Drilling Holes in Glass by
Using a Stained Glass Grinder
here for general information on drilling holes in glass.
Although it's probably better to use a drill
press and core drill bit for drilling holes in glass, the task can
also be done with an ordinary stained glass grinder. The only
other piece of equipment you'll need will be a 1/8" to 1/4" grinder
bit. These bits, which are coated with diamond grit along the
outside edges and top, fit on top of the shaft of a stained glass
grinder. They can be used for grinding tight inside curves or
for drilling holes, and should cost around $15 US.
This technique won't work for small items such as most jewelry or
for holes smaller than 1/8", but it works well for drilling a single
hole in a large glass item. You'll need to determine the place
where you'd like the hole drilled, and then place the glass on top
of the grinder bit so that the hole location lines up with the top
of the bit. Done properly, the glass should be flat on top of
the bit (for a flat blank, parallel to the ground).
It's often helpful to enlist the help of an
assistant to do the actual grinding. One person should hold
the glass and press it down onto the spinning grinder bit, the other
person should be responsible for keeping the bit and surrounding
area wet while the grinding takes place.
To drill, hold the piece firmly and press
down on the spinning bit. Keep pressing slowly, but let the
bit do the work. Don't force the action, and remember to keep
the area being drilled wet. If possible,
drill half way through the hole, then flip the piece and drill
through from the other side. This is sometimes more difficult
in opaque pieces, but flipping will help eliminate chipping on the
outside edge when the grinder bit finally makes it way through the
here for information on using a drill
press to drill holes in glass.
Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.