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How to Do It:
Prior to cleaning any cymbals, the cymbals must be inspected for cracks, nicks, burrs and to make sure the cymbal is not too warped for cleaning with the cymbal cleaning machine. Cracks, nicks and burrs can be found around the hole of the cymbal, around the edges and throughout the entire lathed portion of the cymbal. The most critical cracks, nicks or burrs will be found along the outside edge of the cymbal. You must make sure none of these problems exist as to not get the, cleaning, rinsing and drying, cloths caught on any of these to avoid injury to yourself during the cleaning process. Always remember, never attempt to clean cymbals with cracks, nicks or burrs and most importantly…”SAFETY FIRST.”
The actual inspection is to be done by first visually inspecting the entire cymbal for cracks, nicks and burrs on both sides.
Note: Small cracks throughout the cymbal may exist, especially in the lathed grooves, but may be very difficult to visually see so you must look very closely. If you miss a small crack in the lathed portion of the cymbal, you will see a small splatter type mark on the opposite side, after cleaning the first side. Make sure you make a note to inform the owner of any such damage.
After the visual inspection, you will need to physically inspect the cymbal by running your finger, or finger nail tip, around the outside edge and anywhere you think you might see a crack, nick or burr.
After the cymbal has passed the inspection process you can now proceed…
First, remove the nut and top washers and install the cymbal to the machine.
Note: If the cymbal comes loose, it won’t come off but it may loosen enough for you to tell during the cleaning process. Simply turn the machine off, stop the cymbal from spinning and retighten securely before resuming the cleaning process.
Should this occur, it is usually for the following reasons:
2) The cymbal is warped and forces the nut to loosen.
Once the cymbal is securely tightened onto the cymbal cleaning machine you can now turn on the power.
Next, slowly turn up the voltage regulator to start the cymbal spinning, adjust speed accordingly.
Continuous cleaning of warped cymbals can be dangerous and can cause the warrantee of your machine to be voided.
Once you have the cymbal spinning (counter clockwise), take a dry abrasive pad (shown) or a damp cloth with your right hand and apply cleaning solution to the abrasive pad or cloth, with left hand, around your fingertip area. When using a cloth, make sure the cloth is not dangling and is securely in your hand as to not get caught in the nut.
Start at the bell area and slowly make your way to the outside edge. Repeat until cymbal turns black or is thoroughly cleaned. This process may need to be repeated several times depending on how dirty or tarnished the cymbal is. The pressure factor is very important and will be an acquired skill as to save the logo and to not waste cleaner as well as to clean the cymbal in the most effective way possible. This skill will come over time. To avoid the logo from being removed during the cleaning process, you must apply light pressure to the cymbal and always use a soft cloth, never use an abrasive cloth for cymbals with logos. If the cymbal is way too tarnished and or oxidized, there may be little-to-no choice but to apply the pressure needed to properly clean the cymbal, thus diminishing or greatly reducing the logo.
Using an abrasive pad should be utilized with very oxidized and or tarnished cymbals . DO NOT USE AN ABRASIVE CLOTH ON COATED OR BRILLIANT FINISHED CYMBALS. The abrasive pad is to be used in the same fashion as the cloth.
Note: As you may tend to wrap the cleaning cloth around your middle and index fingers to maximize your cleaning technique, you must ALWAYS have your safety in mind first. As the cloth could get caught around the nut or the outside edge (where you might have missed a nick or crack during your inspection) thus possibly causing bodily harm to the user. NEVER! ALLOW YOUR RIGHT HAND TO GO FURTHER (COUNTERCLOCKWISE) THAN THE FOUR O’CLOCK POSITION. This will greatly reduce or eliminate the chance of harm coming to the user.
Once the color of the cleaner turns dark or black, or to the point you feel the cymbal is clean, take a clean damp cloth and repeat the same process as to clean the cymbal.
Repeat several times or until the cloth is free of dirt from the cymbal.
To dry the cymbal, simply take a clean dry cloth and repeat the same process as the first two steps until the cymbal is completely dry.
Once the entire cleaning process is complete, carefully inspect the cymbal thoroughly to make sure it is cleaned to the point of satisfaction. If necessary, repeat the entire cleaning process until the desired level of cleaning is achieved.
Once you are satisfied with the cleaning process, simply remove the cymbal and reinstall to repeat the entire cleaning process on the opposite side.
Once you have gained experience in cleaning the cymbal, you will acquire a skilled technique which will enable you to clean cymbals much faster and more efficiently.