Epiphone Dot Gets a Customized Bigsby Tremolo

Matt with My Twilight Pilot lusted for a black Epiphone Dot with a Bigsby tremolo assembly. Could the Unbrokenstring Crew rise to the occasion and make it happen?
It don’t get mo’ prettier than this!

 

The Bigsby needs a small modification, so that the tremolo bar can swing over the strings.  Here, the Bigsby is disassembled so that the modification work can begin.

 

This piece limits the swing of the arm.  So, we will carve on this to change the limits.  We don’t like limits.

 

After the carving, the metal is sanded to a uniform satin.

 

Successively finer grits remove the scratches from the previous operation.

 

This metal polish is made in Germany.  The Unbrokenstring Crew uses this stuff to polish fret wires.  Likewise, it will polish this Bigsby so that it gleams.

 

We’re just about there with the modification.  It can stand a little more carving.

 

The tailpiece is centered on the centerline of the strings, not necessarily the center seam of the lower bout.

 

When the body of the Bigsby is correctly positioned, there are two places where the metal touches the finish of the guitar.  While we are adjusting everything, some painters tape protects the finish.

 

We are committed at this point.

 

Two strings are installed to tension the Bigsby into position.  The location of the two additional screw holes are determined so that the whole assembly is straight with the neck before the holes are drilled.

 

This drill bit is in a spring loaded shell, which forces the actual bit to be in the exact center of the hole.

 

The strings are ON and now we can proceed with the setup of the Bigsby. See the small nylon washer where the spring fits?  This is an essential part of the setup.

 

String tension lowers the height of the tremolo bar.  We need to be in tune before doing much more of the setup.

 

The StroboTuner is spinning away while we tune and set the intonation of the instrument.

 

What is this?  We have a couple of screws that are having an acetone bath.  Why do you ask?

While we’re working on the guitar, these strap locks are going onto the guitar.

 

This is the half of the strap lock that goes on the strap.  Both sides are shown.

 

Those screws that were washed in acetone were painted with black lacquer, and cover up the inserts in the body where the original stop bar was held.  Pretty, isn’t she?

Thanks for reading all the way to the end!

CONTACT – David Latchaw EE
281-636-8626

 

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