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Monday, July 31, 2017

Trimming a broken cymbal

What happens when a super cheap cymbal is treated like it is not, is portrayed in the following picture.

Don't think I hit my cymbals like an animal. This is a very cheap cymbal that came with my first drum set, it feels like aluminum/aluminium and has no brand nor anything written. It was cracked badly but no crack was too far from the edges, there was sort of a healthy area in the middle.

Since the material seemed very thin, I thought trimming the cracked area was plausible.

1. Marking the healthy zone
I used a sharpie attached to a compass to mark a cutting line. I thought I could use the existing grooves in the cymbal to avoid using they compass, but the resulted to be spiral around the center, not circular.

2. Trimming
I used a Dremel like tool with a metal cutting disc to do the job (see the pic below). This is a slow process, first I cut half of the cymbal and then the other half because the tool gets burning hot and I had to let it rest for some time. Eventually I needed 3 and a half cutting discs for the labour. It's fine, they are very cheap in Ebay.

This was the result (metal dust included):


3. Finishing
For the last step, I filed the edges although they weren't too bad. I used a file accessory for the tool, but a manual file can be used as well.
File accessory and metal cutting disc
The result after cleaning a bit:


Conclusion
I'm satisfied with the result and I will try to put this cymbal to work again.

Epilogue: About doing this with a quality cymbal
After doing this procedure, I thought about repeating if in the future I need to save a thicker, harder cymbal. My opinion is that it could be done, but definitely a lot of patience and discs would be necessary. I believe that dividing the job in several parts, allowing the tool to rest, is possible to complete a cut in a standard quality cymbal.

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