Hammond S6 Chord Organ Part 1: The dump

Took a Trooper (1990 Isuzu) load of crap to my local dump Saturday morning earlier than usual to try and beat the crowds. It’s not a real dump, it’s a transfer station with a few categories of stuff they take including electronics. I usually look around because the guy who runs it and drives the tractor always says “sure” if I want to bring something home.

I got to the spot where people drop off mixed-material stuff for processing – a nice way of saying getting crushed by the tractor so they can sort out the wood, metal etc for recycling. Alone in the middle of that spot on its side with a broken wood side and it’s power supply hanging by a wire was a Hammond S6 Chord organ – I knew exactly what it was – I have a buddy with one in his studio. I looked at the back and it had all it’s 1957 long black plate/ square getter RCA 12AX/12AU7’s, some sweet 6V6GT’s by GE, and some other nice tubes. My first thought was to just grab them but then I was struck by what nice condition the damn thing was in in spite of the harsh treatment of the last 30 minutes that had reduced it from perfectly preserved original to heap.

“Can I have this?” The guy laughs “If you want.” Then adds, “Can you fix that?”

“Sure.” I say.

“Guy just dropped it off – I was walking over here to get in the tractor to smash it.”

Timing is everything I think to myself.

He helps me load it up and I scout around grabbing all the chunks of wood I can and the bench.

As I drive the mile home I resolve to go to the dump as much as possible in the future, and to do my best to put the organ back together. I have been wanting an organ to mess with and play, and now I have one, free but for the repairs I need to do.

If I had been thinking I would have taken a picture at the dump, but I had other things on my mind just then.

Too bad I didn’t get a picture of my dad’s eye roll when I took this picture.
I pulled the tubes before we loaded it just in case. The wood is not happy, but the rest looks fine – well, besides the power supply. 5U4 didn’t make it. RIP buddy.
I love a good tube haul – especially if free. Very high quality 12AX7, 12AU7 and 6V6GT tubes here.
Took it apart. Assumption being that most of the work I needed to do involved copious wood glue.
Wheel barrow load of fun. This is the discrete equivalent of a synthesizer oscillator chip.
Some other chunks. Note the wood glue and Coors – got to work immediately so I wouldn’t have have all these parts laying around disrupting my domestic tranquility.

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