Gretsch Garage Sale

Help! Stripped Bigsby arm nyloc nut

1

Save the jokes,I ain't in the mood.

The nut that attaches to the domed carriage bolt has deteriorated somehow and will neither loosen nor tighten. I've tried wedging a flat head screwdriver to put upward pressure on while backing it out but no joy.

Any experience/ideas out there?

2

First thing to do is take the Bigsby off in case you get a bit heavy with it and chip the guitar.

Is the nut just spinning or is it seized? Maybe try putting a power driver on there with a socket and get it spinning quick. A bit of friction may cause the metal to swell with heat and get some purchase. Either that or it’ll wear loose and come off easier.

Either way factor in a new nut and bolt.

3

It just spins. I may try and double nut it, there's a few threads showing, but I guess I'll have to try cutting the nut with a Dremel tool or something. And of course I have a gig tomorrow.

4

One aspect---Nyloc nuts aren't meant to be reused. If the it has been used, it won't work again due to the threads already formed in the nylon.

6

If you have to cut it use a hand held Jax saw, you’ll have way more control.

7

Heat it up a little.

– Curt Wilson

That's worth a try - thanks!

8

One aspect---Nyloc nuts aren't meant to be reused. If the it has been used, it won't work again due to the threads already formed in the nylon.

– wabash slim

It's never been off the bolt and only marginally adjusted a couple times.

9

Sadly, the bolt will now have a nut wide portion of missing threads on its shank. It is never just the nut that is the issue.

I have been through that too many times to count in auto restoration. I use a nut splitter to break the nut open enough to slide it off the bolt. All of mine are too big to fit in that area of a bigsby so I have no idea how well a smaller one would work.

10

Ok, I guess I am just gonna put it back together and deal with the floppy arm for tomorrow - heating didn't get me anywhere. Next question - can the carriage bolt be sourced from a hardware store or is it some proprietary size?

11

Try Ace Hardware. It's the only place I know where you can buy just one piece of hardware.

12

Spike, If you like, please PM me with a photo of your Bigsby along with your mailing address. Would be happy to send you a replacement arm with necessary hardware @ NO CHARGE.

13

Dude, that is the kindest thing ever. I will be in touch tomorrow with a pic_before I button it back up.

Thanks.

14

Spike, If you like, please PM me with a photo of your Bigsby along with your mailing address. Would be happy to send you a replacement arm with necessary hardware @ NO CHARGE.

– Joe Carducci/Gretsch Guitars

That just made my day

15

Made my day too! Just another reason why Gretsch ROCKS...Joe Carducci!!!

16

Spike, you prob wont get the arm from Joe in time for your gig, and you could just deal with the “floppy”... but if you DO have a few threads there, go to a hardware store and get a nut that will fit. As you tighten it, it should push the nylock up the threads enough to get it to work til you get the new arm.

17

Hey Joe sent you a p.m. and a message on Facebook as well. Just in case both of those went sideways here is a photograph. You can always reach me at Spike. Fullerton at gmail.com.

18

"Sadly, the bolt will now have a nut wide portion of missing threads on its shank. It is never just the nut that is the issue."

I doubt that the bolt is stripped. The nut's nylon, much softer than any metal.

19

Those nuts are actually a very common size/thread (10/32), not proprietary at all. You could indeed get two washers at a hardware store and use them as a stopgap measure.

That doesn't make Joe's offer moot, of course, or his personal attention to detail any less impressive! Go, Joe! Bravo!

20

Absolutely. I did wind up just letting it flop for today. When I cut the nut off though, I will certainly nick the spring and probably the bolt as well, so all three will want replacing after surgery, lol.

21

Nylock nuts are not nylon. They are regular metal nuts with a nylon insert on the output side that self-taps as the nit is put on to hold it still.

22

OK, fine! The relevant portion of the nut is nylon, and therefore won't strip the bolt. Apologies for my imprecision.

No offense taken, btw (there's no tone of voice or facial expression in a forum post, so I'm just trying to prevent mistaken impressions). Sometimes there just isn't enough coffee for a man to express himself accurately.

But while we're working on completeness and precision, you do run the risk of stripping the bolt if you use two metal washers as a stopgap measure, as per my earlier post. Only if you do it wrong, though!

23

None taken

But the op did say the nut is slipping on the bolt, so either the thread on the bolt or in the nut is stripped, and they’re both metal. That means both are likely in need of replacement.

24

I doubt it. I think I've had to replace that nut at least three times (four, IIRC) on various guitars over the years, and only had to replace a bolt once because I over-tightened an all-metal nut and snapped the bolt.


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