Cutting Holes in a Cymbal

Earache

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Hey all,
I recently received a 20" Sabian B8 Ride cymbal from a friend.

After cleaning it up and playing on it for a couple of days, it doesn't quite suit my kit, but I decided to modify it. I am a fan of the Ozone series cymbals so I am going to drill five holes on one half of the cymbal so that it resembles Sabians HHX Legacy Ozone Ride.

I figure this will work since they are both bright cymbals to begin with. I want more of a less pingy washy ride with good crashability and little sustain.



TO



I do understand that they are not going to sound the same by any means, but I feel like it would be a fun project and could result in an amazing one of a kind cymbal.

I plan to use a drill press and mist the cymbal with oil as I drill.
Is there any advice that you can give for drilling large holes? Has anybody tried anything similar?

Thanks DFO,
Earache
 

69OysterBlue

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I've destroyed cymbals in the past in the interest of experimentation (welding cracks), so I guess I can't slight you for your proposed plan.

I think there are purists out there that would suggest that any "amatuer" (which most of us are) who puts power tools to an instrument (even a low end cymbal) is a bad idea.

I guess my view is that, if you are planning on never using this cymbal since it doesn't sound right, your choices are; stash it among your drum stuff where it will probably never get played, sell it on e-Bay or CL, donate it to someone who might get some use out of it (like your friend did) or drill big holes in it!

I doubt if a B8 alloy cymbal is ever going to sound really good (or even close to an Ozone cymbal) by punching these holes.

However, with regard to your using a drill press and misting it with cutting oil, it sounds like you have the proper tools to get this done. I believe that there are several carbide hole saws out there that would work, probably turning at relatively slow speed.

Good Luck!

(hope the Rockers are sounding good!)
 

Earache

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I've destroyed cymbals in the past in the interest of experimentation (welding cracks), so I guess I can't slight you for your proposed plan.

I think there are purists out there that would suggest that any "amatuer" (which most of us are) who puts power tools to an instrument (even a low end cymbal) is a bad idea.

I guess my view is that, if you are planning on never using this cymbal since it doesn't sound right, your choices are; stash it among your drum stuff where it will probably never get played, sell it on e-Bay or CL, donate it to someone who might get some use out of it (like your friend did) or drill big holes in it!

I doubt if a B8 alloy cymbal is ever going to sound really good (or even close to an Ozone cymbal) by punching these holes.

However, with regard to your using a drill press and misting it with cutting oil, it sounds like you have the proper tools to get this done. I believe that there are several carbide hole saws out there that would work, probably turning at relatively slow speed.

Good Luck!

(hope the Rockers are sounding good!)
Thanks for your input, If I don't end up doing it myself, I will could always take it to somebody and see whet they can do. That way if it gets shredded I will get compensated in some way.

I have drilled holes in cymbals but it was either for rivets or to slow cracking. I would imagine there will be a lot more stress when drilling a large hole.

But the rockers sound amazing, thanks! I am trying to get a legitimate complimentary cymbal setup now. I suppose I've been known to get pretty creative with it.

Earache
 

nanonoize

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yeah man drill or punch the holes.
customizing thing yourself can have good results.
i did this to a very thick paiste rude myselfView attachment 79609
 

jkern184

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awesome!!! im glad someone else is doing this too.

im big into such experimentation and ive done exactly what youre proposing to do.

as a starting point, i emulated the Sabian O-zone.

its very easy actually, i just used a 2" hole saw. i did mine free-hand but if you have a drill press yours will probably be cleaner than my first attempt.

ive used a 16" Wuhan S-Class crash and a Bosphorus 16" Gold Fast Crash both following the Sabian O-zone pattern and they both turned out GREAT!

i got a little braver and got a little more experimental w/ a 18" Zildjian ZBT crash that one of my good friends didnt want anymore. i did 8 staggered 2" holes, then i think 6 1/2" holes a little farther in toward the bell then took 4 1/2" holes out of the bell.

for what its worth, the Bosphorus turned out almost exactly like a 16" HHX Evolution O-Zone crash, presumably because the physical characteristics are most similar. (similar profile, weight, finish, hammering, etc.)

let me know how yours turns out. im very interested!
 

Earache

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awesome!!! im glad someone else is doing this too.

im big into such experimentation and ive done exactly what youre proposing to do.

as a starting point, i emulated the Sabian O-zone.

its very easy actually, i just used a 2" hole saw. i did mine free-hand but if you have a drill press yours will probably be cleaner than my first attempt.

ive used a 16" Wuhan S-Class crash and a Bosphorus 16" Gold Fast Crash both following the Sabian O-zone pattern and they both turned out GREAT!

i got a little braver and got a little more experimental w/ a 18" Zildjian ZBT crash that one of my good friends didnt want anymore. i did 8 staggered 2" holes, then i think 6 1/2" holes a little farther in toward the bell then took 4 1/2" holes out of the bell.

for what its worth, the Bosphorus turned out almost exactly like a 16" HHX Evolution O-Zone crash, presumably because the physical characteristics are most similar. (similar profile, weight, finish, hammering, etc.)

let me know how yours turns out. im very interested!
I actually am planning on giving my old high school a call and asking if I can come use the press in the shop.

Sounds like you have got amazing results, I have a paiste PST3 china I am debating drilling out as well. The only thing i'm worried about is groove cracks in the future. How are your custom cymbals holding up?

How did that ZBT end up turning out?
 

homeby5

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Oh Great.... :roll: Now the sound guys are going to expect all of us to put mic holes in our cymbals :razz:
 

nanonoize

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yeah man drill or punch the holes.
customizing thing yourself can have good results.
i did this to a very thick paiste rude myselfView attachment 79609
From what I can see it looks like you re-finished the cymbal.

How did you go about doing that, is the sound comparable, whats the pros/cons?
before the customizing you would have to use trees and upper moellers to get any sound out of them.
now it became more of a jazzy ride with a nice bright ping and a dark wash.
oh and i can crash it now
 

nanonoize

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Oh Great.... :roll: Now the sound guys are going to expect all of us to put mic holes in our cymbals :razz:
i am a soundengineer and i am gonna drill some 3 inch holes in a cymbal tomorrow.
after that i will mic the hole and share the results.
ill record the cymbal beforehand as well
 

Concrete Pete

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Hey Earache,


I've done 6 or 7 cymbal "holies" that came out quite well.

I also suggest that you use a drill press, and suggest you drill at a decent speed (1800-2500 RPM) and use a metal-cutting hole saw (diamond or carborundum) for the job. One important thing would be to drill from the bottom, and have a concave "base" (wood, etc.)for the pie that roughly matches the curve of the cymbal, tilted accordingly so the cut stays even with the cymbal surface.
Drilling the bottom side produces a cleaner, safer cut, and once the hole is ALMOST completely through, turn the pie over and cut the last bit of depth from the top side VERY slowly and gently. Be careful that the hole saw doesn't seize when it's just breaking through- get a GOOD GRIP on that pie!

You'll want to use a barrel sanding bit on a Dremel (@ about 15,000 RPM) to both clean up the holes, and add a bit of chamfer to both sides of them.

My personal rule is to not remove more than 20-25% of the total cymbal surface area for sound quality, but to each their own.

Have fun, and tell us how it comes out!

Cheers,
C. P.
 

Earache

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Hey Earache,


I've done 6 or 7 cymbal "holies" that came out quite well.

I also suggest that you use a drill press, and suggest you drill at a decent speed (1800-2500 RPM) and use a metal-cutting hole saw (diamond or carborundum) for the job. One important thing would be to drill from the bottom, and have a concave "base" (wood, etc.)for the pie that roughly matches the curve of the cymbal, tilted accordingly so the cut stays even with the cymbal surface.
Drilling the bottom side produces a cleaner, safer cut, and once the hole is ALMOST completely through, turn the pie over and cut the last bit of depth from the top side VERY slowly and gently. Be careful that the hole saw doesn't seize when it's just breaking through- get a GOOD GRIP on that pie!

You'll want to use a barrel sanding bit on a Dremel (@ about 15,000 RPM) to both clean up the holes, and add a bit of chamfer to both sides of them.

My personal rule is to not remove more than 20-25% of the total cymbal surface area for sound quality, but to each their own.

Have fun, and tell us how it comes out!

Cheers,
C. P.
Thanks for the good advice and helpful guide, I will definitely put this to good use.

The only thing I'm wondering is that after you cut must of the way through on the bottom side, how are you suppose to know exactly where to stop drilling from the top? What is the downside to just drilling all the way through on one side? My buddy owns a machine shop and was going to let me use his press that has a drip cooling agent by the way.
 

Concrete Pete

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Hey Earache,

Good question- I just "eyeball" it. Take note of the thickness of the cymbal, and drill until you think there's just a wee bit of metal left, then flip it.

Drilling through from 1 side sometimes causes a "pucker" or can slightly flare the hole. Cutting from both sides pretty much alleviates that. If you want to do a one-sider, then drill from the top, so the flaring (if it happens) will be on the bottom side.

Cheers,
C. P.
 

nanonoize

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Hey Earache,

Good question- I just "eyeball" it. Take note of the thickness of the cymbal, and drill until you think there's just a wee bit of metal left, then flip it.

Drilling through from 1 side sometimes causes a "pucker" or can slightly flare the hole. Cutting from both sides pretty much alleviates that. If you want to do a one-sider, then drill from the top, so the flaring (if it happens) will be on the bottom side.

Cheers,
C. P.
thanx fot the tips
 

drumman

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Hey all,
I recently received a 20" Sabian B8 Ride cymbal from a friend.

After cleaning it up and playing on it for a couple of days, it doesn't quite suit my kit, but I decided to modify it. I am a fan of the Ozone series cymbals so I am going to drill five holes on one half of the cymbal so that it resembles Sabians HHX Legacy Ozone Ride.

I figure this will work since they are both bright cymbals to begin with. I want more of a less pingy washy ride with good crashability and little sustain.



TO



I do understand that they are not going to sound the same by any means, but I feel like it would be a fun project and could result in an amazing one of a kind cymbal.

I plan to use a drill press and mist the cymbal with oil as I drill.
Is there any advice that you can give for drilling large holes? Has anybody tried anything similar?

Thanks DFO,
Earache
A while ago, I drilled holes close all along the outer edge of my 14" thin crash (spaced 2" apart) and inserted rivets to produce a sizzle. Worked out pretty good. Megadrumsets.com
 

thebeebe5

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I'd do it myself by hand. Good holes saws as mentioned use a pilot bit so a press shouldn't be necessary. High speed, light pressure! measure it out as you would for evenly spaced rivets. Keep the bit as square to the surface as you can since it's not a flat surface.... You will have to finish out the edges with a half round file if you have one or find sand paper such as a fine wet/dry paper (used wet!).

Oh, and post pictures when you're done!
 

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