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FDP Forum / The Gretsch Forum / restringing a bigsby isnt for sissies

budg
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Mar 3rd, 2019 08:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

I just put new strings on my Gretsch. First time ever having to string up a bigsby equipped guitar. It takes a bit of finesse . I have sausage fingers and it doesnt help at all. I put a bend at the ball end and helped somewhat , but dang , that high E string was a bugger.

The good news is I checked innotation and it was spot on. Kudos to Gretsch . The fretwork was really good. The only thing I needed was some lemon oil as the fret was pretty dry. I put some nut sauce at the nut .

littleuch
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Ocala, Florida

Blowing bubbles
Mar 3rd, 2019 09:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's an unnatural experience the first few times around, for sure.

Leftee
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VA

Toxic Humility
Mar 3rd, 2019 09:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

It’s something I’ve never had the opportunity to do.

009
Contributing Member
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USA

Mar 4th, 2019 04:30 PM   Edit   Profile  

You might appreciate one of these...

External link

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Mar 4th, 2019 05:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've done this so many times that it doesn't bother me. Have to have the mini needle-nose pliers, though. Like the song says "It's Easy Once You Know How."

Having said that, Bigsby now makes "string-through" trems that have holes through the string anchor bar rather than pins. Makes you wonder why they didn't do that in the first place.

budg
Contributing Member
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Mar 6th, 2019 11:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

I’ll use the needle nose next time. Yes the string thru design would have been too easy to figure out.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 6th, 2019 12:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Makes you wonder why they didn't do that in the first place."

The engineers probably thought having a 90-degree bend in the string would weaken it.

Meantime,

this is how I string a Bigsby with the pins on the anchor bar.

budg
Contributing Member
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Mar 7th, 2019 04:06 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks peegoo. I bent mine by hand and most if them worked ok. I like the screwdriver idea better. Would give a more accurate bend.

(This message was last edited by budg at 09:26 AM, Mar 7th, 2019)

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 7th, 2019 06:01 AM   Edit   Profile  

Cheers, budg.

When you make the bend, pinch the string ball against the screwdriver so one end of the hole through the ball is against the steel.

If you pinch it with the hole parallel to the screwdriver, it is a lot tougher to do.

The thing about restringing a Bigsby is that guitar strings are like little springs: they want to return to their original shape when mildly deformed, which means they try to straighten back out. You're working against the Laws of Nature :o)

But with that little J hook, the spring action works for you because it stays snug around the anchor bar once you get the ball on the pin.

budg
Contributing Member
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Mar 7th, 2019 07:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks peegoo. I will do that on my next string change. Having sausage fingers certainly doesnt help.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 7th, 2019 08:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

Make yourself a little tool to re-string:

Use a 1/4" hardwood dowel about 6" long, and near one end, drill a 1/16" hole through the dowel. Apply some CA to the hole and then tap in a small finish nail 1/16" in diameter, almost until it pokes out the other side. Use a diagonal cutter to snip the head off the finish nail so there's a little pin on the dowel about 1/4" long.

Use that as your string prep tool: put the ball on the pin and rotate the dowel while keeping the string taught.

I made one from 1/4" brass rod and it works great.

Doc Sarvis
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USA/Salt Lake City

Tuned Strings and Tight Lines
Mar 7th, 2019 04:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

It is a PITA but I learned how to chock the string with a wood wedge here on the forum and that made a big difference. Obviously there are several options as noted.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 7th, 2019 11:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

You can also use one of these

as a wedge from the back of the anchor bar.

budg
Contributing Member
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Mar 8th, 2019 03:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

You know when you guys mentioned using a wedge, that eraser is the first thing I thought of . The only string I had trouble with was the high E . Probably because all the other strings were already in, creating less room for my sausage fingers and once I got it near the post , i had a hard time holding it in position . It was slipping in my fingers. That can b solved by using needle nose pliers or using a nirile glove . All those ideas you guys gave are helpful.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Mar 8th, 2019 02:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

Eraser is good but these are even...

...better.

(This message was last edited by Te 52 at 04:17 PM, Mar 8th, 2019)

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 8th, 2019 02:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hot dang, yes they are!

FDP Forum / The Gretsch Forum / restringing a bigsby isnt for sissies




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