So, how to fix cracked cymbals? Can a cracked cymbal be repaired? Are there many ways to fix cracked cymbals? What are the tools I will need to fix a cracked cymbal? Are fixing cracked cymbals expensive? As the famous proverb says, all things must come to an end, just like musical instruments such as cymbals will also get damaged after many years of use.
One thing you should look out for when determining if your cymbal needs to be replaced or not is whether it has cracks already. Having a crack on your cymbal not only affects its durability but can also affect how it sounds after striking it with your sticks. However, does having a crack on your cymbal really mean that you will have to replace it? Or are there any ways to fix and salvage it so you can use it for more years?
If the budget is still tight for you, here are some ways to fix cracked cymbals and make them available for more years:
Preparation For Fixing Cracked Cymbals:
Before fixing the crack or cracks on your cymbals, you might have to know first where it is located before doing anything to it. Cymbals can be very expensive, so you must be careful in repairing them if they can be repairable still, so you won’t have to face any costly consequences if you make any mistakes.
Usually, cracks on cymbals can begin in their edge and run through the cymbal after some time if it is not noticed and prevented. However, there can also be some cracks that are in a horizontal position across the cymbal’s bow. So, if you have already found one or more cracks, get a marker pen and start to trace its widest or highest points, making it easier for you to know the locations of the cracks that you will have to fix.
After the preparation, you can now start to fix the crack on your cymbal. Here are some of the best methods to deal with this issue:
The first method to fix cracked cymbals that we are going to discuss is to drill them. This method is an excellent option to deal with horizontal cracks. Before getting your hand drill, make sure to wear protective eyewear and gloves first before doing anything else to protect yourself from any tiny things that can enter your eyes and damage your eyesight, while the gloves will help you have a better grip on the hand grill and prevent it from slipping.
After wearing your protective gear, you can now attach a bronze-cutting drill bit to your hand drill by unlocking whatever drill bit is installed and replacing it with the bronze-cutting bit. Remember that the size of the bit always is dependent on the size of the crack, so it must always be bigger than the width of the crack. If you also do not have a bronze-cutting drill bit, you can use either a diamond or carbide bit, as they are also effective for this method.
Clamp the cymbal to prevent it from slipping, which can do more damage if it happens. It is highly recommendable that you use a pair of sawhorses and clamp the cymbal on where there are no cracks to it. Make sure that the cymbal won’t move, as this is the essence of why you should clamp it before drilling it.
Now, start drilling a hole at the end of the cymbal’s crack. Make sure that hole is clean by drilling into it continuously, and make sure to take your time before you feel that you are losing control of the drill and then release its trigger.
The second step is to drill a hole again, but this time on the other end of the crack. This will result in two holes located in the crack’s endpoints. By doing this, you are preventing the crack from spreading, which can make it irreparable if not stopped, as it can get bigger and bigger.
The third step is to slide the bit from the first hole to the second, resulting in it connecting with each other. Pull the trigger of the hand drill and start to rub the drill bit back and forth until you reach the second hole. In this step, always remember that your main goal is completely worn through the entire crack.
After you have connected the two holes, you can now start to sand and shape the edges by attaching a sanding bit to your hand drill or maybe sliding a sheet of 200-grit sandpaper between the holes. Remember to sand each section more than five times, as it will smooth the edges out.
However, even though you have prevented your cymbal from having more damage, you should expect that there will be a slight change in its sound when striking it, as it is not already the same as before.
Do you know how to fix cracked cymbals in a vertical position? The second method is to use a hand file, as it can be a great way to fix vertical cracks on a cymbal without breaking the bank. You can use a hand file and start to cut back into the cymbal until you reach the peak of the crack, and then you can finish it by using sandpaper to clean out the edges.
How To Prevent Your Cymbals From Cracks
Aside from learning how to fix cracked cymbals, you should also know to prevent it from happening in the first place to avoid any hassle and possible expenses that could cost you. Here are some of the ways you should look out for to protect your cymbals from cracks:
Use Sleeves And Felts
When playing the cymbal, it is very important that you appropriately cushion it at its bell. Remember that there is no such thing as too much when it comes to felts, as this thing can extend your cymbal’s playing life for a very long time. Using a cymbal sleeve, on the other hand, protects the cymbal’s inner edge from making direct contact with the cymbal stand, which can also damage the cymbal.
Polish It Regularly
Cleaning and polishing cymbals is also an excellent way to protect them from having cracks. It will also keep the surface of the cymbal from degrading. If you like to touch your cymbals all the time, maybe you should avoid it, as the oil from your hands can cause rust into them, which can not only affect their sound but can also cause them to crack.
Hit The Cymbal Correctly
The third thing that can cause your cymbal to crack is if you hit it at the wrong spots. It is important that as a drummer, you should know how and where to hit your cymbals for a more lasting playing life. One thing you should avoid is frequently hitting its edge straight on, as this is a very known way to make cymbals crack faster than expected.
So, how to fix cracked cymbals? One way you can do this is to drill holes using a drill bit, or you can also use power tools, such as a hand file, and cut back to the highest point of the crack on the cymbal. Both methods can be pretty effective in prolonging your cymbal’s playing life, although it can affect its sound a little bit.