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Drilling Holes in Glass by

Using a Drill Press

This is part five of a multi-part tip on using a drill press to drill holes in glass.  Click here to go to part one.

The main steps, concluded.  Finishing the drilling.

11.  As you slowly drill through the piece, take pains to make certain that the the piece of glass remains submerged beneath the water.  This will keep the glass cool so that it doesn't crack.  With larger holes or thicker pieces, it's sometimes helpful to add fresh water, especially if the water becomes excessively cloudy or murky.

12.  Above all, drill with a very light touch.  Don't force things, let the bit do the work.  Simply tap on the surface of the glass for only a second at a time, then ease up and let cool water flow over the glass.

13.  Continue to drill until the the bit makes contact with the wood or Ceramaguard underneath.  Then it's safe to ease up on the lever of the drill press and admire the hole in the piece. 

14.  If you think you've done everything right, but the piece cracks as you're drilling the hole, it's a sign of one of three problems. 

  • You could be drilling too quickly.  That allows heat to build up, which will crack the piece.
  • You might not have kept the piece covered with water.  That's another way that heat builds up and cracks the piece.
  • It's also possible that the  drill bit has become too dull to do a good job of drilling through the piece.  Most drill bits do not last that long and need to be replaced frequently.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

Note:  The process described in the tip works best for items that are small enough to fit in a shallow plastic container.  Future tips will discuss the necessary adjustments for drilling larger items.

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Four Corners International, Inc.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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