator to stall.  

If you plan to keep your organ, get a 4 or 8 ounce bottle of Tonewheel
Generator Oil and store it in the organ.  Make a oiling card (3 X 5 works
great) and tape or glue it to the inside of the organ bench, or inside the
organ.  Oil the organ no more than ONCE a year.   

REMEMBER - the cups act as funnels; do not attempt to keep them full.  The
square "bathtub" attached to the RUN motor and Vibrato Scanner assembly on
the LEFT side of the organ (as viewed from the rear) should contain a small
square oil wick or "sponge".  This wick should only be oiled to the point of
making it wet.  It is important for the oiling strings which exit the tub to
be unbroken and intact, as they convey oil via capillary action to moving
parts in the vibrato scanner and the round generator "transmission"
connection.  Many noisy scanners and generators are the result of improper

Laurens Hammond was a clock maker.  He designed the Tonewheel Generator to
run like a fine "clock".  Don't attempt to alter the basic lubrication
philosophy or your "clock" may STOP ticking

Al Goff, GOFF Professional, via AOL!

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