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Anyone taken a hammer to a cymbal?


Rain Dog

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Yeah, Yeah..... Bad idea I know. I probably won't actually do it but....

 

I have this cheap and old Camber 20 ride and well... I just want to "Hand Hammer" it. My gut feeling is that the best thing I can do is ruin it and that will FORCE me to upgrade to that Zildjian Earth Ride I've been wanting.

 

I've got a ball-peen hammer and an anvil should I go for it? How do they hand hammer a cymbal anyway?

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Originally posted by TheBoatCanDream

Use a hammer with a rounded head. It should raise the tension of the cymbal, raising the pitch, and it will add shimmer to the sound since the vibrations will move up and down through the hammer marks.

 

Or it'll just crack! :)

 

If you were going to do this to a good cymbal, I'd think you were crazy. But for an old used Camber, you've got nothing much to lose by trying it out.

 

Before you get started, I'd go check out some of the cymbal company sites and see if they have anything on their processes. It might give you an idea of where you want to concentrate the hammering, and maybe show some photos of how they do it. Be sure to check out the Instanbul and Boshporus sites...they seem to position themselves as companies more into making individual cymbals by hand over mass production...maybe they've got some photos that'll tell you something.

 

Anyway, you've got little to lose, and you may end up with something really cool when you're done. Worst case it'll be educational for you to see what happens. Be sure to take a 'before' photo so you can gauge how much damage..er..um...customization you've done. :D

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Originally posted by Old Steve



If you were going to do this to a good cymbal, I'd think you were crazy. But for an old used Camber, you've got nothing much to lose by trying it out.

Just because it's a Camber that doesn't prove I'm not crazy. You and your wild unfounded opinions... :mad:

 

 

 

;):D :D

 

 

 

If I do it I will do some research as well as take before, during and after pictures.

 

I wonder if I should use a torch to heat the metal? What sort of beer should I drink while performing this procedure?? All these questions need looking into.

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Originally posted by Rain Dog


I wonder if I should use a torch to heat the metal?

 

 

That's what I was wondering.

 

Beer, fire and a hammer...can't really go wrong with that.

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Originally posted by Rain Dog

What sort of beer should I drink while performing this procedure??

 

NOW we're into the important questions. Here's my thinking. It all depends on the type of cymbal you want to end up with.

 

If you want it to sound like a Paiste, you'll obviously want something German. Plenty of good German beers are out there, so the choices are pretty wide open.

 

If you want it to sound like a US manufactured Zildjian, I'd look out for some beer from Massachusetts. Sam Adams is an obvious choice, but I'd also look at Harpoon's lineup of beers.

 

Obviously a Sabian feel could be achieved with any Canadian beers...perhaps a Molson. If you want it REALLY authentic, try to get the special import higher alcohol version of Canadian beer if you can.

 

If you want it to sound like an old Turkish K, you'll have to be more creative. Turkish beer can be hard to come by, so you may want to pick a decent international brand like Hieneken but do shots of Wild Turkey (get it, Turkey...as in the country....) in between beers.

 

You should also consider what kind of music it'll be used for. For example, if you're in a Lenard Skynard tribute band, I'd recommend Dixie beer or good old Pabst Blue Ribbon. Jazz would probably call for some kind of high end microbrew, whereas a Grateful Dead cover band there are more 'crunchy' microbrews like Fat Tire out there. If you're doing Brittany Spears, you obviously should be drinking Zima.

 

Anyway, I think you get the idea. Equally important to the beer selection is the actualy quantity consumed. If you REALLY want authentic sound, you should drink as much as you possibly can.

 

You want to make sure that you and the cymbal are both equally and thouroughly hammered. :cool:

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Originally posted by drumhead1234

and click on one of the 3 "New Beginning" links under Mike Skiba. These are tutorials as to how to hammer cymbals.


Good Luck!

Facinating read! Thank-You very much. Unfortunately I do not have a lathe set-up. It least I now have a clue on how to do the hammering.

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Originally posted by Old Steve



NOW we're into the important questions. Here's my thinking. It all depends on the type of cymbal you want to end up with.


If you want it to sound like a Paiste, you'll obviously want something German. Plenty of good German beers are out there, so the choices are pretty wide open.


If you want it to sound like a US manufactured Zildjian, I'd look out for some beer from Massachusetts. Sam Adams is an obvious choice, but I'd also look at Harpoon's lineup of beers.


Obviously a Sabian feel could be achieved with any Canadian beers...perhaps a Molson. If you want it REALLY authentic, try to get the special import higher alcohol version of Canadian beer if you can.


If you want it to sound like an old Turkish K, you'll have to be more creative. Turkish beer can be hard to come by, so you may want to pick a decent international brand like Hieneken but do shots of Wild Turkey (get it, Turkey...as in the country....) in between beers.


You should also consider what kind of music it'll be used for. For example, if you're in a Lenard Skynard tribute band, I'd recommend Dixie beer or good old Pabst Blue Ribbon. Jazz would probably call for some kind of high end microbrew, whereas a Grateful Dead cover band there are more 'crunchy' microbrews like Fat Tire out there. If you're doing Brittany Spears, you obviously should be drinking Zima.


Anyway, I think you get the idea. Equally important to the beer selection is the actualy quantity consumed. If you REALLY want authentic sound, you should drink as much as you possibly can.


You want to make sure that you and the cymbal are both equally and thouroughly hammered.
:cool:

It wouldn't take many Zima's for me to do Brittany Spears but that's a whole different thread.

 

I realize you are from New York City so I'll cut you some slack on your beer choices. :D

 

I will be drinking genuine Oregon beer. Portland Oregon has more breweries per capita than any city in the world! We drink lots of beer here. Rain and overcast for 9 months a year really would be unbearable without good beer. Plus one of our biggest industries is Hops. Cascade, Willamette and many other hops grow right down the road from my house.

 

Hair of the Dog

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Alameda Brewing Company

 

Think Oregon, Drink Oregon

 

 

However, since there are no Oregon Cymbal companies I will have to rely on the "Grunge" sound as a guide. Hmmm? I guess that would be the Zildjian K sound? Hair of the Dog and Wild Turkey would probably put you in a coma, so maybe a Widmer unfiltered wheat beer and the Wild Turkey. :p

 

Any chance you are a Hound Dog Taylor fan? Like I said on the other thread, I really like Ted Harvey's drumming.

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Yeah, the micro breweries in the area are few and far between. Brooklyn Beer makes some good stuff, but there isn't much in the way of local stuff except for what I used to make in my basement. A buddy of mine has cascade hops growing in his yard, and we're thinking about harvesting a bunch this fall and making some true local stuff.

 

I'm not familiar with Hound Dog Taylor, but I'll sniff around a little bit and give it a listen. I'm always open to hearing new stuff and drinking new beer.

 

BTW, that 'new beginning' link is pretty cool. The guy makes the whole process look pretty easy.

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Well, Taylor died of cancer in 1975 so it isn't exactly new. If you only get one I suggest this one:

 

al4727.jpg

 

Lots of blues drumming is kind of boring but this guy combined the military style snare work with the totally greasy shuffle feel. Doesn't sound too hard at first but I think it is a damn hard groove to hit.

 

Some folks don't get the music but the thing is that Taylor and his band weren't recording musicians, they were a bar band. Their virtuosity was in the form of keeping folks drinking and dancing and being happy all night. These guys drank and smoked all night right along with the audience. The legend is that Hound Dog never recorded sober. The studio would line him up a couple of shots before they hit the record button.

 

Hound Dog Taylor, J.B. Hutto, T-Model Ford, early John Lee Hooker, these are the kinds of blues bands I like.

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Originally posted by TheBoatCanDream

I use my earth ride for metal, hard rock, and some big band... doesn't exactly lend itself to blues, jazz, or bebop though?

You might be right. I have just heard the short clips on the Zildjian site. Thanks for the heads up. I will hit a lot of rides before I shell out any cash.

 

I sure do like the look though!

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You should be able to McGuiver up a lathe of some sort. Maybe use a bike wheel, a drill motor, some belts and clamps, and of course duct tape. :)

 

However, since you've successfully transformed it into an Earth Ride, I'd stop right there...although how you were able to transform the aluminum foil-like metals that Camber uses into the 'secret' Zildjian alloy really needs to be explored.

 

BTW, I think if you hammer it and it doesn't break, I predict that you'll end up with some kind of china-like effects cymbal.

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YeahYeah, Yeah..... Bad idea I know. I probably won't actually do it but....


I have this cheap and old Camber 20 ride and well... I just want to "Hand Hammer" it. My gut feeling is that the best thing I can do is ruin it and that will FORCE me to upgrade to that Zildjian Earth Ride I've been wanting.


I've got a ball-peen hammer and an anvil should I go for it? How do they hand hammer a cymbal anyway?

 

 

Seriously though -- I have already hammered a XS20 set. I started with the ride first and most of my info was from was from Mike Skiba's new beginning articles at cymbalholic.com. It was risky I knew but the XS20 ride just became better after I banged it. The trick is the right anvil and the grinding your hammer out. Once you have that done a few strikes and get the rhythm it is really not bad. I have wacked the cymbal bad in some places but it never cracked. The result is the ride undertone became complex and contrary to what someone wrote , hammering lowered the fundamental pitch but introduced a shimmer and made it easy to crash. Also the ride developed developed different tone zones as a result. I have a UFIP and an Istanbul ride and for some reason I like this ride better. The crash also became complex and the sutain longer plus the roar more defined.. The hat I thought I almost messed it up but it needed just more hammering. Now when you open it up , it has a hiss that is killer almost like a dragon. also the foor chicj is not as abrupt and is softer.

 

I also have an Istanbul crash ride that I drilled and put rivets. When I drilled and put the rivets, I thought that I choked it. Just a few strokes in the mid section opened it up again.

 

Yes it is a gamble, but if you can afford it, it will open up the complexity of the cymbals tone. I still don't now how hammering the different areas affect the tone but try not to do much on the edges. I dont think it will work for cymbals like camber but it is worth a try. BTW dont be impatient -- get the proper anvil and hammer and make sure the cymbal rest after you hammer it. Read Mike Skiba's article. I don't have a lathe but I have acheive good results.

 

Thanks

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So, I had this old cracked Rancan 18" China-type sitting out in the garage. The crack was around the rim at the top of the flange. I decided to have at it since it was pretty much useless as is.

 

I used a piece of string and a pencil to draw a circle just inside the end of the cracked area. Then, I plugged an air nibbler tool up to the air compressor, and cut it down to a smaller size with no cracks. Pretty easily done...bronze alloys are relatively soft metals, plus this cymbal is fairly thin, so no need for the plasma cutter.

 

I thought it would be neat just to see if I can hammer a flange back into it, so I took it over to my home-made power shaping hammer (which is a hammer drill rigged up into a bent pipe fixture to hold it in place facing down, along with a router speed control and a footswitch to stop and start it...I've used it to create a face-like shape in sheetmetal for some sunfaces I made a while back), and started pounding away. I got a new flange started about quarter of the way around it when the area I was hammering cracked. Oh well...I guess this particular alloy is just too brittle to re-shape it. (Or maybe I should have heated the cymbal some first...could have stuck in the kitchen oven on warm for a while, that might have made it less brittle to work with...I may try that if I do this again.)

 

So, I adandoned the new flange idea, marked a new circle and cut it down again to a smaller cymbal with no cracks. I then used a bench grinder to smooth all the edges, and a little sandpaper to make the cut edge smooth and rounded. Viola...I've turned an 18" piece of junk that I can't use into an 8" trashy sounding small thick crash that I think I can actually use. Cool beans. :thu:

 

I have a Zildjian China-type upstairs that is also cracked...it may be worth giving it a similar treatment to see if I can come out with something useable. IIRC, it's a bit thicker, so I may have to use the plasma cutter on this one rather than the air nibbler. I don't know how it's alloy will react to the heat (even though it's very localized heat), but I may get an opportunity to see next week!

 

Btw, if you're interested in how I rigged up a power hammer, go check out this page:

 

Metalworking tools

 

Dave

 

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Another update here. I took my cracked 16" Zildjian Medium China-type today, and cut it down past the crack. I tried power-hammering a new reverse-flange into it and got a decent flange going, but then noticed a hairline crack along the flange bend. So, I cut it down again past the new flange (with still the outer edge being the area that had some hammering done). It's about 12" now and sounds like a really heavy splash cymbal. This one turned out pretty cool, especially since I was going to buy a splash.

 

Listening back to the Rancan that I operated on yesterday, I think it would be more useful in terms of it's sound if I put some rivets in it. I've drilled the holes, just got to pick up some decent rivets that will expand properly.

 

In a nutshell:

 

Cutting down a cracked cymbal = good!

Hammering a cymbal = mostly bad! (so far anyway).

 

L8r,

Dave

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