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About mbettis

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    Elk Creek, Idaho

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  1. Thanks! I do try to make them sound as nice as possible. Matt
  2. Trust me, when it comes to advertising cymbals, any trace counts. "False advertising" is a term that cymbal companies have heard of, but don't actually believe exists. :-) Later, Matt
  3. As a cymbalsmith, I also work with bell bronze (aka B20 in the cymbal world), 80% copper and 20% tin. Once the correct basic diameter of a cymbal blank is reached, cymbals are cold forged. No annealing once the shaping-forging begins. You can cold forge B20 for a long, long time before it gets too hard. In general, a cymbal blank is produced from a single ingot casting that is either hot forged, the traditional Chinese method, or hot rolled, the traditional Turkish method. FYI, I currently purchase raw blanks from two cymbal foundries, one in Canada, and one in Istanbul. I used to purchase blanks from a Chinese cymbal foundry as well. Mine are anywhere between 10 and 26 inches in diameter, and between 0.046 and 0.050 inches in thickness, all inclusive. As far as trace amounts of silver go, it is my understanding that copper almost always has at least trace amounts of silver. It's not that cymbal foundries add any silver. It's just too expensive to remove it entirely. Plus, having a musical instrument alloy with a trace of silver comes off as very cool in the marketing. But, like I said, this is only my understanding of the situation. Here's a pic of one of my finished cymbals. Texturing, in cymbals, is an important factor in both sound and also appearance. Later, Matt
  4. Well, they were pretty sure that it was a weapon of mass destruction, so I had to give them a little mass instruction. After they holstered their weapons, they turned me away and made me take it to a different port of entry that handles commercial entry. When the guy there found out that I was going to use it to make cymbals, he correctly stated, "Ha! That's no commercial enterprise!", and basically waved me through. Later, Matt
  5. Back in the country where this old man belongs. Took a fair deal of negotiations with the dudes at the border. Had to try two different ports of entry before they saw it my way. Now, a quick 600 mile drive back to the shop. Later, Matt
  6. Is anybody familiar with the inline treadle hammer produced by the Meyer Machine Tool Company? I've been on the road full time for over a year with a mobile cymbal shop built into a gutted and reinforced cabover truck camper. So far, I've used my 50lb LG to pre-process all of the cymbal blanks I take with me with one round of power hammering each. Then, I have to finish them with hand hammering out on the road. It sure would be nice to take a treadle hammer with me. And, the MMTC hammer has an optional power pack to turn the thing into an air-driven hammer. Anybody know anything about this hammer and its "power pack"? Thanks, Matt
  7. Unfortunately, there are no industrial applications for B20 bronze, so there is only one foundry I know of that produces B20 sheets. They are in Germany, and expensive. There are no professional-level or B20 bronze cymbals that are spun into shape. Spin forming is used only for entry-level (mostly brass) cymbals. Ryan, I use a 50lb Little Giant with a speed control on the motor to forge my cymbals. The speed control allows me run the hammer flat out with the clutch for consistency, and vary the strength of the blows using the speed control. You might be able to set something like that up to work, but I think I'd be looking at presses for what you are doing. Later, Matt
  8. I have a mechanical speed control on mine. I use it all the time. When hammering cymbals, consistency is key. I get much more consistent strikes by always running my hammer at full speed with the clutch, and using the speed controller to vary the force. Works great. Not sure how much help that would be with black smithing, but it's awesome for cymbalsmithing. Later, Matt
  9. 1913 50# LG running six days per week. One of my latest 22" cymbals. The LG takes a lot of the grunt work out of it. Later, Matt
  10. I'm running a 50 lb. Little Giant that was buit in 1913. I run it on a daily basis. Before firing it up, I lube that baby with chainsaw bar oil. My clutch is getting greasy and affecting performance. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks, Matt
  11. After a bunch of rounds of top and bottom hammering and sessions on the lathe to get the taper and weight right, it's finished... Although I left the bell of this cymbal un-hammered, I typically hammer the bells, as well. Thanks, Matt
  12. Bottom crust removed... More top hammering... More. The cymbal has been inverted by all the hammer strikes... Some bottom hammering brings it back to the correct shape... More to follow... Matt
  13. Here are a few pics of the process. Currently, I begin with raw castings that I import from a cymbal foundry in China. I have recently set up my own melting furnace, but am still a long way away from being able to produce large cymbals from scratch. This is after one round of top hammering... Now, the bottom.... Another top round... Now, I have removed most of the foundry crust via my cymbal lathe... More to follow.... Matt
  14. Wow! Thanks, beth. I wasn't expecting such a wonderfully nice response! Sure, I can post some pics of the process. I'll do so tomorrow. ..gotta dig them up. I have a YouTube video that I'll post as well. Yeah, I think they sound pretty good. They sound like they weren't made purely for profit. Matt
  15. Some of my more recent creations. All are 20" - 22" in diameter and made from Bell Bronze (aka B20 - 80% copper and 20% tin by weight) at about 50 Rc. Cold forged by hand, and tapered via cymbal lathe, cutting tool in-hand. It's fun XXXXXX Thanks, Matt