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  #1  
Old 12-07-2019, 12:54 PM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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Default A way to drill holes in glass

Drill bit is hollow, rimmed with diamond chip, 1/4" in size. The wood is a shim, and any thin piece of wood will do. Drill a hole in the wood with the bit.



Using an ice pick or sharp tipped anything, punch a small hole about 2" up in a sturdy plastic jug. (Little black arrow points to the hole.) This is a vinegar jug with a flip-top cap, which makes life easier.



Put some wet rags down on the surface you're going to drill on. (This is my sink, but I usually do this outside or in the basement.) When you flip up the cap, the water starts to come out of the little hole you made.



Using several pieces of board (think 2x4, 1x4, etc) build your cut off boards to the approximate height of the glass you're going to drill. (in this case, I'm using the divider between my two sinks, but usually I just have several small pieces of varying wood thickness about a foot long. That's for convenience. Place the glass on its side on top of the rags, position the shim with hole in it where you want to drill the hole on your glass. Flip cap on jug and move jug forward or back so it's getting the glass wet where you want to drill the hole. Put bit into the hole in wood at a 90 degree angle and slooowly start to drill, holding the wood shim firmly on the glass. No pressure, just let the bit do its job. After you've drilled for a very small amount of time, move the piece of wood and drill, and look for the beginning of the hole that's been etched into the glass by the drill. Put the drill back on the hole, minus the wood, 90 degree angle, and start drilling. Keep the water running over the place you're drilling. Once you get the hang of it, you can gently rock the drill bit back and forth, and it also speeds things up. Don't apply pressure on drill... let its weight do the work.



I couldn't do a picture with the drill bit inserted in the wood when drilling, because I have two hands and needed three.

Here's what the hole looks like when it's partially etched but not all the way through. The more you practice, the less etching you need before not needing to use the wood shim after you get it started.



A lot of times, opposite of what folks think, a thicker piece of glass is easier to drill than a thin one. Here's two examples of glass thickness. The one on the left was easier. Main thing is don't apply pressure. Especially with thin glass, you run the risk of shattering the glass.



Then here's a bunch I drilled in about a half hour or less. Pretty sure there were 10 or 12.



Glass all came from a thrift store, anywhere from fifty cents to around $3 for a "fancy one."

Most drills have two or three speeds. Use the lowest speed (1). I usually set the clutch setting for torque at about 4. You'll have to play with your drill to find the sweet spot, as that's a large variable between drills.

There are many ways to get there... I've been doing it for years and tweaked it many times. This is what works best for me, and is a good starting point if you're new to drilling in glass.

And OSHA reminds me to tell you always wear gloves and safety glasses when drilling.

Last edited by WaterWitchin; 11-17-2020 at 09:39 AM..
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:48 PM
DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is offline
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A way to drill holes in glass
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Wow. You are impressively organized and I bow to you

I use my sprayer and hold the work between my knees lol

I have great success. I am just bootleg about it

Great tutorial should be a sticky
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Old 12-07-2019, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyCoconuts View Post
Wow. You are impressively organized and I bow to you

I use my sprayer and hold the work between my knees lol

I have great success. I am just bootleg about it

Great tutorial should be a sticky
Ya gather your stuff and always just keep it in the same box. Between yer knees with a sprayer could eventually give ya a whole new concept of bootlegging it. Just sayin.
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Old 12-07-2019, 07:06 PM
DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is offline
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I just almost laughed out of my seat

37 years of doing it the wrong way has taugh me many lessons in exercising care .....just not enough to do it right lol
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Old 12-07-2019, 07:34 PM
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Hmmm... laughing out of your seat. Reason 17 to take a different tack.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:15 AM
Dusty Ol' Man Dusty Ol' Man is offline
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I have been reading reviews for the various brands of drill bits you use. How long do your bits last? How many holes do you get out of one? I understand different thicknesses will come into play.
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Old 01-12-2021, 04:57 PM
DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is offline
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A way to drill holes in glass
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buy cheap one-

they last a long time and if they are cheap, they are cheap to replace

i bought my current set 3 years ago and they are all still cutting easily...if you use a lot of water there is very little wear on the bits
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:18 PM
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Huh... for some reason my post earlier today didn’t stick. I buy one, cheap, and run it for around 50-65 holes. Can start to tell when it doesn’t bite as well. Throw it to work bench for other stuff, and get a new sharper one. As DC says, cheap and move on. Like $10+ is cheap.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:27 AM
Orchidtinkerer Orchidtinkerer is offline
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A way to drill holes in glass
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have you tried the sellotape trick at all waterwitchin to see if that makes it any easier?

You can do all you do but just place a peice of tape over the spot you are drilling before you start. It should make drilling easier and prevent cracking.

It is something plumbers do to avoid cracking tiles in bathrooms so if it works on bathroom tiles it shoud in theory work on glass bottles too.
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Orchidtinkerer View Post
have you tried the sellotape trick at all waterwitchin to see if that makes it any easier?

You can do all you do but just place a peice of tape over the spot you are drilling before you start. It should make drilling easier and prevent cracking.

It is something plumbers do to avoid cracking tiles in bathrooms so if it works on bathroom tiles it shoud in theory work on glass bottles too.
I'm using the wood jig to avoid the drill skipping when getting the hole started, not to avoid cracking. I did try regular tape and painters tape for that purpose, but neither worked well, for me.

Tape is more for that same issue, skipping, not so much cracking. Most types of tile are much easier to drill than a rounded piece of glass, and I don't bother with tape. I've laid miles of tile... my dad was a plumber by trade, but also a fairly skilled mason and tiler.
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