Tightening Bigsby Whammy Bar (Tremolo Arm)

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Strummer George, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. Strummer George

    Strummer George Gretschie

    226
    Dec 31, 2016
    West Coast
    I have a Bigsby with "PATENT No. D-169,120" stamped on it and the whammy bar is very loose.
    I can see a screw slot on top and a nut inside the spring, but the nut is near impossible to get at. How can I tighten the bar and keep it from loosening again?
     
  2. StJohn

    StJohn Country Gent

    Jun 5, 2008
    North Louisiana
    when the strings are off of it, you'll be able to flip the bar upside down to get to the nut...then just tighten it up. I've done it several times to my B6 Bigsby's. I have one that needs a tightening now.
     
  3. StJohn

    StJohn Country Gent

    Jun 5, 2008
    North Louisiana
    keep in mind, though, that the spring is only secured by the string tension pressing down on it. When you start to flip it over, just grab the spring, and the spacer if it's in there. Otherwise, they could flip out and possibly scratch your finish-well, the spring could anyway.
     
    T simmons and Strummer George like this.
  4. Strummer George

    Strummer George Gretschie

    226
    Dec 31, 2016
    West Coast
    Thanks for the two posts. Looks like that will do it!
     
  5. DaddyDog

    DaddyDog Country Gent

    Sep 18, 2011
    Mississauga, Canada
    I was successful in loosening the strings enough to lift the Bigsby arm, remove the spring, and tighten the nut. Took me 3 tries to get it right though.
     
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  6. Strummer George

    Strummer George Gretschie

    226
    Dec 31, 2016
    West Coast
    That sounds like a good idea. I'll try that. Thank you.
     
  7. Axis39

    Axis39 Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Jun 2, 2008
    La Quinta, CA
    I've done it before with the strings in place, by jamming something against the nut, turning the handle to tighten it, like 1/8 of a turn... rinse and repeat until tight enough.

    It can be slightly irritating...
     
    Strummer George likes this.
  8. Strummer George

    Strummer George Gretschie

    226
    Dec 31, 2016
    West Coast
    Good idea! Thanks Axis. Taking off all the strings, with the bridge being held in place by the strings, was something I would rather not have to do.
     
    T simmons likes this.
  9. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    I tightened the one on my 5120 and put a little blue locktite on it, its not loose yet.
     
  10. Strummer George

    Strummer George Gretschie

    226
    Dec 31, 2016
    West Coast
    I haven't checked into the properties of blue locktite, but, it sounds like something you wouldn't want to put on a whammy bar. You're just kidding, right?
     
  11. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Its a threaded stud with a nut that comes loose
     
    Strummer George likes this.
  12. G5422T

    G5422T Synchromatic

    569
    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Those nuts with the nylon are good for only a "one time" use. If you take it off and reuse it, it will not tighten like it should.
     
    audept and Strummer George like this.
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