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cutting/grinding cymbals

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#1
stikman

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Does anyone have a good recommendation for cutting or grinding broken cymbals to a smaller size????I havent broken a cymbal in at least 20 years,But I have several broken/cracked zildians thanks to a couple of my nephews,I thought Id try making smaller cymbals out of them,just for a project but Im not sure what methods to use---Any Ideas????
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#2
jaybeez

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Haven't done myself, but have read that a Dremel works well for partial cut out (like cutting out an edge crack) and a lathe works best for a more complete cut. I would think you'll need to smooth the edges either way. Dremel would probably work well there. Anxious to hear how it works. I have a crash that I may make a splash out of.
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#3
stikman

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Ill definitely have to bevel the edges,Im an Optician by day,So Im used to cutting lenses and such,Im more concerned with what type of blade to use,a dremel is something I thought of using,especially on edges,I tried a jigsaw with metal cutting blades on one,didnt work too well,but I need to cut the entire circumfrence,at the inside of the crack...
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#4
rikkrebs

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I used to take broken cymbals that were given to me or bought cheap to a machine shop. The would cut them down for $5 or $6 each. Sometimes they sounded great.....sometime they didn't.
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#5
mountainhick

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If they are small cracks on the edge, just cut the cracks out, don't reduce diameter entirely. Cutting down diameter without hammering and lathing generally doesn't work too well. Do a search there are many threads about cymbal repair.

For edge cracks I use a jigsaw with fine toothed blade for a very gently rounded cutout, then hand file and fine sand paper. Dremels kind of suck for edge crack repair IMO. They build up too much heat and it is hard to get a non ragged/jagged cut. They can be helpful for cracks in the cymbal body, but i prefer to drill a series of holes first, then use the dremel to grind out a slot.

Here's the edge of an old Avedis Zildjian where I cut out a crack:

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#6
tgregorek

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I met a guy who was using a plasma cutter to take small cracks out. It was a little rough for my taste. If your going to cut them down smaller it needs to be done on a lathe. while your on the lathe you should have them thin it down as well depending on the size of the cymbal. Cymbals get thinner as they go out from the center. So if you cut an 18" crash down to a 16" you've cut off the thinnest part of the cymbal. so you'll need to start at the bell and remove material going outward.
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#7
thebeebe5

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I've had fantastic results using a Dremel 9901 tungsten bit for removing edge cracks on many from that lot of Meinl's I got a while back. I now have over 12 very usable cymbals with this technique! High RPM, low pressure is key, and this bit causes very little heat build up.... I then wet sand the edge with #400 or #600 wet paper and on polished cymbals like the MB20 seen here on the lower left I buff on a high speed buffer/grinder. It has worked well on all the cymbal alloys I have. The MB20 (B20) as mentioned, a Souncaster (B12) at 12 o'clock and the MB10 (B10) pictured lower right.
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#8
stikman

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I've had fantastic results using a Dremel 9901 tungsten bit for removing edge cracks on many from that lot of Meinl's I got a while back. I now have over 12 very usable cymbals with this technique! High RPM, low pressure is key, and this bit causes very little heat build up.... I then wet sand the edge with #400 or #600 wet paper and on polished cymbals like the MB20 seen here on the lower left I buff on a high speed buffer/grinder. It has worked well on all the cymbal alloys I have. The MB20 (B20) as mentioned, a Souncaster (B12) at 12 o'clock and the MB10 (B10) pictured lower right.


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#9
stikman

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Thanks Beebe,Ill try the dremel bit,as soon as I get my right arm out of this #%&*&%$# sling,should be about another month ,Im going nuts not playing every weekend after shoulder surgery,.hopefully I can get some of these busted cymbals usable again,then Ill donate them to some deserving youngsters that need them...
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#10
thebeebe5

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Thanks Beebe,Ill try the dremel bit,as soon as I get my right arm out of this #%&*&%$# sling,should be about another month ,Im going nuts not playing every weekend after shoulder surgery,.hopefully I can get some of these busted cymbals usable again,then Ill donate them to some deserving youngsters that need them...


Good luck! It also works well for repairs like this: http://www.drumforum...epair-question/

I did an MB20 Meinl this same way and ground out a crack about 2" long. All have held up well. I don't know what the thingy is called that helps keep the bit at a right angle to what you are cutting, but it's a huge help too!
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#11
pstone

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I found a guy down the street with a water jet cutting machine...He charges me about $20 to cut down or repair any cracks.
When I get them back, the edges are a little rough, but a good emery sanding smooths them right out. The machine is VERY precise. The computer finds the center of the cymbal, and even finds the lathe rings to use as a reference to cut. I've done this many times with cracked K's, A's and Paiste Sigs...Depending on how much you cut out or downsize, most of them sound fantastic.
I usually throw him a six pack of Budweiser.
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#12
Enonthe Barbarian

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This may be bad, but it's how I did it.  Marked my cut.  Got within 1/4" with aviation snips.  Then used a vertical belt sander.  Going fast for a few seconds on one side then rotating 180 degrees to keep temperature down.  As for the bevelled edge.  Hand sand with 220 grit then go to 500.  Attached is one I have done.  This is a Custom A.  Took about and hour and a half.  This doesn't include the polish job.  Started as a 17", now a 15 1/4"

Attached Files


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#13
marko52

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Enon, looks like you did a fine job on that one. How's it sound now? I've used a jigsaw to cut out edge cracks; never tried to cut down a whole cymbal, but I'm sure it'd work--bronze is pretty soft. Welcome to the forum; nice first post........marko
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#14
69OysterBlue

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There was a great thread a couple of years ago that showed a fixture with a grinder hooked onto an easily made spindle assembly.

 

I would try searching the DFO threads.

 

IMHO - this isn't really a safe operation with a Dremel. Those high speed tools are not built for that kind of work. At the very least - I would spend $50 at Home Depot and get a grinder.


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#15
Formula428

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Band saw with a fine blade is how I cut my cup chimes.
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#16
lovethemGretsch

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There was a great thread a couple of years ago that showed a fixture with a grinder hooked onto an easily made spindle assembly.

 

I would try searching the DFO threads.

 

IMHO - this isn't really a safe operation with a Dremel. Those high speed tools are not built for that kind of work. At the very least - I would spend $50 at Home Depot and get a grinder.

That might've been my rig ... I can't find any pics of it either, but can show the jig w/ the grinder (which is actually an early dremel - - very hi RPM) . Working on a safety gaurd for it before I use it again !

- Worked great though ...

Attached Files


Edited by lovethemGretsch, 14 April 2013 - 02:32 PM.

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