drilling B20 cymbal for 2 or 3 rivet holes

opentune

Platinum Member
What kind of drill bits?

Going to do this myself, by hand ( I have a steady one). Its a 22 inch Drean crash/ride. I'm guessing to drill small holes and make them progressively bigger with different bit sizes.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The main thing is to use new or very sharp, and for safeties sake anchor the cymbal to keep it from dancing around. Rivets are small so one bit should be ok. I drilled 21 holes in an effects cymbal I made with one bit and didn't have to drill smaller holes first Goggles are a must.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I usually only make one initial pilot hole and then use whatever size bit that is required to get the hole to size, but agree with Grunt in that the pilot hole is probably an unnecessary step. I also recommend using a bit of masking tape over the drill point to stop the bit sliding around when you begin.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I usually only make one initial pilot hole and then use whatever size bit that is required to get the hole to size, but agree with Grunt in that the pilot hole is probably an unnecessary step. I also recommend using a bit of masking tape over the drill point to stop the bit sliding around when you begin.
I have to disagree about the pilot hole on a metallurgical basis.

I always drill pilot holes when I'm riveting a cymbal. There are a few reasons but the most fundamental has to do with heat transfer. Drilling creates a lot of heat - especially in metal and even in a relatively soft metal like bronze. That heat can cause problems if it's very localised and re-temper the cymbal to a small degree; bringing out micro-fractures. A pilot hole followed by a full-size hole gives the cymbal time to cool between drillings and creates less heat in total because the smaller hole generates less heat than the larger hole. Drilling out the central section first means that less material is removed the second time around and that the major source of heat (the second drilling) is physically less.

Granted, the difference in total is small but there is a smaller theoretical chance of heat issues with the pilot-method. It probably is in real terms unnecessary but the small things like this matter to me enormously when it comes to cymbals!

Drilling with a sharp bit is definitely more important in the overall scheme, so I'll echo that advice verbatim.
 

AndyMC

Senior Member
Bronze is like butter to a sharp bit, rivet hole should be small enough that no pilot is necessary, just go at a medium pace when drilling and don't push too hard or not enough.
 

groove1

Silver Member
Agree a sharp drill will do it but to avoid any possibility of slippage, I always mark the spot
with a prick punch, drill a pilot hole just big enough to guide the point of the drill to be used
for the hole. For anyone not sure if their drills are sharp enough, this guarantees no slippage.
I've drilled over 3 dozen cymbals this way.....but other methods can and do work.
 

soulfly28

Senior Member
Why not just pick up a pull chain for a light and place that on the cymbal? No drilling or riveting, and 100% reversible.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Why not just pick up a pull chain for a light and place that on the cymbal? No drilling or riveting, and 100% reversible.
Ya I've done the chain thing before. The 'pull chain of a light' are kind of low gauge. Why not? The chain has a similar effect but does not sound the same.

Thanks for all the advice. I agree the cymbal spot will heat up so will drill slowly.
 

kbconsul

Member
Here's my take on drilling cymbals for rivets... I use a couple pieces of thin wood for drilling guides and templates, and when I did it yesterday (for the second time) I ran my camera for a youtube video.

I saw in the thread about pilot holes and heat; I'm not two concerned about it, since the crappy bit I used didn't heat up at all...

Take a look at the video (it's too long, but I put some notes on it to make it more interesting). Both times I've used this technique it's come out nearly perfect.
 
Top