How to cut cymbals? Does cutting the cymbal affect its sound? Join us as we are going to discuss some effective ways to cut cymbals, whether to remove a crack or maybe you just want it to convert as an effective cymbal.
Cutting Cymbals: Method 1
So, how to cut cymbals? If your cymbal has a vertical crack or you just want to cut without any reason, the best way for you to do it is to use a power tool. In this type of situation, the perfect tool to be used is the Dremel tool, as it has a cutting disc on its end. If the crack starts from the cymbal’s edge and advances to its center, then using the Dremel tool would be an excellent choice.
Attach a carbide bit on its end, and you can start cutting your cymbal. However, before you start cutting your cymbals, always first wear your protective gear, such as eyewear and thick gloves, to protect your eyes from shards that can fly into your eyes and help you have a better grip in handling the power tool, respectively.
After you have done the preparation, you can now mark where you will cut your cymbals using a marker. If it has a crack, you can draw a U or V-shape two inches above the highest point of the crack. Make sure that the trace won’t get erased easily to avoid making any mistakes in where to cut the cymbal. You can also do this method even if your cymbal has no cracks and you just want to cut it, adding a stylish look to it.
After marking, get a sawhorse or find a table and clamp the cymbal securely so it does not move when you start cutting it with your power tool. If you are using a sawhorse, it would be preferred that you use at least two clamps to hold it down, as you should prevent the cymbal from sliding to avoid damaging the cymbal.
After you have secured the cymbal to the point that it won’t move already, you can now start to turn your Dremel tool on and line its blade up with the cymbal’s edge of the outline, so you can start cutting. Make sure that you hold the power tool securely by holding it with your two hands, and start to trace the marked line until you reach its end line. Remember to always hold the Dremel tool all the time to avoid hurting yourself.
It would be best if you also moved the Dremel tool back and forth slowly to cut out the outlined portion clearly. You should carefully maneuver the power tool to avoid cutting out parts of the cymbals that are unnecessary to include. After you cut out the outline part, you can now start to smooth out the edges by using 200-grit sandpaper or a file. Repeat it five to ten times, ensuring that the new edge of the cymbal is already smooth.
As you have already cut a part of your cymbals, you can expect that its sound and sustain won’t be the same anymore, just like its original condition. Although, there is also a good chance that it will sound better than before after cutting the cracked part.
How To Cut Cymbals: Method 2
When there is a crack in the cymbal, but it is located in the inner part and is in a horizontal position, you might need a new way to deal with it. This method we are going to discuss is also applicable if you want to cut some inner holes on the cymbal, just like you in those effects cymbals sold in the market. I am talking about using a drill bit to cut your cymbal horizontally.
To start this method, you should first locate the crack and outline it using a permanent marker so that it won’t get erased easily when you are beginning to drill the cymbal. It can be easy to lose track of the crack, so it is important you do not forget this part. Remember that you can also do this method even if your cymbal does not have any cracks.
So, before you start cutting the cymbal, you should always first wear protective eyewear and thick gloves to protect your eyes from any shards that can hit your eyes and help your hands to have a tight grip in holding the drill bit.
After you have worn your protective gear, you can now grab the hand drill and attach a bronze-cutting drill bit to it. If there is still a drill bit attached to the hand drill, unlock the head of the drill and remove it, so you can replace it with the bronze-cutting drill, which is perfect for cutting cymbals. If you do not have one, you can use any carbide or diamond bit, and when it comes to its size, the bit should be bigger than the crack, if there is any.
You can now get a pair of sawhorses and clamp down the cymbal securely, so it won’t move while you are drilling it. Do not also clamp the cymbal to the parts where there is a crack in it to avoid making it bigger. Make sure that the cymbal won’t move when you are drilling it to prevent it from putting any damage to it.
After all the preparations, you can now start to drill the cymbal. Make sure to pull the trigger slowly and continue drilling until you cut the cymbal cleanly. If you feel that you are losing control of the hand drill, you can ease off with the trigger until you get back your control.
After the first hole, you can now drill a new hole to the other end of the crack where you have outlined it. This will stop the crack from spreading. The next thing is to place additional holes until you have connected the first two drill holes in both endpoints. Gently rub the drill bit back and forth, as this will remove the layers inside the crack. Continue to do this until you have completely connected the endpoints perfectly.
To end, you can use 200-grit sandpaper and start to sand and shape the edges of the crack. You can place the sandpaper in between the new hole to perfectly smooth it. You can do this step up to ten times to make sure that everything is already smooth.
With its new appearance, you can also expect that there will be a change in its sound when struck; however, it can be a good thing, too, as most cymbal companies offer the same style of cymbals and advertise them as effects cymbals, where many professional drums are fond using them.
What Is Changed From A Newly Cut Cymbal
When you are cutting a part of your cymbal, whether it has a crack or not, you can expect that there is a change of sound from it. However, if you cut it because of a crack, it might be a good decision. Like an effects cymbal, a cut from your cymbals will give it a unique sound. You can also notice that it has a lesser volume and a shorter sustain, which is maybe a good thing after all.
So, how to cut cymbals? Get a power tool, mark the part where you want to cut it, wear protective gear, and start cutting up that part with the power tool. Use sandpaper to smooth out the cymbal’s edge where you had cut it.