As a crafty DIYer, you maybe would love to create a lamp from an empty wine bottle or hook that mirrors directly through a hole, but the concept of putting a drill to such a fragile element stops you cold. The time to improve your skillset is now. All it takes is the correct drill bit and proper technique. This means that the key to drilling glass is to use the body harder than the glass itself. In this article, we will provide you steps and pieces of advice about the way to drill a hole in the glass. Do not miss it!
What is the right drill bit to drill a hole in a glass?
Bits suitable for drilling glass must have spear-shaped carbide or diamond tips. Available at most tools shops, these drill bits come in various sizes; think of getting a small one for “basic holes” and a larger one to suit the diameter of the finished hole you want to make. As to technique, be sure to maintain moderate speed and low pressure.
What are the necessary safety measures to consider taking?
Yes, it is important to think about doing this task correctly. However, it would be best if you do not skip out on certain safety measures.
Like any other DIY project requiring power devices, you need to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from potentially airborne shards when drilling through glass. You do not want to gamble having a piece of glass flying into your eye. It is recommended to cover up the rest of your body. Try also to wear long sleeves and long pants and a thick pair of work gloves. When drilling, do not wear baggy clothing or long, dangling accessories like necklaces or shirts with long fringes. It is important that you not wear anything that can be caught in a power tool.
TOOLS & MATERIALS To Drill A hole in Glass
- Painter’s tape
- Felt-tip marker
- Power drill
- Spear-tipped carbide drill bit
- Protective goggles
- Diamond file
- Lubricant or oil
How to drill a hole in a glass?
Part one: Preparing the Right Equipment
1-Determine the kind of glass you need to drill. You can drill holes in aquariums, wine bottles, mirrors, glass tiles, or any other kind of glass. However, one major rule is that you should never drill a hole in tempered or safety glass.
2-Purchase or utilize a drill that you already have at home. If you have a power drill in hand already, you can use it. Contrarily, you can purchase a standard one at any store. It is important not to use the tool’s full power because you could end up damaging the glass. That is why you adjust the speed to a lower level.
3-Use a diamond drill bit. These bits are made to drill glass, wine bottles, and other harder materials like ceramic and marble. Diamonds are a harder material than glass, so they are ideal for drilling hard substances.
Part two: Preparing to Drill
1-Fix the glass in a small box, if it fits. You do not want to drill through into a table or something. At all times, be careful about safety. Ensure that you are not piercing in an area where you might damage something, and you have to make sure that power tool cords are not near water.
2-Tape a small piece of thick cardboard or tape to the glass. This will help block the bit from sliding as you start drilling. Make a reference point on the tape on the place where you want to drill the hole. This will help conduct you as you get ready to drill.
Part three: Drilling the Hole
1-Start drilling at a moderate rpm. It would be best if you drilled more moderate when you are piercing into solid elements. It is enough to start with minimum power, maybe about 1/8″ or 3/32″ in size. You have to create a dimple in the glass at the beginning. Then, remove the tape or cardboard and drill faster, at about 400 rpm. When you are close to breaking into, slow it down because this is when the glass can be the most breakable. You will need to use lighter pressure if you are new to piercing to avoid making any mistake.
2- Use coolant so the drill bit doesn’t become extremely hot. Pour some oil or water on the section that you are drilling. Water is the most popular coolant used on drill bits. You will have to use more coolant if you are drilling a more solid surface. The coolant should keep the drill bit and glass lubricated enough. Coolant has to be used both before and while drilling. You could also spray water around the drill bit rather than keep it lubricated. If white powder forms as you are piercing, you should use more extra coolant and slow the process down. You can also put a wet sponge under the glass as you drill to play as a coolant. Or you can cover the glass with some water before drilling. It will be even better if you put it in a shallow water bath in your container.
While the entry hole will be ordinarily clean and smooth, the exit hole edges might be sharp. Smoothly file down any shards or jaggedness with a 600-grit diamond file that suits the hole. Clean to remove all remaining dust.
Some tips to drill a hole in glass perfectly.
- Try to begin with a new drilling bit because glass drill bits usually become useless after serving for a while, just like any other type of bit.
- Fix the glass in a small box.
- Go slowly; the slower you go, the better your results will be. As we mentioned earlier, a speed of about 400 rpm is highly recommended.
- Use coolants like water or oil, so the drill bit doesn’t become extremely hot.
- Stay away from edges because it becomes fragile. Thus there is a risk of crack or break. It is highly recommended to drill at least 3/4 inch away from the edges of the glass.
- File down any shards or jaggedness when finished drilling. It is primarily a must to fill the hole if you plan on threading an electrical cable into it.
Now you know how to drill a hole in a glass! As you can see, the process is straightforward and easy as long as you work methodically and moderately. And of course, with the help of the right tools. Work on a few practice projects until you become an expert, and soon you will be a specialist in crafting with glass!