What to use for lube

journeyman

Synchromatic
Aug 20, 2009
541
Toronto, Ontario
What are folks using as lubricants on their Bigsby's? I have a brand new one on a Telecaster and I thinking I might have to use somekind of oil or something on it. One by Music Nomad called 'Tune It' is available locally, and it's about half the price of the Big Bends Nut Sauce. Anyone ever try it?
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
21,262
Monkey Island
Which Bigsby parts need lubing? I only use soft B pencils for nutslots(I started using those 30 years ago to the amusement of every guitar playing professional).
I’ve found dry lock graphite puffers get messy quick and anything that needs lubing wet gets sticky after a while, no exceptions.
 

section2

Country Gent
Dec 21, 2016
2,555
Toronto
I've never lubricated a Bigsby. If yours is giving you tuning problems, make sure the nut is properly cut and lubricated (nut sauce or pencil graphite work well). If the nut slots are too deep or too narrow, the strings will bind there. Your guitar tech should be able to file the nut for you if it needs work.

If that doesn't solve the problem, look at the front tension roller on your Bigsby. It might be throwing your guitar out of tune by pushing the strings down too far, creating a steep break angle behind the bridge. If that's the case, you should be able to cure the issue by replacing the front roller with a Brick's BiggsFix.
 

Hickeroar

Gretschie
Oct 4, 2020
180
Texas
I've never lubricated a Bigsby. If yours is giving you tuning problems, make sure the nut is properly cut and lubricated (nut sauce or pencil graphite work well). If the nut slots are too deep or too narrow, the strings will bind there. Your guitar tech should be able to file the nut for you if it needs work.

If that doesn't solve the problem, look at the front tension roller on your Bigsby. It might be throwing your guitar out of tune by pushing the strings down too far, creating a steep break angle behind the bridge. If that's the case, you should be able to cure the issue by replacing the front roller with a Brick's BiggsFix.
On the flip side to nut issues, most of my bigsby tuning issues have been bridge related. Replacing the bridge with either a roller or rocker bridge has done the trick for me.
 

mbkri

Country Gent
Sep 22, 2012
2,815
Chicago
+1 on the pencil lead in the nut. Super easy and its free….assuming you have a pencil. Nothing else should need any lubricant.
 

journeyman

Synchromatic
Aug 20, 2009
541
Toronto, Ontario
Well, to be clear, the problem, oddly enough, is not with the nut. Been a Bigsby user for many years and this is my second B5 on a Tele. The other one works fine. This is a brand new B5 and I've been able to determine that the problem is with the Bigsby, 100%. I suspect that what is happening is that the factory used some kind of grease that has turned to wax. I did clean it with alcohol when I received it as it was sticky with the grease. The spring was just changed to a Reverend Soft spring, and the problem is worse. It is simply not returning to its starting point from being depressed OR pulled upward, and not by just a tiny bit; at least a quarter tone. This is a first for me. So, I ordered a lubricant called Tune It and when it arrives, the plan is to disassemble the entire Bigsby and clean it of all grease, then apply the lube.

Before this, I had an older Bigsby on the guitar with a Vibramate adaptor and it worked fine. That Bigsby is now bolted to my other Tele and is working fine.

As an aside, I have noticed something about Teles with Bigsbys that dispells a false beliefe that the strings slide over the saddles; they don't. The saddles rock back and forth as they should. This is even the case with the much touted Mastery bridge saddles with their hard chrome plating intended to minimize friction caused by the strings sliding over them. It's the same with saddles of different shape and materials. The method to determine this was simple; in addition to looking closely at the saddles while using the Bigsby and noticing their movement, I marked the strings with a felt pen at the point where they contacted the saddles. The point of contact remained. So, that's good to know. I knew that the wound strings didn't slide over the saddles anyway; can you imagine what that would sound like at performance volume?

Regardless, I love Bigsbys, but I have one with a problem for the first time. Fingers crossed.
 

rcboals

Country Gent
Nov 21, 2008
4,807
Springfield Oregon
What are folks using as lubricants on their Bigsby's? I have a brand new one on a Telecaster and I thinking I might have to use somekind of oil or something on it. One by Music Nomad called 'Tune It' is available locally, and it's about half the price of the Big Bends Nut Sauce. Anyone ever try it?

LUBE IT USA!! LOL:):):)

I had a lady friend who was in the hospital and asked her how she was doing and how the food was. She said the food was ok but she hated the Kentucky Jelly she had to put on her toast. I said, what? She showed me the tube that clearly read KY Jelly. Anyway, I have never or needed to lubricate any Bigsby I have ever owned now numbering at least 25 of them over the last 60 years. So if you think you need to lubricate your Bigsby, first check your nuts :eek: ( I check mine daily) and then check your bridge slots and/or saddles. If that doesn't help, use some Kentucky Jelly.;) Another first world problem solved.:rolleyes: You can thank me later. :D
 
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journeyman

Synchromatic
Aug 20, 2009
541
Toronto, Ontario
LUBE IT USA!! LOL:):):)

I had a lady friend who was in the hospital and asked her how she was doing and how the food was. She said the food was ok but she hated the Kentucky Jelly she had to put on her toast. I said, what? She showed me the tube that clearly read KY Jelly. Anyway, I have never or needed to lubricate any Bigsby I have ever owned now numbering at least 25 of them over the last 60 years. So if you think you need to lubricate your Bigsby, first check your nuts :eek: ( I check mine daily) and then check your bridge slots and/or saddles. If that doesn't help, use some Kentucky Jelly.;) Another first world problem solved.:rolleyes: You can thank me later. :D
I haven't had that many, but I have owned and use a few. As I said, there is a problem with my Bigsby; that part has been confirmed. It'll get fixed eventually; how complex can it be?
 

sgarnett

Synchromatic
Apr 14, 2020
899
Kentucky
As an aside, I have noticed something about Teles with Bigsbys that dispells a false beliefe that the strings slide over the saddles; they don't. The saddles rock back and forth as they should. This is even the case with the much touted Mastery bridge saddles with their hard chrome plating intended to minimize friction caused by the strings sliding over them. It's the same with saddles of different shape and materials. The method to determine this was simple; in addition to looking closely at the saddles while using the Bigsby and noticing their movement, I marked the strings with a felt pen at the point where they contacted the saddles. The point of contact remained. So, that's good to know. I knew that the wound strings didn't slide over the saddles anyway; can you imagine what that would sound like at performance volume?
I've noticed the same thing, up to a point. Even TOMs move for light vibrato - the studs actually rock just a bit in their threads. For bigger pulls and dives though, the strings do move in the TOM saddles, and they don't slide freely back. This can be improved with filing, similar to the nut, but a big break angle certainly does not help.
 

Gregor

Country Gent
Oct 17, 2018
1,156
New Brunswick, Canada
If lubes don't work, I'd take the strings off and check if the Bigsby "free falls" When you lift it and drop it in place. It should face no resistance when it falls. Maybe it's a bit out of alignment or may need a shim. Just a thought.
 


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