How Tough Is It To Bend a Tremolo Arm?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Southpaw Tele, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Meaning, if I buy a right handed Mustang trem arm, could I bend and shape it to be close to what a lefty trem arm would look? Lefty Mustang parts are few and far between.
     
  2. lendryesky

    lendryesky Tele-Afflicted

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    My guitar tech bent a mustang arm for me back 12 years ago. It was right handed but needed to be at a more acute angle so it didn't pop out from the body too much. I'm not sure what he used to do it, but it can be done.
     
  3. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Awesome! I was thinking of vice, vice grip pliers and heating it up. They're cheap enough that I can afford to muff it up. Thanks for the help!
     
  4. ASC67

    ASC67 Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think that it would be too difficult to bend. Some clamps and or a vise would be all you would need.
     
  5. Telesavalis

    Telesavalis Friend of Leo's

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    the vice>propane torch>heat>bend idea will certainly work,
    might melt the plastic tip though.
     
  6. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's easy. Remove it from the guitar and clamp it in a bench vise. Use a piece of soft wood on either face of the clamp jaws to protect the arm from scratches. Bend away. It will tend to bend just above where it is clamped, so you may need to re-position and re-clamp it several times. If you are trying to adjust the right angle bend near the threaded end, clamp the long part in the vise, and use a small metal tube to bend the short part. Again, use plenty of tape on the arm to protect from scratches. A 4-way screwdriver, with the bit removed, will work fine. Good luck!

    (edit): I would avoid the torch. It will certainly ruin any plating, and it isn't necessary.
     
  7. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1

    I bent the trem arm on my Ibanez RS this way so I could tap individual strings with it. Just take your time and keep checking it. Easy to go overboard.
     
  8. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    I bent an arm by drilling a hole in
    a piece of 2x4 and sticking the arm
    threaded part in there. I then
    proceeded to bend it to my liking.
    Worked great for me and no scratches
    to the "chrome" finish.
     
  9. jmiles

    jmiles Friend of Leo's

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    Or make one from scratch?
     
  10. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Wear thick gloves.

    Those things can snap... and leave a bad jagged edge... which can slice through skin like... a sharp piece of hot metal through churned milk product.
     
  11. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I bent the trem arm that came with my AV57ri and the "chrome" flaked off around where it was bent.
     
  12. metalicaster

    metalicaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I've had success just putting it in a vice and pulling on it by hand slowly.
    back and forth a little more each time

    Disclaimer - if the arm breaks from metal fatigue or something you didn't hear it from me.
     
  13. Octave Doctor

    Octave Doctor Tele-Afflicted

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    Using a LARGE bench vise makes it much easier.
     
  14. Westerly Sunn

    Westerly Sunn Poster Extraordinaire

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    That is what I was thinking would happen...
     
  15. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Okay, thanks again for all the replies. The $9 trem arm showed up yesterday. Should I make the bend attempt at position #1 or position #2?
     

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  16. bloomz

    bloomz Tele-Holic

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    position 2 imnsho


    straight(er) trems look great
     
  17. Brett Fuzz

    Brett Fuzz Tele-Holic

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    There is a guy over on the Strat forum calls himself Celt Rocka.

    He custom makes blocks & steel trem arms.

    Highly recommeded!
     
  18. J-man

    J-man Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Position 2. Less of an angle difference between current and wanted angle, so less work and less chance of it snapping. (In theory)
     
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