Ok I shortened my hi-hat rod.
The hardware store didn't have any vice clamps left, so I used just a spring loaded clamp to hold the rod to the table.. Only $3. I then cut 8" off the rod. That of course took forever, and the blade kept hanging up so it made it take even longer, but it did it :)
I then used a power drill mounted grinder point to smooth the end, and round it off on the top slightly. That was only about $3 too.
As you can see from the side, it looks like a straight cut and not rounded at all, but from the top you can see the rounding a bit.
It looks pretty good actually, I really surprised myself. The top isn't flawless finish wise, a few scratches, but who cares :) I did make sure to set my hi-hat at the highest height, with the cymbals open the widest I would ever possibly use, just in case. I wound up having more left over than I originally measured, but it's enough to get out of the way of other cymbals and looks clean.
The final result:
I wound up spending $30 at the hardware store though because I had to get a new hacksaw blade and they only sell them in packs ($11) and then I had to buy a heavy dutry ice scraper $10, but that's unrelated to this :)
Thanks for all the help guys!