Drilling holes for rivets

Gcort49

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Totally agree...been drilling rivets in cymbals for years..always used a cobalt 3/16" drill bit, slow speed..if you can clamp cymbal with some clamps and piece of wood under cymbal, should be fine...drill from under the cymbal...about 1.5" from edge. If in a cluster, keep 1.5 apart...found no more than 4 rivets...more than that, adds a bit of unwanted weight
 

Rik_Everglade

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I was looking for this sound:

Did it just like Gcort49 said. 1.5" from the edge and 3/16" bit.Put four at 12-3-6-9 o'clock. I picked my K con 19" crash/ride. This guy has four rivets in a 22" Istanbul Agop, but my 20" K con rides didn't sound as bright as his. So I went for it with the 19". It came out sounding very close. Very very close. I think that I'd like to try another style of rivet. I used brass rivets, I think that lighter smaller rivets will take it that last step to sounding just the way I wanted it to.
 

rock roll

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Lots of good advice already stated. I'll just add...
It depends of course on the rivets you use.the hole has to be slightly bigger than the rivet so it can wobble freely as previously stated.
There are split rivets and ones that you have to flare out the bottom end.
For the flair type .....
I've tried the ball peen hammer, it works but.... I found using a rat tail file is better. Stick the tip into the shaft and work it around carefully bending it outwards.
If you drill your hole from the top , watch out pushing down too hard.
You can put a dent in the cymbal or start a crack.
I prefer to drill from the bottom side with wood underneath , this way the cymbal is stable without worrying about pushing down too hard.
Use the rat tail file to file down any burs followed with some sandpaper.
Good luck.
 

rock roll

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Even though normally a pilot hole makes sense, with cymbals I have found it less hassle just to start with a punch like Matt said, then go right in with the full size bit. Some of the thinner bits I tried to use for a pilot hole just broke under the strain, so I had to use a thicker bit anyway; and then the full size bit tended to grab and bind in the hole rather than cleanly enlarging it. Just make sure your bit is designed for drilling metal, and is sharp.


A wedge is perfect for getting the split rivets started. Personally, once I've decided to keep them installed, I then use some needle nose pliers to bend the legs further to like 90 degrees.

The ones in that Zildjian pic looks like a tube shape, which you flare out by putting a round wedge into the end, and then hammering. For a round wedge you could use a pointy bolt, a fat masonry nail, an old large soldering tip, or a phillips screwdriver with a short fat point to it.
I agree with everything except for flaring out. Use a rat tail file.
 

Seb77

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I recently "falred out" a Z rivet by just squashing the hollow end with a pair of plumber's pliers. :) For more felxibility with this kidn of rivet, you can just put apiece of tape on the bottom end, keep the rivet in place, but removable without any hassle.

I second very slow drilling. Even if it's a very slow drill. it's not that you spend hours drilling twoor four holes. However, all the troubles of skipping/wandering around are avoided, plus any heat. If you only have a fast drill, using a drop of oil helps with the latter.
 

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