Bigsby handle vice bending

BatmansGretsch

Gretschie
Dec 3, 2019
205
Earth
I was listening to a video with Neil Young where he says he has the Bigsby handle bent more for easier access.

Has anyone done this? Or is it like, don't do that to your Bigsby handle! moment.
 

radd

Friend of Fred
Dec 27, 2017
5,562
Home
I was listening to a video with Neil Young where he says he has the Bigsby handle bent more for easier access.

Has anyone done this? Or is it like, don't do that to your Bigsby handle! moment.

I have done it a couple times. Important, only do this with the steel handles not the alloy cast handles!

I remove the handle from the guitar and place the handle in a vice using rubber jaw protectors and increase the bend. I do very little at a time until I get it correct.
 

Shadowy_Man

Synchromatic
May 18, 2020
515
Chicago
That reminds me, I keep meaning to try to increase the bend on my Chet arm. I find the overall length is slightly too long, I'm thinking an increase bend in the middle will shorten the effective length. Anyone ever try that?
 

mister rain

Synchromatic
Apr 23, 2020
551
new orleans
That reminds me, I keep meaning to try to increase the bend on my Chet arm. I find the overall length is slightly too long, I'm thinking an increase bend in the middle will shorten the effective length. Anyone ever try that?
i’ve been wanting to do that with a long chet arm, trying to approximate the jazzmaster arm. but it turns out i don’t like playing kevin shields style.
 

G5422T

Country Gent
May 24, 2012
3,896
usa
The modern "flat" handle" arms that I've had appear to be stamped.

I replaced mine with "DE" handles, which are cast. DO NOT TRY AND BEND A CAST ARM.

I set the DE handle height by changing the large spring. 7/8" springs work for me.

Best of luck.
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Jun 22, 2020
1,249
Ontario Canada
Maybe try a wire handle arm before bending the arm. This might be what feels best for you

BCR,

Would have to see the particular handle, some are cast aluminum, some are stainless flat stock. The arm does swivel on the mounting bolt for ''easy access''

The S/S arm would have to be heated/bent/hammered and re-polished, the cast aluminum handle, one would be smart to leave well enough alone.

Hope this helps.

Best,

BIB.
 

calebaaron666

Friend of Fred
Aug 15, 2018
6,648
Auburn, Maine
I had a chet wire handle on a bigsby’d telecaster a few years back and I bent mine in a vice. Worked fine. I wrapped it in a hand-towel before tightening the vice, and held another hand-towel in my hands while I pulled it toward me.
I was lucky maybe cuz there was no snapping sound.
I must have stopped bending at the right moment.
 


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