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pinoydrummer 02-23-2013 01:03 PM

Cutting sticks
 
I have an Alex Van Halen stick but now I want to cut its length down to 16".

I'm thinking of sawing it. Does anyone have some experience of cutting
sticks? Just want some advice I guess.

Mad About Drums 02-23-2013 01:08 PM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
Why do you want to reduce the length of the sticks? It's too heavy? Too long?

By removing a chunk at the butt end of the sticks, it will affect the balance of the sticks.

Arky 02-23-2013 01:19 PM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mad About Drums (Post 1112662)
By removing a chunk at the butt end of the sticks, it will affect the balance of the sticks.

Absolutely.

Are you sure those sticks don't do it for you? You can sell them. Or put them away, try/buy different sticks and return to them just to check whether your hand feel might have changed then. I've learned that stick feel can change over time.

Sure you can rework them - shortening or reworking the taper etc. Personally I wouldn't bother because you still don't know what will come out in the end. Much easier to walk into a music store and test a few dozen sticks - you might find your dream sticks.

Sjogras 02-23-2013 02:12 PM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
They're just... drumsticks. If they don't work for you, try cutting them but it will affect the balance. Still, the worst case scenario is having to buy another pair of sticks, I don't really see the problem.

Soupy 02-23-2013 05:22 PM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
Cutting the stick down to 16" will have no effect on the balance in any way differently than the way that a stick that's 16" from the factory is balanced. You guys know how they make drum sticks, right? They take wood, lathe it, and cut it. There is no magic involved.

Just try and make the cut neat and straight, and hit it with some sandpaper to smooth it out when you're done. It would suck to get a splinter. You might consider slowly turning the stick as you cut through so that the final cut separates the nub from the stick in the middle of the dowel, as cutting straight through may splinter a little at the end of the cut.

pinoydrummer 02-23-2013 06:32 PM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
I'm cutting it because it's way too long. I like its length back then but now I want
a regular 16". I also assumed that cutting the sticks won't affect anything because
we're only cutting it. I think this is going to be a nice experiment. :) I'll update
you all when the deed is done.

Thanks for your replies.

Les Ismore 02-23-2013 09:32 PM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
1 Attachment(s)
Cut away! It'll affect the feel/balance of the stick, tho it may be to your liking, you won't know until you cut them.

I've cut lots of sticks in the past as an experiment, eventually you'll end up with a length you like, then you can reference manufactures sticks and try different tips/tapers etc.

pinoydrummer 02-24-2013 02:05 AM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Les Ismore (Post 1112787)
Cut away! It'll affect the feel/balance of the stick, tho it may be to your liking, you won't know until you cut them.

I've cut lots of sticks in the past as an experiment, eventually you'll end up with a length you like, then you can reference manufactures sticks and try different tips/tapers etc.

That's a nice clean cut, what did you use to cut it that smoothly?

Thanks!

Les Ismore 02-27-2013 02:41 AM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pinoydrummer (Post 1112855)
That's a nice clean cut, what did you use to cut it that smoothly?

Thanks!

A hacksaw will cut cleanly, which is what I used there, tho you'll see a hacksaw doesn't cut straight. I was rounding down the ends so wasn't too concerned about straight. Those sticks are 30 years old btw.

MikeM 02-27-2013 03:56 AM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
Yeah, cut away! They're just sticks (consumables). Obviously you don't like how they're balanced as it is so you've got nothing to lose.

I split my time between 5As and 7As. First thing I do with all my 7As is cut the tips off about a cm down from the end of the tip so the bead doesn't dig into my palm when I play the butt ends (the only way I use 7As). I use a hacksaw if one's handy or I just shove the tip into a tone hole and work it around until it cracks clean through being careful not to let the grain split down the stick. Then I use whatever concrete surface is around to smooth the edges. Granted, that won't work for taking length off the butt end but should to illustrate that it isn't rocket science or world peace.

I'm with you - I don't care for long sticks and I wouldn't think twice about cutting them down.

KarlCrafton 02-27-2013 04:34 AM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
Cut away!

I actually had Regal cut down a brick of the 3B stick to 16" years ago, and they feel really nice at 16". Nicer than the 16 3/4 they are, and way better than the almost 18" the AVH stick is.
I bought them a couple times, and was even on their Christmas card list for a few years, which was kinda cool :-)
Unfortunately, Regal doesn't do any custom sized/length sticks anymore. I tried to get more 4 or 5 years ago, and they just said they don't offer that anymore.

Anyway, I've cut down quite a few sticks to get the exact length I wanted.
My sticks are now 14 7/8 (started at 16") and vary between .560-574 (double butt) depending on what band I use them for.

When I cut mine down, I marked the spot to cut, put it in a vice, used a level to make sure the stick was straight, then I cut.

I used a belt sander to do a slight rounding of the end, which is kind of like a Vater stick.
After that, I had the sticks made to those specs by the company I endorsed (CDX customdrumstix.com--which is very close to taking orders again as their new shop is almost ready).

CDX would be able to make the 16" 3B/AVH stick if you cut and decide you like it (when the shop officially reopens).

Otherwise, you can contact Nani or Jeff over at customdrumsticks.com (basically the same name), and they'd be able to produce that stick at 16" also. They probably already have that stick shape & tip, and it wouldn't be a custom shape order. Even then, as a custom shape, they're only $6.95 a pair with a nice wax finish, and if you like the raw stick, they may even be less than that.
They have real nice quality over there.

Good luck!

pinoydrummer 02-27-2013 11:47 AM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeM (Post 1113726)
First thing I do with all my 7As is cut the tips off about a cm down from the end of the tip so the bead doesn't dig into my palm when I play the butt ends (the only way I use 7As). I use a hacksaw if one's handy or I just shove the tip into a tone hole and work it around until it cracks clean through being careful not to let the grain split down the stick. Then I use whatever concrete surface is around to smooth the edges.

Hey, cutting the tips off and using the butt ends is a wonderful suggestion! Good thing
I haven't cut my sticks yet. hahaha!

Quote:

Originally Posted by KarlCrafton (Post 1113733)
When I cut mine down, I marked the spot to cut, put it in a vice, used a level to make sure the stick was straight, then I cut.

I used a belt sander to do a slight rounding of the end, which is kind of like a Vater stick.
After that, I had the sticks made to those specs by the company I endorsed (CDX customdrumstix.com--which is very close to taking orders again as their new shop is almost ready).

Thanks for the cutting tips. The custom drumsticks shop looks nice and I will try
to drop by after they're open for orders.

pinoydrummer 03-06-2013 04:19 PM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
3 Attachment(s)
Success! I used the shortened sticks at practice and I love the feel of a .57 diameter with a 16" length. :)

KarlCrafton 03-06-2013 08:28 PM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
Cool! Glad it worked out for you.

MisterZero 03-06-2013 10:38 PM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
This never even crossed my mind as I have never met a drumstick I didn't like. Interesting, though. I may have to try this out and see if I have been missing out on something all this time. I tend to prefer longer sticks, though. And just recently I came to the conclusion that I play better with thicker sticks, like 2Bs. I used to play 7 A, or 5As. But lately my hand has been hurting......I'm gonna try the place Karl suggested. I also play Regal sticks. they have a place in WNY, or at least used to.

KarlCrafton 03-10-2013 12:32 AM

Re: Cutting sticks
 
CDX is back open for business.
If anyone has sticks they'd like duplicated, or a few stick models they like certain parts of and want to merge them all in one stick, these guy's can do it.


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