What tool do I need?

roseluverNovember 4, 2012

I want to drill a hole in the side of a glass bottle.

Do any of you know what tool I will have to have?

I saw the cutest idea. You glue marbles to a bottle and fill with tiny white lights. I need to know how to put a hole in the side of the bottle near the bottom to run the plug through.

Many thanks.

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a drill and either a carbide bit or a diamond bit. If you do a search you will be able to see a LOT of information. I also tape the glass and try to have a bloc of wood on the opposite side to drill in to. I believe it gives you more support, but I know people that don't do that. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 8:00PM
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The most important tool you'll need is safety glasses!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 8:12PM
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Also it might depend how the glass is made. Some bottles hold heat/cold better than others. It could be a chemical thing also.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 9:04PM
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You need a glass and tile bit. It is shaped like a Spade. I have drilled a lot of holes in jars it's very doable.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 9:18PM
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There are several tutorials online to see how to do this.

This one is pretty good, but I would recommend dribbling a little water on the area you are drilling to keep it cool, and to keep the dust down.

Bottles Full of Light

Make sure your hole is big enough to push the lights through... and it will take a long time to get them in! I actually put a small candle lamp in mine, so I took it apart and just threaded the wire thought the hole, then re-assembled the lamp.

This blog shows more the way I did it. Her method of doing it in the sink and haveing water SLOWLY drip on the drilling area works well. It takes quite a while to drill through - you go slow and DON'T push on the glass.

Wear gloves just in case.

American Prim blog

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 9:28PM
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Contact a lapidarist to guide you through the process. (You find these hobbyists at rockhound clubs. A local rock shop may offer information and tools.)

What you need is a hole bit loaded with diamond grit. If you can not find one, it can be made. Get a piece of copper tubing whose outer diameter is the size of the hole you want. Brass will work, but it must be soft enough for embedding grit. Load the cutting end with diamond grit. Cutting a hole in glass is a grinding process, not cutting and drilling, even though it may be referred to as 'cutting'.

Preparing the end for grit: Use a sharpened steel chisel edge (do not use the blade from your wood plane) to open many small, shallow score marks in the tube end. Apply grit to fill the marks and to cover the tube end with a single layer of grit. Use a hard roller to drive the grit into the copper and to close the score marks. The tool is ready.

It is best if a drill press is used to steady the work piece. Small deviations from vertical during hole grinding can stress the glass and chip or break it. Chuck the hole tool in the dripp press and fixture the glass piece. Wrap a cloth shield around the glass to contain flying chips in case of breakage.

Begin drilling (grinding) the hole. Flood working area with cutting oil (Ordinary 5 to 20 W motor oil works too.) Occasionaly lift the tool to allow new oil to enter the work zone. Do not work too fast as heat gradients will shatter the glass. The drill press is very convienent for applying a steady pressure while keeping the tool straight. If cutting slows, add a little grit on the work area. When the cut is al;most through, reduce pressure and go cautiously. The glass will tend to chip when the drill breaks through.

Be patient. its a slow grinding process.

After the hole has been made, clean any grit off the drill press. It is highly abrasive.

Diamond grit was recommended because it will stay sharp longer than any other grit. Corrundum grits can be used, but will not cut as fast and the grit dulls faster.

I suppose there are other ways to make a hole in glass by scoring with a glass cutting and giving the hole plug a sharp rap same as cutting a sheet of glass. See what you can find with google.

Hint: When 'cutting/breaking' glass by scoring, do so soon after making the score mark. Glass is amorphous and the bottom of the score mark begins to stress relieve as soon as it is made. Waiting too long after scoring may result in a fracture beyond the score mark. When the score mark is first made, very high stress exists at the bottom of the score. A clean break depends on this feature. This stress relieves itself with time.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 6:16AM
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I didn't go to the tutorials above, but need to say just drill the hole big enough for the cord. Then remove the plug and stick cord through the hole and add the plug again.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 11:31AM
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Grrr meant to add lots of lights are now battery operated too. Sometimes it takes awhile to find them, but they are out there. Depending on what time of bottle you are using they might be an option?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 11:35AM
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" I also tape the glass and try to have a bloc of wood on the opposite side to drill in to."

The tape is a great idea!

How do you get wood into the bottle and against the hole area?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 12:34PM
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well, you'd have to use a vice too hold a block of wood narrow enough for the bottle to fit over. I was thinking of a wide mouth jar. I don't know what yours is. A wine
bottle.. well that would probably not work! lol
But I have
drilled with out the support, make sure to let the drill
bit do the work! Don't push on the drill really hard.
I dribbled oil on mine, but water would work too. But extra
bottle, as some will crack. But do a search and check out
more detailed instructions.

Yes, If there aren't a whole lot wire connected to the
plug end, you could do what she suggests. But it is
hard to do with Christmas lights I think because don't they have a mess load of little wires attaching to the plug?
With out getting my out, I can't remember!
. You could cut the plug end off of a short extension cord...

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:18PM
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Thanks ya'll. I will be using a wine bottle. I am going to check out first battery operated lights, they may not fit in the neck of the bottle. Next I think I will purchase a dremel with a diamond tip then follow the tips posted. Many thanks!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 6:28PM
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with Christmas stuff out, look at grocery stores, I work at a Kroger owned store and we just put out the christmas stuff this week, we have 15 light battery pack lights out now. Also the craft stores will have them too. Other times of the year, probably only craft stores will have them.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:14PM
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I drill lots of glass bottles and glass block to insert LED Christmas lights into them. The best How-To instructions I've found for drilling glass are:


I've learned that the key is to have a good thin diamond drill bit and to use lots of water lubrication and low drill pressure. The instructions in the link are very good and they also have the largest selection of diamond drill bits that I've found.

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Drill Tile Glass Stone

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 2:25PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

We use our Dremel with a glass cutting bit, putting tape on it is helpful to get a grip to start the cut so it does not slide around on the glass. Putting the bottle in a vice with a towel around it is also helpful to keep the bottle steady and not moving just don't tighten too tight the towel around the bottle will help protect it.

big lots had some tiny tiny lights with battery pack that would very easily fit in the bottle top of a wine bottle.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 2:43PM
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A friend I used to have on here used to drill tons of glass making wind chimes.

She bought a cordless dremel tool and a bit to drill glass under water.

There is no shocking with a cordless. and it keeps the bit from getting too hot. breaks less glass.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 10:26PM
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Thanks Patti, I didn't know there was a cordless dremel.
I'll have to see if I can find one here.
Many thanks.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 2:10AM
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