Bowden B Benders
Non-Defacing, Affordable String Benders For Electric and Acoustic Guitars
Now that you have properly mounted the Bender and adjusted the pitch, you should have trouble free string bending indefinitely. Over 40 years of use by the inventor has proven that the original Bowden B Bender does not break strings. On this new model, if you have a problem with string breakage, make a note of where the string broke and advise www.bowdenbbenders.com or call 903-814-1482 if the break appears to be at the bender. If the break is not at the bender, you may need to look for a burr on the bridge saddle or a bind in the guitar nut or elsewhere and take the proper action to eliminate the bind.
ALSO NOTE: When changing strings, if you use a different gauge than the previous string, you will have to readjust the Adjustment Screw, as different gauges require different “travels” of the Bender Handle.
ADDITIONAL TIPS: An occasional drop of lubricant on the bridge saddle, the Hollow Bore Saddle Screw, the bender’s roller, the nut, and the Hinge Pin at the rear of the Bender Handle should be all the maintenance required to keep the Bender working perfectly. With heavy use, the Mounting Adapter Assembly may loosen a bit and need re-tightening. This doesn’t happen often, but keep these instructions and your Allen wrench handy in case. The mounting screws require a 3/32 Allen wrench should you ever misplace yours.
You will notice a piece of fuzzy material at the rear of the Bender Handle where it comes to rest against the Handle Rest Pin. This serves to dampen any clicking sound when releasing the Bender. If this material should deteriorate or come off, it is simply the “loop side” of self-adhesive Velcro and can be replaced by cutting a small piece to replace it, available at most hardware or fabric stores. A small pad of the same material can also be used to replace the little round “landing pad” where the Adjustment Screw touches down, should it become damaged or come off.
NOTE: There should be a slight sideways movement of the Bender Handle in the body of the Handle Assembly to assure that the Handle is not too tight. Without a string in place the Bender Handle should easily flop down into its “depressed” position. If the Bender Handle is too tight, simply take a small screw driver, ice pick, your Allen wrench or other suitable device to spread the rear of the Handle Assembly slightly apart to allow the Bender Handle to move up and down freely with no binding.
CASE STORAGE: By lightly loosening the string and pulling the handle back out of the Chevron Joint, you can lay the bender over on its side for fitting into tight cases.
The Strat QM for Stratocasters and the Strat QM for Tele Hardtail Tailpieces are identical except the Hardtail has longer front legs on the Mounting Adapter of the bender. Therefore the mounting instructions for both are the same. Please read through these instructions to the end and familiarize yourself with all the parts before beginning to install your Bowden B Bender. It installs in less time than it takes to read these instructions, but read them before you try, because you can damage your guitar or the bender if you haven’t read them. With this bender, you retain the ability to set intonation using your own bridge saddle.
1. Remove and discard the B String (or G) (or both if you ordered a double bender) from your guitar. You will need a new string for the extra length. A gauge of .012 or .013 is recommended for B string. For use as a G bender, a .016, .017 or .018 plain is recommended, the lighter the better for comfortable action.
2. You will need small Phillips and flat blade screw drivers for this step: Make sure your intonation is already set on the string you wish to bend, measure or mark where the saddle rests, then remove the saddle adjustment screw from your bridge saddle and try not to lose the little spring. If using as a G bender, do not use a wound string, as it will saw into the top of your bridge.
3. Your saddle adjustment screw will be an American thread size 4-40 or a Metric thread size M3-.50. Use the nut on the enclosed silver screw to see if yours is Metric. Use the brass screw for American and the silver for Metric. Spare screws are included for both types.
4. Locate your little spring and stretch it out a bit. Take one of the correct screws and put it through the tailpiece, the spring and back into your saddle, adjusting the saddle back to where it was before. Each screw has a small Teflon tube inside it. The string will pass through the tube. There is an extra length of tubing included in your box to use in case you find other areas of friction such as the string retainers on some headstocks, or on top of the bridge saddle, or in case the tubes inside the screws get lost or wear out. The tubing is easily trimmed with a single edge razor blade.
5. Once you've replaced your bridge saddle, using the tiny hex wrench that came with your guitar, remove the saddle height adjustment screws one at a time and wrap them with two or three layers of the enclosed white Teflon tape. This will keep the screws from vibrating out of place, since there will be less down-pressure on the saddle now.
6. Insert your new string through through the tubing inside the saddle adjustment screw and leave about 6 inches extending out the back. Take Bender in hand and place the Mounting Adapter legs over the tailpiece lip while also straddling the spring and new screw. Center it as best you can over the screw and spring.
PLEASE FOLLOW THIS STEP CAREFULLY: While FIRMLY HOLDING DOWN ON THE ADAPTER, with the enclosed 6 inch hex key Allen wrench, tighten the Mounting Screws alternately, very snugly, but using only the power of your finger strength, being careful not to let the adapter move while you're tightening. Once both screws are good and tight, you can insert the short end of your wrench into the screw head, using the long end for leverage for the last ¼ turn of the screw. When sufficiently tightened, the Mounting Adapter should all the way down on the tailpiece lip and be rigid on the tailpiece.
7. Hook the ball end of the string on the Top Pin and attach the other end to your tuning key.
Making sure that the string stays in the Rear Groove and the bender’s roller groove, tighten the string to pitch and stretch the string several times until it stays in tune after a stretch.
An electronic tuner is helpful in this next step: With the string stretched and back in tune, flip the Adjustment Screw Lock out in a clockwise direction (looking down on it from the rear) to adjust the pitch “travel” of the Bender Handle. With the string in tune, turn the Adjustment Screw until the handle, when depressed all the way down, raises the pitch of the string to the desired pitch, usually one whole tone. Alternately release the Bender Handle, adjust the Screw, and depress the Handle to check pitch until you have reached the desired pitch. Holding the Bender Handle down while adjusting the screw will not always get you to the desired pitch. Once you have attained the desired pitch, hold the Adjustment Screw in place and tuck the Adjustment Screw Lock back under the Bender Handle, locking the Adjustment Screw. You are now INSTALLED AND READY TO GO!
IF YOU ORDERED A DOUBLE BENDER SET UP or a SINGLE WITH a SWIVEL HANDLE, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
You will receive the hex key Allen wrenches necessary for mounting and maintaining your bender set up. Use the enclosed large stubby 9/64” Allen wrench to adjust the swivel tips of your handles. You can experiment to find the best positions. Then, tighten the socket screws snugly, then tighten the Acorn Nut under the handle to lock everything in place. The Acorn Nut requires a 5/16” or an adjustable (Crescent) wrench. If you don't have those, you can use pliers, but they may marr the nut a bit. If the Acorn Nut causes a Bender to bottom out, you can replace it with the enclosed 8-32 nut which uses an 11/32” wrench. If the screw then bottoms out, file or grind it off or get a shorter 8-32 Socket Head Cap Screw at your hardware store. Pliers can also be used to tighten the nut beneath the handle.
Double benders come with a ¼” spacer and a ½” spacer to raise one or both handle tips. Additional screws are included to accommodate or remove the spacers.
A new feature has been added to the Bowden Bender Double set up units. Because G benders use a heavier string requiring harder down pressure on the bender handle, especially when swiveled out to the side, it can cause the handle assembly to slightly twist on the Pivot Pin (in the Chevron Joint), causing the bender to not return all the way to pitch. A Stabilizer Screw has been added to the side of the Handle Assemblies to prevent the twisting. When the handle is fully seated in the Chevron Joint, the Stabilizer Screw can then be tightened down tightly. CAUTION: Only use hand pressure to tighten to avoid stripping the threads in the bender handle.
If the Bender needs to be laid over for putting the instrument in its case, tune the string down a few notes and loosen the Stabilizer Screw just enough to pull the Handle Assembly back out of the Chevron Joint and lay it over. A .016 thru .018 gauge plain (unwound) string on the G is recommended, the lighter the better for best action. Thanks and enjoy your Bowden Bender.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR INSTALLING THE BOWDEN B BENDER FOR ACOUSTIC PEG HOLE BRIDGE
Installation of your Acoustic Bender is the easiest installation of any bending device known. Here’s how to do it:
1. Remove the peg from the B or G string and discard the string. It will be too short to reuse on the Bender. For ease of installation, also remove the peg from either side leaving those strings attached to the tuning keys (unless you wish to put on a whole new set of strings). Then loosen the rest of the strings enough to put your hand and arm down through the sound hole of the guitar.
2. Remove the hex nut, wing nut and metal washers from the threaded rod of the Bender leaving the rubber washer in place. Slip the threaded rod down through the peg hole of the B/G string. With the wing nut and washers in hand, reach down through the sound hole of the guitar and locate the end of the threaded rod. Slip the two washers over the threaded rod (hold the guitar on its edge so that the washers stay on the rod) and then carefully thread the wing nut on to the rod.
3. Align the Bender Handle Assembly in a straight line with the direction of the strings. Holding the Bender in line, tighten the wing nut very firmly, so that the Bender Assembly will not move easily from side to side. Replace all the strings and their pegs and tune all the rest of the strings to pitch. NOTE: Some customers have had trouble tightening the wing nut tight enough by hand, allowing the bender to move from side to side too easily. It is ok to use pliers or an adjustable wrench to assist you in the final tightening. Also, you may remove the rubber pad if you are not worried about a possible mark on the bridge (I don’t use the rubber pad on my own bender). If all else fails, the included standard 8-32 nut can be used to replace the wing nut and tighten the bender even tighter. You will need a small 11/32 socket wrench or box end wrench to accomplish this and be careful not to damage any adjacent bridge pins protruding inside the guitar. If you are still having trouble making it work correctly, please contact the inventor, Richard Bowden, by phone at 903-814-1482 or by email and a solution to your problem will be found.
4. Insert a new B string (.013 or .014 gauge recommended) from the rear of the bridge, under the Bender roller and up through the slot in the bottom of the Bender continuing over the bridge to the tuning key. Before tuning, slip the ball end of the string over the Top Pin of the Bender, making sure the string wraps into the groove at the rear of the Bender Handle. If you are planning to use the Bowden Bender on your G string, the instructions are the same as for the B -- just move things over one string. I recommend a .016 thru .018 gauge plain (unwound) string(s) on the G. Wound strings will saw a slot in your bridge saddle. IMPORTANT: Now, making sure to keep the string in the rear groove and seated in the roller, tighten the string to pitch and stretch it out until it stays in tune. Once the string is sufficiently stretched, it is time to adjust for pitch.
5. An electronic tuner is helpful in this step: Flip the Adjustment Screw Lock out in a clockwise direction (looking down from the top and butt of the guitar) to adjust the pitch “travel” of the Bender Handle. With the string tuned to the proper pitch, turn the Adjustment Screw until the handle, when depressed all the way down, raises the pitch of the string to the desired pitch, usually one whole tone. To do this, alternately release the Bender Handle, adjust the Screw, and depress the Handle to check pitch until you have reached the desired pitch. Holding the Bender Handle down while adjusting the screw will not always get you to the desired pitch. Once you have attained the desired pitch, hold the Adjustment Screw in place and tuck the Adjustment Screw Lock back under the Bender Handle, locking the position of the Adjustment Screw in place.
ADDITIONAL TIPS: An occasional drop of lubricant on the the nut, the bridge saddle and the pin at the rear of the Bender Handle should be all the maintenance required to keep the Bender working perfectly. You will notice a piece of fuzzy material at the rear of the Bender Handle where it comes to rest against its metal pin. This serves to dampen any clicking sound when releasing the Bender. If this material should deteriorate or come off, it is simply the “loop side” of self-adhesive Velcro and can be replaced by cutting a small piece to replace it, available at most hardware or fabric stores. A small pad of the same material can also be used to replace the little round “landing pad” where the Adjustment Screw touches down. NOTE: There should be a little sideways movement of the Bender Handle in the body of the Handle Assembly to assure that the Handle is not too tight. Without a string in place, the Bender Handle should easily flop down into its “depressed” position. If the Bender Handle is too tight, simply take a small screw driver, ice pick or other suitable device to spread the rear of the Handle Assembly slightly apart to allow the Bender Handle to move up and down freely with no binding. To lay the Bender over for tight cases, slightly loosen the string and pull back on Bender handle with a twisting motion until the Chevron Joint is open enough to lay the Bender over.
THANK YOU FOR PURCHASING THE BOWDEN B BENDER -- It should provide you with years of trouble-free use. As always, if you encounter a problem of any nature, immediately contact us usinge the information that came on your bender box. We guarantee that there is a solution to any and every problem you might encounter or you may return the unit for a full refund, paying only for shipping and handling. Thanks again!
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