Enlarging small bell holes

Cann_Man28

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So, I have a few older zildjian hihat cymbals with smaller bell holes and I am interested in modifying them to work with all stands and clutches. Has anyone done this? What tools do I need? How do I keep the hole centered?

I assume one uses a drill press, and I do have access to one. But again I am not certain.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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If vintage and/or rare cymbals, don't drill them!

You can use a rat tail file, but you didn't hear that from me.....
 

JimmyM

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I have a set of 60's Tyrko hats where the one used for the top cymbal was enlarged slightly with a rat tail file. Still just barely fits my Gibraltar clutch. I used duct tape to protect it from the threads.
 

owr

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Ah man, go for it, live a little, get one of these:


Go slow and steady, you usually just need a couple passes. You'll play them alot more if they can be used without special hardware, and thats what they're meant to do.
 

frankmott

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I've done it with a hand-held power drill, and a regular wood/metal bit. The bit is bigger than the hole, so it self-centers. Slowly drill from underneath with a piece of scrap wood backing. Bronze is very soft, so be careful; if the bit is at all sharp, it will go right through like butter. Use a rat-tail file to clean up any burrs.
Vintage value? Sure, if it's an old K, don't drill it. But let's say you know you're never going to sell it, or it's a very common A or an off-brand, or has a crack, or... or... or...
Drill away. Now you can actually play the cymbal.
 

JDA

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Yea I'd say do it by hand; only had to do 1 and rat tail solved it Nothing looks worse than an overextended hole.
One of those hand T- reamers never had one but may be ok.
 

dtk

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+1 on the reamer....good also if you want to enlarge a shell hole just slightly
 

mikesdrums

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Those step bits are expensive and, imo, probably overkill for such a thin and soft sheet of metal. I know the cheap one I have (which still wasn't all that cheap) would most likely grab and tear the cymbal. On the other hand, I once enlarged the holes on an old set of hats after determining the only clutch that I could find that would work with those cymbals wouldn't work with the hi hat stand I wanted to use. So I just enlarged the holes with a regular, but sharp, bit and a hand-held drill. Worked great.
 

Cann_Man28

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Like getting a new head because your hat is too small...

One of them is a bottom cymbal. I play backline kits at rehearsals and gigs. I would prefer not to schlep my only hihat stand that they fit on. Do you have another suggestion?
 

Rich K.

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One of them is a bottom cymbal. I play backline kits at rehearsals and gigs. I would prefer not to schlep my only hihat stand that they fit on. Do you have another suggestion?
What kind of cymbals are they?
 


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