Did you read it? Good, isn't it? I especially liked the part about the dog.
Having gone through 3 cymbals myself (I was able to get one replaced under warranty, but then proceeded to break both that I had), I was ready to give this a shot. I did have a few issues with some of his design decisions, though... most importantly, the choice of plastic plates. My biggest issue was that I broke the original plastic... like Dewey Cox, I rock hard (also like Dewey Cox, I'm not nearly as funny as I think I am). I didn't want to go through all the effort of building my own, only to have them break again. I also wanted something a little more "permanent;" the initial design has too much tape in the final product for my liking.
I decided to post my own experience for a couple reasons:
- It's nice to have somebody else's ideas to consider
- I've mooched plenty of other people's ideas (including this one!) off the internet
- I figured it might be a good idea to have something like this out there without all those goofy Metric measurements
I actually wrote this out twice; my initial attempt used Neoprene foam (the black cymbal on the right), the new design uses actual rubber (left, I'll update the picture again when I get the second rubber cymbal finished). The Neoprene was okay, but the foam made it difficult to hold fast streaks on the cymbal. The rubber cover is much better; it gives a better rebound on the stick, and doesn't tear or rip when hit hard like the Neoprene did.
I have two issues with the rubber:
- It looks ridiculous (although somebody told me it looks more like a real cymbal, which I guess I can buy)
- It makes too much noise when you hit it. Maybe if I'd have bought more rubber like I should have, I could have put an extra layer under the top cover.
Step 1: Collect Materials
- 2 10" Coleman camping plates ($6.00). I got them at Menards (our local version of Home Depot or Lowes, but closer to my house than the other two) for about $3.00 apiece.
- 2 27mm Piezo discs ($13.00). You can find them on eBay; I got 10 for $13 (including shipping) from a very friendly Canadian. I went with the ones without the lead wires, because I figured I have to solder wires on anyway, so why pay extra?
- Wire. Pretty much anything that can carry a current should work. Phone wire, speaker wire... whatever you have laying around the house should work. I ended up using 24-gauge speaker wire, because I hear stranded wire is better than solid for not breaking under stress (and because the 18-gauge speaker wire I had wouldn't fit through the holes of the headphone jack!).
- 2 3.5mm (1/8") surface-mount mono headphone jacks ($4.00). Radio Shack part #274-0251 is a package of 3.
- 2 1.5" L-brackets ($1.00). Menards, they're about 48 cents each
- Nuts & bolts to mount the above brackets ($1.00). What I got was a package of "#6-32 Stove Bolts," 1/2" long, 1/8" diameter, round head. Comes in a package of "a bunch."
- Washers ($1.00). I used #6 washers, which I had laying around. Anything to help hold the above in place will do.
- 1/8" Gum (Natural) Rubber ($22.25). If you have a rubber store nearby, you can probably do better than this. I ended up buying it from the internet, which is a real hassle if you don't know what kind of rubber to get. I went with the Neoprene first, and didn't like the results, so then I tried the natural (gum) rubber. Do NOT get any thicker than 1/8", or you'll never be able to fold/glue it.
What I bought was "Approved Vendor 1XWE5 Rubber Sheet." It's a single sheet, 12" x 36". In the end, I wish I had gotten more (two 24" sheets would have done the trick), because I really had to make sure I didn't waste any rubber, given how much I had.
- Glue ($2.50). What I got is called "E-6000." I don't recommend Super Glue, as it's not good for something you're going to be beating with sticks (the glue holds well, but breaks if you hit it). I looked specifically for something that would bond to both rubber and metal (although the plates are actually enamel coated), and specifically mentioned "flexible" or holding up under "shock," which Super Glue specifically says it's not good for.
- 1-1/4" Black PVC pipe ($4.00). Again, Menards. Unfortunately, I had to buy 5 feet, when I only needed about 6 inches. You can probably find something laying around the house you can use as a substitute (I couldn't).
Comes to about $55 if you have to buy everything. Certainly more expensive than the $25 variety, but I'm hoping these ones will last...