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What Can I Do with a Cracked Cymbal? - Drum Building and Repair
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What Can I Do with a Cracked Cymbal?
What Can I Do with a Cracked Cymbal?
Smart ways to deal with a cracked cymbal
Published by Drum Set Connect
06-16-2006
Post What Can I Do with a Cracked Cymbal?

1. Throw it away!
Accept the fact that it is dead and gone. There is nothing you can do.

2. Ask the dealer/manufacturer for a replacement.
Try to send it straight back to the dealer or even the cymbal manufacturer. At least try to get a new one before going into major surgery. For example, Zildjian's usually very good about replacing cracked cymbals, no questions asked.

3. Fix with epoxy
Cracked cymbals can be brought back to usefulness. The proceedure works like this. Force Epoxy into the crack. Strike the cymbal hard several times to vibrate glue deeper into the crack. Apply more Epoxy and strike several times again. Wipe away excess. Bake the cymbal in a 200 degree oven for about an hour. This hardens the Epoxy to a glassy consistancy. Let the cymbal cool naturally. Let stand for at least 24 hrs before playing. If done correctly, it works.

4. Fix by soldering/welding
An alternative way is to solder over the crack on both sides (standard solder for electronics). Polish the damaged part until it is all clean and shiny, this way the solder will grip properly. I found this to restore much of the original sound. Unfortunately, it tends to crack up again after about a day's playing (that is for cracks on the edge). I guess that stronger stuff (like welding) might last longer, but would probably melt the cymbal.

5. Fix by drilling
Cracked cymbals are no too easy to fix or work with. You may try drilling a small hole at each end of the crack to prevent further spread, and then widen the crack -- Like they did with the Liberty Bell the first few times it cracked. This will stop it from buzzing, but not much else.
If the crack starts from the edge, drill the other end and then make a wide, V-shaped notch starting from the hole.
Drilling may (with good luck) prevent the crack from getting bigger but it seldom improves the quality of the sound.

6. Fix by turning in the lathe
If the crack is on the outer edge and it's not too deep (towards the center), you can cut the cymbal smaller in the diameter. Of course, turning is likely to change the sound characteristics...

7. Make an effect cymbal out of it
Forget the old sound and try to figure out how you can get totally new, exciting, weird, previously unheard, nice sounding special effects out of it. You might try cutting the cymbal into a new size/shape. For example, just the cup of a large-cupped ride makes a cool bell.


Shop for cymbal care products at Musician's Friend
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  #1 (permalink)  
By insanlydisturbed on 01-09-2008, 10:57 PM
Re: What Can I Do with a Cracked Cymbal?

my friends make guitar picks out of mine. they like them and with all the stock cymbals i have lying around i dont hear any complaints.
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  #2 (permalink)  
By drumdarr on 02-21-2008, 02:19 PM
Re: What Can I Do with a Cracked Cymbal?

Depending on the size of the actual crack--you can drill a small hole-Very Carefully--in the cymbal to prevent further spread;or a mark it with permanent marker pen and hit the cymbal precisely. Hope this helps...
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  #3 (permalink)  
By drummergyrl1390 on 03-10-2008, 12:45 AM
Re: What Can I Do with a Cracked Cymbal?

what kind of epoxy? and just a normal oven? also... what do i use to cut it?
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  #4 (permalink)  
By eeq58 on 06-03-2009, 06:40 AM
Hello you!

Hello all!
this a amazing forum, i love it.
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  #5 (permalink)  
By all_around_musician on 06-03-2009, 08:56 AM
Re: Hello you!

well my friends actually has a cracked cymbal and loves the thing, he cracked it on purpose, bent the thing upwards some how, and says he loves it cause it gives him this harder thrash sound, thing has this huge crack. unless your into that thrash sound, i suggest you get rid of it
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  #6 (permalink)  
By ZackVT on 07-01-2010, 03:01 PM
Re: What Can I Do with a Cracked Cymbal?

I took two 15" crash cymbals that had small cracks around the center hole and I put them together to make a nice sounding pair of hi hats. Now they are the only ones I will play with and when I use others they just don't feel right because of the weight. Normal Hi hats are made with that heavy bottom cymbal, but these are light and fun to play and sound great! If you are going to throw out cymbals, email me and I will pay for the shipping so at least you can give it a good final resting place
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  #7 (permalink)  
By cymbal surgeon on 08-24-2011, 03:32 AM
Re: What Can I Do with a Cracked Cymbal?

Bring it to me asap if crack appears and ill save it for you :-) Gumtree, cymbal repair

Adam
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  #8 (permalink)  
By adruml on 04-01-2013, 02:06 PM
Re: What Can I Do with a Cracked Cymbal?

Just became a member of this forum today. I was reading all the comments about what to do with a cracked cymbal and thought I would share any experience I have had.
Since 2007 I have repaired/modified over 1,100 cymbals. All have been sold via on line auction sites.
I had no idea what I was doing or what I would do with all the damaged cymbals I purchased years ago but my original thought was to cut the damage out by making the cymbal smaller. Gong!!! Is all I got due to removal of edge taper. I have tried everything suggested in this forum and have found the worst thing to do to a cymbal is overheat it without retempering it.
To make repairs worthwhile (cost wise) the damage must be removed in it's entirety. Whether it's circles, holes or slots just remove the damage period! Sound change? Yes of course but for the most part sound is good; different but good. Keep in mind 2 identical undamaged cymbals sound different from each other. Whatever you use to remove the damage do not overheat the cymbal and make sure your cuts are smoothed equal to the original factory cymbal edge. No sharp corners (minimum 3/4" radius on any repair). A 3/16" hole drilled at the end of a crack doesn't last very long.
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