I had been looking to make my own cymbals for my DTXpress II electronic drumkit. The kit already has 2 but I remembered I could add 2 more so I got thinking and researching.
Step 1: Buying the Bits Needed
I watched some videos and they used plates or frisbee's. I originally looked at a cake tin covered in some silicone rubber. Then while looking through my Toolstation catalogue I saw a 180mm sanding disc pads for only a few pounds. That looked perfect! Then I thought what if some piping fitted the frame of my drumkit, and after measuring they were about right! So I purchased the 2 sanding disc pads and 2 T bends, 2 right angle and 2 stoppers.
Step 2: Drilling the Discs
The discs didn't have a hole so I drilled a hole through the space in the middle. I pushed a bolt through (size wasn't really important, it was what I had in my toolbox but they had to be long enough.
Step 3: Attaching the Pipes
The pipe stoppers are great as they come in two pieces. One that slots into the pipe and the other that screws on to close the end. I had the idea of drilling a hole in the cap then putting that through the bolt on the disc then adding a nut to tighten the bolt. Keeping the cap tight with the disc. I attached the right angle bend and they looked great!
Step 4: A Problem Arose!
After I had bolted the disc to the pipe I realised that the disc was too rigid. Cymbals when hit usually have a little give so they wobble. So I had a think and came up with the idea of putting a smaller pipe in between the disc and the cap. I've tried to illustrate the idea through a drawing. So now when all the parts are tightened (not too tight) there is a gap between the cap and disc. Now when I hit the edge of the disc it had a bit of give. Perfect!
Step 5: Attaching the Cymbal to the Drumkit Frame.
I had purchased a T piece of pipe. I realised that the inner part of the pipe was slightly too small to slide over the drum kit frame pipes. So I filed away some of the inside of the plastic pipe and it then fit perfectly on the frame. I then did a test fit and it looked great and was pretty sturdy.
Step 6: Adding the Piezo Transducers to the Cymbals.
On the bottom of the discs is velcro. This would hold the sanding disc to the pad. I measured around the piezo and cut away the area. I then placed a piece of soft material (not shown in the photos, I cut a piece from a non slip mat I had. It was the right thickness and soft enough to absorb some force when hit) in the cut circle and put the piezo on top. The piezo fitted in nicely. I then placed some velcro strips to secure the piezos.
I wired the piezo's to a mono audio cable. The tip going to the red wire. I soldered the wires and used heat shrink to make it look tidy. Then again I used some velcro to hold secure the cable. The velcro bottom was just pure luck and it worked so well.
Step 7: Giving the Cymbal a Soft Touch.
Next I had to glue something to the top of the disc as it was hard plastic. I had an old mousemat lying around (about 5mm thick) so I cut it to shape and glued it on. The glue I used was called 'Serious Glue'. I have used it before and liked that when it dried it wasn't rock hard. It would not shatter if hit, rather dent it. I left it over night to make the glue was properly dried.
Step 8: Finally Finished!
The cymbals were finally finished. My Yamaha DTXpress II drum kit had only one stereo input for my extra 9/10 inputs. So the left channel would be channel 9 and the right channel would be channel 10. I couldn't find a splitter so I ended up getting a stereo 1/4" jack and wiring the two mono leads to the left and right.
I plugged it in and had to assign what note I wanted the cymbals to be. I ran it through Ezdrummer and I have to say they feel great! They are just right to fit on to the kit and they feel excellent.
This is my first Instructable and I hope I've made it easy to follow. I think in the end the two cymbals cost me about £14, so not bad at all and I can rock out with two extra cymbals!! :)