buffing them clean with a buffer

carl1969

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I never did this before but I just used my sears auto buffer to clean a nasty looking cymbal and the results are astonding. They look better than my new cybmals.
 

Cymbalist

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carl1969 said:
I never did this before but I just used my sears auto buffer to clean a nasty looking cymbal and the results are astonding. They look better than my new cybmals.
I'm sure they look, uhh, fabulous...How do they sound? Generally, the heat generated by buffing causes significant changes to molecular strutcure of the alloy, altering the sound, usually in undesireable ways...Because of this, buffing this way is usually avoided like the plague by those who value the sonic properties of their cymbals...
 

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What kind of cymbal cleaner did you use? I'm interested in how you did it. When I clean cymbals, the biggest problem I have is having enough cloths to keep wiping off the black stuff after I apply the cleaner. A long, iterative process...
 

carl1969

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I actually used Paiste cleaner (orange cleaner bottle) on my zildjians which is all I had. I first tried the kickin brass cleaner which is all I would normally use but these things were bad and the previous owner wrote his name on the inside of both cymbals with a permanent marker ( I could'nt have that). So I figure why not try the buffer because my arm was getting tired and the results were not that great by hand buffing. I used a sears buffer which is no way as powerful as a professional car buffer and will not generate the extreme heat. I did not dig into the cymbal either, I let the cleaner and the wieght of the maching do the work. I then used the terry cloth buffing things with the buffer and thats it. If anything they sound better clean and I'm not one to clean cymbals at all. I think I might change my stance on that after this excercise though. I going to try to add some pictures too. the first is dirty.
 

TomN

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Looks good to me. I'm interested in anything that will bring a cymbal back to the way it should look--with less work. Thanks, Carl.

Tom N
 

mlayton

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i do not polish my cymbals but i did years ago. i understand the method you are referring to. you should be fine with the heat issue. they may of course sound different from the cleaning. could be brighter if too much residue didnt bed itself into the lathing.

ive got the other side of the coin. my cymbals are unpolished and i got one for christmas that is shiney. hoping time will knock the shine off its face some. :)


mike
 

carl1969

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As I said before, I was never a clean you cymbal type of guy. I kind of like the dirty cymbal historical look and the sound but I couldn't live with someones name written in LARGE permanent marker on the inside of the cymbals. I do have to say that this has really changed my outlook on the old dirty cymbal. One of the reasons I stopped cleaning them was that it took to long and the results were not that rewarding. The buffing of four cymbal side took about 20 -30 minutes tops verses hours and now the look as if they have a subtle brilliant finish.
 

chopstickslee

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no buffer.....but i did spend 2 hours polishing my old dirty A rock hats on a metal lathe with wet and dry sand paper. looks a million times better....but that brilliant finish orginally on the cymbal is gone.

no before shot, but here it is


 

jyee

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chopstickslee said:
no buffer.....but i did spend 2 hours polishing my old dirty A rock hats on a metal lathe with wet and dry sand paper. looks a million times better....but that brilliant finish orginally on the cymbal is gone.


a thin layer of bronze is probably gone along with the brilliant finish. "polishing" with sand paper does not seem like a good idea, unless you're more concerned about look than sound.
 

Coelacanth

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I don't think aggressive buffing is a great idea. The cymbal's original surface has microscopic pores, ridges, valleys, etc. and aggressive buffing will remove all those microscopic surface features and smooth down the metal somewhat. While certainly this results in a shinier surface, it's going beyond cleaning and actually removing the original bronze.
 

gryphon

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I have a system that seems to work pretty well and doesn't take much effort or time.

Coat the cymbal with Brasso or some equivalent cleaner. Rub it in a bit and let it dry. Buff the dry film a little to remove the bulk of the crap and polish the surface. About a minute to do both sides of a 20" cymbal is about right.

Then I spray the cymbal a little S-100 cleaner that I get at the Harley Davidson dealer and rinse the cymbal with warm water while cleaning out the grooves with a 3" paint brush. The S-100 cleans all the Brasso off and the black crud along with it better than buffing with towels like I used to do.

Takes about five minutes total to clean and polish a 20" ride not counting the time for the Brasso to dry. Since I'm not doing a lot of rubbing, I'm pretty sure I'm removing a minimal amount of metal.

jim
 

mlayton

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jim
if you like the s100 cleaner, try some simple green. buy the concentrate and cut it like you want. i used to detail harleys on the side and loved s100. but love simple green even more and its a lot lot cheaper. can get it at lowes.


mike
 

Dave H.

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I like to use MAAS metal polish on my cymbals & hardware. Great stuff :idea1:
I also use car wax to protect the cymbals, drums & hardware I use :idea1:

Dave Huffman :occasion5:
 

gryphon

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mlayton said:
jim
if you like the s100 cleaner, try some simple green. buy the concentrate and cut it like you want. i used to detail harleys on the side and loved s100. but love simple green even more and its a lot lot cheaper. can get it at lowes.


mike
Gee, I have used Simple Green on boats and it is a great cleaner, never tried it because I have a bottle of S100 on the shelf where I clean my cymbals. I'll have to try it some time, although I've never seen anything that would strip dirt and grease like the S100. It's my favorite hand cleaner, as a quick spritz and a rub together quickly cleans the worst dirt(brake dust and fluid or diesel engine oil), even under my fingernails.

Thanks for the tip Mike.

jim
 

mlayton

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yeah,just be careful not to buy the pre-diluted version. its not stong enough for what you want. plus its more expensive that way. i buy a gallon for around 10 bucks i think and cut it as needed. lasts me several months. use it for about everything including removing oil and grease.


mike
 

jrfrond

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Coelacanth said:
I don't think aggressive buffing is a great idea. The cymbal's original surface has microscopic pores, ridges, valleys, etc. and aggressive buffing will remove all those microscopic surface features and smooth down the metal somewhat. While certainly this results in a shinier surface, it's going beyond cleaning and actually removing the original bronze.
You'd need serious pressure, a hard wheel and industrial abrasives to generate enough power to do any damage. Cymbal polish and a lambs wool buffer will just remove dirt and oxides.

Having said THAT, be aware that the Brilliant process used by Zildjian and Sabian is an industrial WATER-COOLED monster. Do not attempt to Brilliant your own cymbals. The generated heat can ruin the temper of the metal and turn it into a trash can cover! :shock:
 


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