Bowden B Benders
Non-Defacing, Affordable String Benders For Electric and Acoustic Guitars
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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 and the slot is thinner. 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 brass screw to see if yours is Metric (if your saddle screw does not readily thread into the 4-40 nut, then your screw 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. If you need to use the silver Metric screws, you can remove the Teflon tubing from the brass 4-40 screws and insert them into the Metric ones before putting your saddle(s) back on. 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 (Tree nut) 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 with the new screws, 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 and replace them to their previous position. 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.
MOUNTING THE BENDER -- 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 bender adapter move while you're tightening. Once both screws are good and tight, you can insert the short end of your wrench into the mounting 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. REPLACING THE STRING: Slide the string through the Teflon tube and over the saddle to the tuning key. Leave about six inches out behind the bridge and hook the ball end of the string on the Top Pin of the bender. 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!
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.
MAINTENANCE -- 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.
ADDITIONAL TIPS: 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. The rubber tip on the Adjustment screw is there in case the "landing pad" should come off during a gig. You may have to quickly adjust the pitch to compensate for the loss of the pad.
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. For Double Benders, you will also need to loosen the black thumb screws on each Bender in order to pull the handle back.