Sadly, cymbals aren't always able to endure the continuous beating we dish out to them. When cymbals are hit too hard or with poor technique, cracks can form in theedge or the bow of the instrument. These cracks only get worse with continued use, eventually resulting in a hideous rattle each time the cymbal is struck. This rattle is caused by the two edges of a crack rubbing against each other. Large cracks can greatly reduce a cymbal's sustain and even change its tone entirely. Most drummers will stop using a cracked cymbal once the rattling becomes too much to handle, but there are ways to repurpose and even repair damaged cymbals.
Oddly enough, repairing a cymbal requires cutting a chunk of metal away from the instrument (if a crack is in the edge - bottom left picture), or drilling holes in each end of a crack (if the crack is in the bow of the cymbal). The goal is to prevent the crack from spreading further. Welding a crack shut WILL NOT WORK. Bronze is a soft metal compound and welds will split very quickly when exposed to the brutality of a drumstick. However, gouging a chunk out of a cymbal may not be worth the effort if the instrument is of lower quality. If that's the case, cymbal stacks are a great way to repurpose cymbals while adding a nice trashy effect to your setup. Just combine two or more cymbals together on a stand, use the wing nut to control the sustain, and voila! You got yourself a new, unique texture at your disposal. The stack pictured below to the right consists of an 8" splash sandwiched between a severely cracked 10" China and a severely cracked 10" splash. It has a short, sharp, gritty sound and functions nicely as an auxiliary hihat or accent piece.