Hand-hammering and re-creating cymbals


I have a Dream 22" ride and it is all wash and no ping. Is it hammering or lathing that would produce more ping?

Or would cutting it down in dia help?

Mike, from what i've read, cutting it down wouldn't help as it would throw off the weight and tension of the cymbal due to changing its dimensions. If i understand what i've read hear, lathing it would help, as well as hammering; lathing gives the brighter cut that you may be looking for, but hammering also dries it out, so i guess im not really sure which would work better. I'm unfamiliar with these rides, are the a fairly flat bow or a pronounced one? I believe the flatter the washer, if i understand correctly, and the more bowed the more pronounced. i guess this doesn't really help now that i'm reading it, lol.


Senior Member
I have an old 18" Zildjian ZBT crash-ride that I want to modify in order to have a darker and drier sound. What hammering methods are most likely to give me those results?


I have an old 18" Zildjian ZBT crash-ride that I want to modify in order to have a darker and drier sound. What hammering methods are most likely to give me those results?

Those cymbals are such thick metal, you would really have to play around with it to get a better idea. I've modified one and a few 20" ZBT ride cymbals and it seems to get darker when I started from below the bell and worked down the cymbal kind of going in a hexagon pattern. I flattened the shape on the 20"s and it became much darker but also very washy.


Senior Member
nice info here ,
i started on a few old POS cymbals i had from long ago
they do need to sit after first hammer
funny how the sound changes by the hr
wish i could get some questions answered
was a great talent . R.I.P. Johan


Senior Member
i might give it a shot for fun,
wonder why North America blanks are more?
any ideas?


Senior Member
Higher labor costs?

I know I'd probably order one of each(smallest) and see which one seemed to be of better quality.


Silver Member
Lol. This is what I do with old pairs of Hi hats :)


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Silver Member
Love it!
I did this with a metal shelled snare once and the sound change was significant.
I have an older hi hat top and a beat up china that I'll try this with.

Thank you for your inspirational direction here. This is what this place is all about!


Platinum Member
I was in Germany this month meeting some drummers (including our own Griener) and selling some cymbals, and several people mentioned a guy in Munich with an operation called BuckBlech-- he reworks cymbals, does repairs, and I think makes his own cymbals. I played one of his 24" rides that I found amazing but unplayable, but also looked up this interesting video where he reworks a ping ride.

Definitely someone to look into for this kind of thing.


Junior Member
Hi !

I'm Johan from Bruges, Belgium. I'm a drummer and a sound-freak.

About 20 years ago I started getting a bit frustrated about the kind of cymbals that were available. I had been looking for really complex and dark sounding cymbals but I just couldn't find them in the shops. The modern K's sounded too one-directional and sterile to me. I liked the Turkish Istanbul cymbals better but still they weren't quite what I wanted.

So I started rehammering factory cymbals from Zildjian, Sabian, Paiste, etc. to get the sound I wanted. After a while I learned how to change the sound a certain way through strategical hand-hammering and lathing. I've been doing it ever since.
I also found out that many types of student cymbals can be hammered into professional cymbals, providing the alloy is good.

The cymbals I hammered can be seen AND heard on this webindex page.

Some "before and after modification" files can be heard in THIS section.

Also check out some of the amateur cymbals I converted into professional cymbals HERE.

This was once a Paiste 3000 22" ride, now a very dark heavy ride:

This was a 20" Avedis Zildjian crash, now a light complex jazzride:

This was a Ufip Ritmo 16" crash, now a light trashy crash:

This was a Zildjian ZBT 20" ride, now a light (professional !) very complex jazzride:

A 16" Avedis Zildjian crash, now a china:

Finally a "before and after" pic of a cheap 16" Headliner crash cymbal, now a professional dark thin crash:
Any way to buy cymbals from you? The 22" Nefertiti at 2700 grams sounds amazing!


Platinum Member
Sorry to hear that, RIP. You have to grab these cymbals while you can, people! Some of the best and most unique instruments are made by these small makers, and they can go away at any time. Hint hint. People die, they get sick, they decide it isn't economically feasible to continue, all sorts of things.