Drilling and riveting a cymbal
Installing rivets in your cymbals is the ultimate long-term solution for those who like a bit of sizzle in their sound. This month, we show you how, in five easy steps, starting with measuring. This job doesn’t require much in the way of tools but it’s worth getting your hands on a centre punch. Mark out where you’d like to place each rivet. The most common configurations are to cluster them together or spread them evenly around the cymbal. Here we have decided to place three rivets, 2″ in from the edge with a 1″ gap between each one. Don’t go too close to the edge or this could cause cracking.
Use a centre punch and a hammer to create an initial path for the drill bit. This will help to stop any skipping or sliding when drilling.
Placing a block of wood underneath the cymbal can be useful for this and the following steps, in order to alleviate pressure from the cymbal surface.
Using a specific metal drill bit is definitely advised here as it will cut through the bronze with ease.
Check the width of your rivets and decide accordingly on how big you need to drill. We are using a 4.5mm bit here which should work perfectly with our Zildjian rivets – the caps are 6mm wide.
With the cymbal upside-down, insert each rivet from the bottom and place flat on a hard surface (your block of wood should work a treat).
A couple of blows with the hammer should be enough to flatten off the end of each rivet which will of course stop them falling straight out!
There’s nothing more to do but play-in your newly pimped cymbal! Don’t forget, you can always add more rivets at any stage, should you feel the need.
Or on the contrary, should you wish to ever remove the rivets, the cymbal will still sound as good as it ever did, despite the small holes.