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Off Topic Drilling glass?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by A.McPherson, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. A.McPherson

    A.McPherson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 27, 2012
    Pretty much completely unrelated to knife making but does anyone have any tips on drilling glass?

    Proper bits and all that...

    Would it be easier to just use diamond abrasives on a dremel?
     
  2. john april

    john april KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2006
    i used to collect antique bottles. some people would drill a hole in the side of them to run lamp cord through and make a lamp out of it. from what i have heard, they just put a piece of tape on the glass to keep the drill bit from slipping, and twist it by hand. yeah stone or diamond might be better.
     
  3. Sam Dean

    Sam Dean Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2012
    Use a carbide or diamond coated bit, like would be used for tile. Water as a lubricant and coolant is a really good idea. Yes, for 1 small hole, diamond abrasives on a dremel would probably be best.

    Not sure what kind of glass you're drilling, but if it's tempered, drilling a hole will almost certainly shatter it.
     
    Scaniaman likes this.
  4. MBB

    MBB Gold Member Gold Member

    240
    Apr 18, 2014
    Make sure the glass is not tempered, first. After that, use diamond tip bits with a guide (because it will skate all over the place) and running water (if possible) to cool the glass. I've drilled 3 or 4 aquariums using this method and have had good results. The cheap Chinese diamond bits on Amazon work just fine and I've never broken the glass I was working on.
     
  5. A.McPherson

    A.McPherson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 27, 2012
    Thanks guys, I’m making a wind chime out of some glass yogurt jars for my girl.
    Like this one...

    C5843625-84DC-4338-A66D-8FFDEC2BAD63.jpeg
     
    Hengelo_77 and running bird like this.
  6. Lieblad

    Lieblad

    Jul 24, 2015
    I used a variety of drilling methods. Small holes using a spearpoint carbide bit. Larger holes using a copper edged holesaw and grinding paste.
    Others using a grinding point. Lube and cooling are critical. Water or vegetable oil worked fine.
    The break thru is the dodgy part, down pressure must be controllable.
     
  7. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    What you want is a diamond core drill. It cuts a circle out of the glass instead of trying to grind the hoe spot aay. Chipping is much less likely.
    The best way is to make a ring of putty around the hole area and put water in the reservoir. Drill slowly with gentle but steady pressure. Lighten the pressure as you finish the hole. A cordless drill is just about the best tool for these tasks.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Glass-Dril...7f9ebdf6404fe39876029659fec7d3&frcectupt=true
     
  8. 12345678910

    12345678910

    Jul 13, 2009
    Cheap chinese diamond bit, fill it with water.

    Slow speed, not 2,000 rpm

    Weight and string from a drill press handle to apply steady light pressure.
     
  9. Natlek

    Natlek

    Jun 9, 2015
    Like this one ? I never tried them on glass but they work on ceramic . . .
    [​IMG]
     
  10. MBB

    MBB Gold Member Gold Member

    240
    Apr 18, 2014
  11. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Yes, those are the ones I linked. They work great. My friend makes custom lamps from all sorts of antique and odd glassware and used the same ones to drill all his holes. He used to use other bits, but hasn't broken a piece since he switched.
     

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