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I have a bunch of cymbals that are in various fairly poor states of repair. One has a few small cracks near the rim. One is just bent out of shape entirely (I don't know how that happened).

Is it possible to hammer a bent cymbal back into shape? If so, what's the best way, and what tools should I use?

What should be done about cracks? At the moment, mine are only small, but they are affecting the sound, and I don't want them to get bigger. I was thinking of drilling holes in the ends, to prevent the crack from continuing, and then trimming the sides of the cracks, and smoothing with a dremel. Does that sound sensible, or are there other suggestions?

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once your cymbals has cracked, it will never be or sound the same again:(. If you try to fix the crack with patch works, will more alter the sound of the cymbal. –  Chandu vkm Aug 9 '12 at 9:33
    
@Chanduvkm: sure, I don't mind having a different sound, I just want the cymbal to last as long as possible. –  naught101 Aug 10 '12 at 1:04
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2 Answers

A dented or bashed cybal is repairable - just get it hammered out.

Cracks are permanent, though, altering the sound. If you want your original sound back you will need to buy new ones.

Cracks can give you an interesting sound though, so don't throw them away - your idea to prevent the cracks spreading is good though, remove the point of stress by drilling holes or widening the end point of each crack. That way you can 'fix' the cracks where they are, and preserve the current tone to some extent.

Of course, you may get new cracks... :-)

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except that buying new ones will not get the original sound back (the sound evolves over time, and two "identical" cymbals probably won't sound exactly the same)... :-) –  gurney alex Aug 9 '12 at 11:23
    
"just get it hammered out" - yes, I figured that. I'm asking more about how to hammer it out. –  naught101 Aug 10 '12 at 1:07
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Yes, drilling the end of each crack will stop it from spreading.

As far as bent cymbals go, simply hammering it back will cause additional tonal change (an possibly cause a crack, or section to chip off). It is possible to repair the shape, but the sound will never be the same.

If you have access to vice-grip or a table vice, I would recommend the following: Wrap the bent section in cloth, or thin sheet-foam. Put that section in the vice, and tighten it to a point where the cymbal will not fall out (but not so tight you cannot wiggle it a little). Make sure you are wearing safety glasses Then, slowly, bend the cymbal back to shape. Do not use any sort of heating element, or blow torch - heating metal to a point that it is malleable will alter the tonal properties even more, and can be very dangerous

As "gurney alex" mentioned, two cymbals will not ever sound identical over time. As you play a cymbal it's tonal response will start to change as certain areas take more wear than others...

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+1 for the sheet foam. I have used that with great success. –  Dr Mayhem Aug 10 '12 at 7:45
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