Be Still My Rotating Whammy Bar...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by mudnuts, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. mudnuts

    mudnuts Member

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    I am looking for some insight into keeping my Strat tremolo bar from rotating out of reach when I go looking for it. I want to be able to position it and not have it rotate down when I go to use it.

    I tried a 5mm nut and a rubber "O" ring. The rubber seemed to lock it down nicely but allowed me to position it right where I want. It also adds a little dampening for vibration, but the nut keeps the bar from going into the bridge to the proper depth and makes it sit real high. Now it just feels odd when I grab it.

    Anybody have any remedies?

    - Mud
     
  2. Bussman

    Bussman Member

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    I wrap teflon tape (the kind used for plumbing) around the threads of my whammy bar. It works alright. If you abuse the whammy quite a bit you may have to retape regularly.
     
  3. BCR Greg

    BCR Greg Member

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    I compress the threads with vise grips, just enought to flatten them but not crush. Do it up near the upper part of the threads, so that the arm with start turning in solidly.
     
  4. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

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    Seriously,

    Have you tried just grabbing it by splaying out your pinky and ring finger?

    I find that once you get the "grab" down what you're talking about becomes a non-factor.

    In my experience I find it to be a PITA when the bar doesn't drop out of my way.......

    I just rotate my wrist and flip the bar up into my palm with my pinky/ ring finger..........
     
  5. kev

    kev Member

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    If you are talking about a threaded trem arm, then this is what I do. FWIW, the spring that my strat bridge came with was lost years ago, and this is my homemade cheapo version. I pulled an eraser off of a pencil and shaved it down some so that it would fit in the block prior to threading the arm. The length of the eraser gives enough push back that I can position the arm anywhere and it stays there.
     
  6. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    That's a good idea! And instead of pulling one off a pencil, you can get refills for mechanical pencils and erasers. Many of those are smaller diameter anyway.
     
  7. mudnuts

    mudnuts Member

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    Great ideas, the rubber eraser trick seams to be the answer, with one caviot - it helps to carve the "plug" a slightly larger than the hole so it doesn't fall out when you take the trem bar off to put the guitar in it's case. You can then pop the "plug" out with small hook type aparatus fashioned from a paper clip if need be.
    Cheers!
     
  8. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    Well, if you screw it down into the spring (or an eraser, good idea) you're even more likely to break the arm off at the first thread; especially with semi-vigorous trem usage.

    I did it years ago :FM and it was a pain to repair. My tech drilled out the trem block and put a brass sleeve in. Of course these days you'd just buy a new block.

    I'm just about to pull the trigger on one of Callaham's replacement blocks which a lot of people seem to like and it would also solve your problem. Of course a pencil eraser costs a bit less than 60 bucks:D.

    Go here and click on "Block Details"
    http://www.callahamguitars.com/
     
  9. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    I use teflon tape too - the yellow stuff you use for gas - it's thicker and lasts longer. I'm really getting to like the push in arms I have in several guitars. The Wilkinsons and my Parkers have great tremolos that stay where you put them.
     
  10. glaswerks

    glaswerks Gold Supporting Member

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    The Fender vintage strat replacement bridges are shipped with a very small spring that drops in the hole for the tremolo arm.

    This cool little thing holds the bar in any position once you have it slightly compressed.

    Gary
     
  11. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    I use cotton batting (like in cotton balls). I roll a small piece up and make a small cone shape, insert in in the threaded hole, and thread the bar in. Tear off the excess. I have to replace it a couple times a year, but it's cheap and effective.

    I think Strats sustain WAY better when the bar is snug in the threads. I save the cotton that's stuffed in a vitamin jar to take up space - works fine. The spring sounds good - I'd like to try that too.

    Dana O.
     

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