I've slightly modified mine. I replaced the cap head screw with a slightly longer one ( I think it went up from 20mm to 25mm) and fitted 3 half thickness nuts, one to lock the screw to the boss on the side of the trem plate and 2 to lock the tension on the arm. Mine came with a single thin wavy spring washer that was located immediately above the original lock nut and I've now put this immediately under the head of the screw. I'll post a pic later (there's one on the Shadowmusic site but I took it with a phone camera and it's hard to figure out). These mods have more or less eliminated the tendency for the rotational movement of the arm to unscrew everything, and placing the wavy washer as I have has all but eliminated the way the arm wobbled around the screw. Still using fibre washers though. I've been on the look out for a different material but they all seem to be rather thicker than the fibre ones (there's a perfect one on one of my vacuum cleaner attachments but I haven't dared pinch it!).
I have a few spare screws and half nuts so if you or anyone else wants to try this mod they can be yours for the cost of postage. PM me if you want one
Many thanks Roger, I bought my Marquee about three years ago so I imagine it's metric. I am considering trying a VML tremolo arm so, if anyone is using or has used one ( apart from Hank ) I would be interested in any comments / Graham .
I hadn't thought of using nylon washers- I've just bought half a dozen fibre washers from the local plumbers shop in a bright green colour that fit somewhere in a central heating boiler so they say() in the exact size needed - so if they don't work I'll try your suggestion.
Well, here we are just a couple of days since my initial post and my Burns is re strung and the tremolo is all set up and working just dandy, particularly with the help of the nuts and bolts sent to me by Roger. May I thank all you members and friends, for your help and advice in helping to sort out my guitar. I will also look out for some nylon washers for future use.
With any luck the parts Rogers posted to me me see me out, but I've noted the site and the plastic rod looks as though it would be just the ticket. It cant be that hard to cut of a "washer " from the end and drill a hole in it.
NB I didn't need to use the green washers mentioned above but on reflection a think they may be a bit too thick.
I got the nylon washers I referred to earlier and they are now fitted and so far seem to be OK. However I did find that even with the 2 nuts locked together the arm got slack and wobbly after vigorous use. I've now fitted a shallow nyloc nut in place of them and still have the single half nut locking the screw to the boss. It's also a lot easier to nip up the single nyloc that trying to lock the half nuts. So far so good. I will see how ell this set up withstands enthusiastic playing and report back
I wish I had thought of using those nuts with the plastic grip. You know, I think you may have solved this problem that all burns users must have come up against. That said, I'm going to play safe with the thin locking nuts you kindly sent me for now, as they seem to work ok. I look forward to hearing how the nyloc's stand up to prolonged use.
.......I suppose it might be taking things a shad(e) to far, to drill out the thread in the boss, put in a PRS style nylon trem arm sleeve, weld a plain piece of steel tube to the arm, to replace the threaded shank, so it can simply slide in, put in a screw at the side of the boss so the tension on the replaced shank can be adjusted to taste.......nahhhh!!!!!That would make it all too easy to put the guitar back in its case!
As someone who worked in the the plastics industry for many years, probably one of the best materials is Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, this has low frictional properties and is the sort of material that has been used in body implants because a good wear characteristic is required.
This would probably have to be purchased in rod form and then turned cleanly on both O/D and I/D, any weaknesses would come from poorly cut edges leading to gradual tears, I would also tend to sandwich these between crimped washers.
To me there seems to be two main problems with the fibre washers, compression with use and distortion, once they distort they tend to break apart.
The problem is that unless someone has the facilities as a dedicated hobbies interest, the setting up to machine and turn them would be relatively expensive and may require some tooling.
Part of the problem is that the material and any backing washers can't be too thick. The nylon washers I am using are 0.5mm and that's is about is thick as my set up will take. Because of the small bearing area of arm to washer the loads that arise when you use the trem vigorously are concentrated over a small surface area which leads to the distortion and ultimately the break up of the fibre or nylon. I guess I'll just buy a decent stock of the nylon washers
I was interested to spot this topic as, after 14 months without any problems at all, the upper fibre washer on my Apache's tremelo disintegrated. Without it, the arm became loose and wobbly very quickly. I tried to obtain nylon washers locally but haven't found anything suitable.
However, yesterday, I removed the remaining, lower fibre washer and replaced it above the nut, in the place of the one that failed. Result, the arm is working perfectly again!
I thought it worth reviving this topic to say that my 'temporary fix', as detailed in my post above, has proved to be the complete solution. It has now been over two weeks and the arm has required no further attention.