The Workbench

Bigsby wire arm too long

1

Howdy all, I recently got a G6122T-59 and am loving it. I'm finding the Bigsby wire arm too long, though. When it's over the strings it comes all the way to between the two pickups, and interferes. From what I can tell those on the old models (50s-60s) don't come past the inside of the bridge pickup. I read Chet made his own from welding bars, but is there somewhere I can find a shorter one without investing in a blowtorch...? Or is this a project I could take to a local metalworker? Thanks for any help.

2

You can saw a piece of it off, not hard to do if you have a vise and a metal saw

3

It's always easier making something shorter. At least it isn't too short.

4

You can saw a piece of it off, not hard to do if you have a vise and a metal saw

– WB

I'm afraid that's not an option due to the fact that the straight section that fits into the bracket isn't long enough to shorten it. The bend begins too soon preventing pushing it through the bracket to shorten the overall length. I've done this on two guitars and it will only push through 3/16ths with a newer Chet arm - 7.5" long - and 1/2" with an older and flatter arm. I've never seen a Chet arm longer than these. They come approx. level with the neck side of the bridge pup. The only longer arm I've seen is a Merle arm.

Does your arm have a straight section long enough to cut off a significant amount to shorten it?

5

Chester just got a piece of 1/4 inch stainless steel rod and bent it the way he wanted it. Check Ace Hardware or EBay. You might have to file or sand the part that goes into the bracket. Get a long enough piece so if you mess up you can try again. One the end just run an appropriate tap to get the right threads on there so you can screw that little knob on it. I'm gonna swap mine out for a more straight one. That big ol' curve just doesn't look right to me! Course, I'll be keeping the original!! Steve

6

Chester just got a piece of 1/4 inch stainless steel rod and bent it the way he wanted it. Check Ace Hardware or EBay. You might have to file or sand the part that goes into the bracket. Get a long enough piece so if you mess up you can try again. One the end just run an appropriate tap to get the right threads on there so you can screw that little knob on it. I'm gonna swap mine out for a more straight one. That big ol' curve just doesn't look right to me! Course, I'll be keeping the original!! Steve

– Steve Sanders

The big curve you speak of Steve; do you mean the side to side bend or [with the newer ones] the top to bottom big swing? I have both styles, with the older one, the flatter contour on my SC and the newer one with the odd top to bottom bend on my Gibson Gent.

7

I'm referring to the curve as you look at the face of the guitar where it bends around the bridge, way too much in my opinion. I just think a straighter / shorter one is the way to go. And not so much "up" bend either. About like the the "flat handle" version but with round stock. If you research Chet's earlier guitars you can see he had more straight handles on his guitar(s). But not so straight that you bang against the bridge. Thanks, Steve

8

I had one and could never work out what position the curved/bent shape was best, or how others set it. So I took it off and was happier with the traditional flat handle. Plus my mate said it looked like granny's knitting needle

9

I'm referring to the curve as you look at the face of the guitar where it bends around the bridge, way too much in my opinion. I just think a straighter / shorter one is the way to go. And not so much "up" bend either. About like the the "flat handle" version but with round stock. If you research Chet's earlier guitars you can see he had more straight handles on his guitar(s). But not so straight that you bang against the bridge. Thanks, Steve

– Steve Sanders

My early one is dead flat. I'm not so fond of the newer version with that 'up bend' you refer to. It works okay on the Gibson gent but oddly not comfortable on the SC. Here's a pic I showed here a few years back that clearly compares that significant up bend to the older version. They don't make the older version and haven't for quite awhile apparently.


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