Leveling a Pad Cup on a Bench Anvil

By Curt Altarac

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Tools and supplies that you will need:

Bench Anvil

NOTE: It can be easy to dent or ding the pad cup if you are unskilled and/or careless. Once a pad cup is dented, it is not easy to remove the dent. These dents will likely affect the your ability to level a pad in the pad cup. It's best to practice this technique on a 'Junker' instrument.

1. Remove the pad from the pad-cup and clean the inside and the rim of the cup.

2. Set your bench anvil on a solid, flat surface.

3. Place the pad cup flat on the bench anvil. Visually inspect pad cup to determine if it sits level on the bench anvil. Take note of the areas where the pad cup rim does not touch the anvil; these are the areas that you are going to lower.

4. Now with the pad cup on the anvil, lower the high spots by tapping on the edge of the pad cup. Be sure to tap lightly with glancing blows away from the center of the cup. Be careful not to dent the pad cup. Tapping on the spine of the cup gently will also help to level it.

If you have difficulty leveling the cup using this method because the metal is very hard, do not hit the pad cup so hard that it dents. Rather, try laying the pad cup over the edge of the anvil bending it slightly by gently tapping the rim; remember to use glancing blows.

Now with the cup slightly warped, replace the pad cup completely on the anvil. Tap gently on the spine of the cup to level the rim of the cup to the anvil.


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