Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Drilling Glass, 7

Drilling glass without a drill press

It is best to have a drill press for drilling holes in glass, but there are ways of doing it with a hand drill.

Make a ring of modeling clay, plasticine, putty or other mouldable material about 5cm in diameter and press it around the drill site. Fill the ring with water and a little diamond coolant if you have it. The liquid will cool the drill site and surrounding glass as well lubricate the drill bit.
Adding diamond coolant to your water extends the life of the bits. Buying better (more expensive) bits is worthwhile as they work much better than the cheaper ones.

Use a paint pen to mark the spot where the hole is to be. Without a drill press, starting at an angle with a slow drill speed will stop the bit from sliding around as you establish the drilling point. As the glass surface is roughened, bring the drill to vertical. Move the drill up and down a little as you drill to allow the water into the hole. If you are using a solid or spade drill, a little oscillation keeps the bit from jamming in the hole. Do not do this with a core drill.

A Dremel running at top speed is way too fast. Slow it down with the speed control.
Every diameter drill bit has an optimum drill speed. The smaller the bit is, the faster the speed required.


For other tips on glass drilling see:


Keeping things wet
Using a drill press
Drilling with a Flushing Head
Avoiding chipping
Drilling holes with copper tube and grit
Drilling tools
Drilling glass without a drill press
Hole Placement
Drilling speeds for diamond bits in glass