Instructables

How to Repair (or do something interesting with) Cracked Cymbals

Some people may think of cymbals as accenting a drum kit, but in fact, they can be just as important to your sound as your drums are. As a drummer, the timekeeper of the band, you are usually striking the hihat or ride cymbal more than any other part of your kit, and where would you be without a crash cymbal? Not in a band is the answer.

There is no way around it; cymbals can make or "break" (lame pun intended) your career as a drummer. Cymbal care not only keeps your cymbals looking spiffy, but helps reduce the chance of them cracking and breaking. For tips on cymbal care, check out this instructable.

But if you want to try to fix your cracked cymbal or do something else with it (like make an effects cymbal), hopefully this instructable will give you some good ideas on how to do so.

Also check out some of my other drum instructables:
Drum Tuning
Cymbal Polishing
Effects Snare Drum

Step 1: Once it is cracked

Sorry to say, but once one of your cymbals has cracked, it will never be or sound the same again. Cracks often go unnoticed until they have spread, so the key to keeping your cymbals sounding great (aside from cymbal care) is keeping an eye out for baby cracks.

If you are lucky, you were smart enough to shell out the extra cash to get a decent maufacturer's warranty when you bought your cymbal, and hopefully it is still valid. If you arent sure about your warranty, contact the store you bought it from and keep your fingers crossed. Its a great feeling to hand someone your cracked cymbal and get a shiny new one back. If you arent lucky enough to have your cymbal under warranty, keep reading.

If you can catch the crack early, you basically have three choices:
Try To Stop The Crack:
Think of this like a major surgery. You can get lucky and perform a good fix, retaining most of the acoustic signature of the cymbal and keeping it from losing its sound. However, if done improperly, trying to fix the crack can end up dramatically altering the sound of the cymbal. Sometimes, though, you have no other choice.

Get Creative:
If you have dealt with cracking cymbals before, you know that your cymbal has entered a new stage of its life. If you are able to accept this, you can try to do something interesting with your cracked cymbal, and make some good out of a bad situation.

Live With It:
Depending on the way you play, it can take a while for a tiny crack to turn into one that destroys your cymbal. If you dont have the money to go out and buy another pricey cymbal, and you dont want to take the chance of further screwing up your cymbal by trying to fix it, you can just deal with it and enjoy it while it lasts.
 
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@baconrocks
ribbon cymbals have a unique kind of shimmering sound. It's something you have to hear for yourself.
adamwdowns2 years ago
It really is best to catch any damage to a cymbal straight away so as not to drastically change the dynamics of the cymbal after the repair is complete. Still repair is the wise choice as re-profiling cymbals will definitely kill the original character! So if you see any issue’s with your cymbal and can’t afford to repair right away its best to NOT play it at all to prevent any further damage! We can look at it and advise :-)

cymbals have a hard job to do! But majority of quality cymbals react fantastic to repair methods and once repaired can still be used on a daily basis by many bands years on!
1spartan953 years ago
My friends splash cracked so he cut it down with a band saw. It sounds like a trash can lid now. Kinda cool
baconrocks3 years ago
How exactly do the ribbon cymbals sound? They look pretty awesome :)
ecam_454 years ago
The paiste 2002 is a throw away cymbal at best. I'd be looking to replace it instead of trying to fix it!
Llamaboy4194 years ago
I lol'ed at the picture of animal.
Reminds me of my Sabian AA Sound Control Crash that looks like the Iron Giant got hungry.
I'm serious it has a huge chunk out of it about an inch deep and 4 inches wide, with a crack running along the lathing for another inch. It's horrible. I'll probably turn it into a splash one of these days.

MrRodrigez4 years ago
 lol just a thought, but could I not just TIG weld a small crack across the bow back together?
i got sum old hats i was gona cut down to splashes but making a bell sounds much cooler (it'l be a small one though haha)
drums787 (author)  drummonkey926 years ago
bells are awesome. plus, since you got two hats you can make one of each
ye! i was gona use one as splash but then i bought a cheap one from stagg (crap quality sounds good in heavy songs lol)