Cymbal Tree

Maybe I obsess about time. Why is that? As long as I can remember, I’ve always hated it  – and got angry – when someone else wastes my time. At one time it made me very irritable. I remember getting irate at the kids because they didn’t come out of school quickly enough. Ire rising like a volcano because someone in front was driving 5 mph less than the speed limit and I wanted to be bang on the speed limit. Annoyed with myself, because I allowed myself to get sucked into emails, rather than “get things done”.

But I’ve put a lot of mental effort over the past few years to combat this. And “combat” is the right word. This is a form of depression. It has to be fought. And it has to be fought every minute of every day. The main thing, though, is to identify the major triggers – and remove them.

This feeling of being “weighed down” or “loaded up” is an illusion. It’s all in the mind; not actually happening. Recognising that it’s all my own doing is a major victory in the battle. Assigning a silly name to it – Big Bad TED – helps keep other people out of harm’s way. Going part time is like buying time, and is another major victory.

Ho hum. Worse things happen at sea. Or in Nepal. Or in any inner city.

See what I did there?

Hardware

The 80s Sonor hardware was excellent. Robust and strong. Adjustable and flexible. With various devices, one could mount everything with just a couple of stands. This picture… 

…shows two stands, but with several items mounted. In the foreground is a Sonor stand. Mounted in the two main positions is two tom arms. Behind in the auxiliary position is an extension unit with two cymbal booms. In the background is a generic stand – not as robust as the Sonor stand, but in good condition – and mounted in that is three cymbal booms. I used to call these “branches” a “cymbal tree”. Using these, one could place a cymbal in just the right place. They were excellent bits of kit.

Extension unit

This unit… 

…was the key to creating the branches of the Cymbal Tree. As you can see, the stalk and the tom arms are made of the same components, a strong, sprung ratchet mechanism… 

  

The stalk is gripped in the clamp section by spring loaded levers; great for adjusting in tight spaces… 

Push in to change the lever position for ease of access. The trouble was, one of the levers didn’t grip, so there’s a problem there. I had to take it apart using the vice and a screwdriver… 

    

Quite a bit of swarf there. Comparing it to its pal… 

…begins to point to the problem. Comparing the inside of each lever… 

  

…shows worn away teeth. There’s not much I can do about that; I’ll just have to do adjusting with a screwdriver.

Taking the clamp block apart revealed another problem. The front plate was difficult to remove from the studs. On inspection… 

 

…one of the studs was bent. Here you can see the difficulty of getting the front plate over both studs evenly; look at the hole on the right…


 The solution was to clamp it in the vise… 

 

…with the thread protected, and bend it straight(er)… 

  

Now things line up… 

The stand

Like all these peices, the base and its tubes felt rough and wouldn’t slide smoothly. I used GUNK on the base first… 

I polished the tubes with progressively finer grits of lubricated silicone carbide paper. All the joints were oiled before assembly… 

The toms arms and extension blocks had their surfaces cleaned and polished. All moving parts were greased or oiled before assembly. The base, tom arms and extension block… 

  

Everything slides easily and turns freely now. 

Advertisements