drilling holes in glass

barbaratxFebruary 24, 2009

Not sure this is the right forum, but here goes. I want to drill holes in glass plates for a craft project. I bought a glass/tile drill bit, but it didn't work. Hubby drilled and drilled, but no hole. He did manage to crack/break one plate, though. What are we doing wrong? Any and all help welcomed.


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The "secret" is to let the drill bit do the work, don't exert too much presure, and keep the tip of the bit wet. Place the glass in a shallow pan of water. Never cut closer than 3/4" from the edge. It is also helpful to turn the glass over before the bit goes all the way through and start drilling from the back side. Often the glass will crack as the bit goes trough. I broke several pieces before I discovered water! Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 9:06AM
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    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 9:15AM
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Haven't drilled in glass, but drilled into tiles and plates, and started w/a small bit, and worked up to a larger bit. I use a cordless drill.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 10:18AM
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I drill alot of holes in wine bottles, I found that using oil, olive oil, crisco oil, etc, actually works alot better than water. After I drill a little bit, then put another drop of oil in the hole.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 3:21PM
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I scratch an indentation in the spot before beginning with the drill bit. I have an old dental pic that works perfectly for this. Then place a piece of tape over the spot where you made the scratch and begin drilling slowly. I don't usually make mosaic pieces using this technique, but.. if you do happen to break the object, be sure to save it for future stepping stones, etc.

I like the idea offered here to move to the other side of the plate before going all the way through.

Hopes this helps.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 9:07PM
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it also helps to set your plate on a folded up towel. One word on glass plates - some of them are TG and will just explode when you try to drill, saw or nip them.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 11:24PM
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Go and find some diamond drill bits. I get mine on ebay. In a 5 pack. I use alot. I use a 13X9 pan with a piece of scrap glass and water in it just enough to cover the glass. I also use a dermal tool to do this. Plug in one not battery one.
When drilling in to the glass angle it first then put it straight up and down, let the bit do the work. You don't have to push hardly at all.

How do i know this. I make glass windchimes and i make alot of holes.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 1:19AM
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thanks, everyone, for your input. I'll pass it along to hubby and we'll (he'll) try it again.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 8:44AM
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Lots of good advice. But the best one is to be sure you have the right drill bit. They are very expensive, but work. We use the diamond drill bit and they are only good for so many holes. Once you start breaking the plate, it usually means you need a new bit. We purchase them at our local Ace Hardware and they sell for around $10 a bit. We also use two different sizes. The first to start and make a small hole, the second to enlarge the hole. Oil works but with the diamond, just going slow and without any liquid works best for us. My husband used a drill press. We have put holes in many crystal plates as we create crystal plate-flower garden stakes.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 8:54AM
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You can also build a dam around the projected hole using modeling clay and fill with water, a lot easier and safer than a pan of water.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 9:14PM
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Not when you drill as many holes as i do. The building a dam would waste to much time. I drill over 200 holes in one sitting and that takes me maybe 1/2 hour to do. Now if i built a dam on everylittle chime i would be at it for days. And price would have to go up on my chimes.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 11:19PM
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Your professional level qualifies you for a Bohle!
I think the dam is fine for the odd windchime or suncatcher. I forgot to say a large rubber washer makes the dam more efficient.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 11:36PM
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Once again I have learned something new!
Thanks all.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 5:30PM
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