How to Drill Holes Through Glass. How to drill a hole in a glass. Best Way to Drill a Hole in a Glass Bottle. Drilling Glass – Instructables

How to Drill a Hole in Glass... You'll use these tips and techniques to drill glass, sea glass, wine bottles, glass block, tile, stone, granite and marble. 

· Use diamond bits to drill your glass, not carbide bits . 

· Use diamond hole saws to drill holes 1/4" and larger or to drill holes in thick glass like glass block or wine bottles. 

· Use plenty of lubrication/coolant to keep your drill tip cool and the hole clean. 

· Use less pressure! Let your drill bit drill at it's own pace. 

· Start diamond hole saws at 600-900 RPM. 

· Start diamond drill bits at 2500-5000 RPM. 

There are few things you will need to have to get a good clean hole drilled into your glass. Glass can not only be very durable, but it can also be very susceptible to the changes in temperature that occur when a friction (such as a drill bit) is applied to it. 

So first off find the glass you want to drill. You can drill in almost any glass there is, but some glass is a little more difficult just because it is harder to keep a steady stream of water applied to the surface friction point. 
· SO gather up some glass.... or even a mirror if you want. This is a great way to add elements into a mirror such as placing your faucets "through" the vanity mirror when they are back mounted, or even adding lighting sconces on top of a mirror and the wires going through it. Just a note on drilling through mirrored glass, make sure you start on the coated side. You are less likely to knock off the coating or have a "blow out" chipping away more of the mirror surface than you would like to lose if you do this. There are mixtures sold through stained glass supply companies that help to keep the mirrored surface in tact, but they are really more expensive than I want to pay, so I just try to be a little more careful. 

A good drill or rotary tool is a must. I prefer to use my "Faux" dremel rotary tool since it has a flex shaft attachment that makes it lighter than using a standard drill. You can use a standard electric drill as well, just be sure you can hold it steady on the glass. 

Diamond drill bits are the only thing I ever use when drilling glass. There might be some other product out there that will do the job, but I have never found one. If you have, please let me know. 

 I can imagine that somewhere there are drill bits tipped with corundum, but those would be way out of my price league! Harbor Freight and many of the Home Improvement stores carry these drill bits at a very reasonable cost. 
You will need a small bowl of water for small pieces, but if you want to drill something larger that cannot fit into a bowl, you can always stream the water over the drill bit while drilling. Keep in mind that water and electricity DO NOT MIX, so take precautions to keep the water from entering the drill or getting onto plugs and sockets. 
And always ALWAYS wear eye protection when drilling glass. Even if the glass does not break while it is being drilled, small particles from the hole being drilled out can get into your eyes. 

But start slowly.... if the glass has no texture, or if it has a rounded edge such as these glass cabochons, there will be a strong tendency for the drill bit to skip. Skipping will not only scratch the glass, but it can chip off the edged of the piece if it goes too far. 
Place the bit where you want the hole drilled, and start out slowly so that a "dimple" or small indentions is formed, this helps keep the bit in the right place. This is probably one of the hardest parts for me, I have never been good at letting the drill (or the saw, or the lawn mower, etc.) do the work for me. I want to hurry it up and push down thinking that will increase the speed. Instead it just makes it more likely for for glass to break from the pressure being applied. 

Just keep the drill as steady as possible, and eventually it will get through to the other side. You will know when it does because of the "give" you feel from it going through. I have never used the drill press to drill glass, although I am sure it can be done. I want to be able to feel how much pressure I am actually putting on the glass while drilling. 

How to Drill Holes Through Glass. How to drill a hole in a glass. Best Way to Drill a Hole in a Glass Bottle. Drilling Glass – Instructables 

Use diamond bits to drill hard, brittle materials like glass, ceramics and tile. Drill small holes using a round ball shaped bit. Drill holes 1/4" and larger using a diamond core bit. First, pick the shank size that fits your tool , and then choose a rounded end bit or core bit that matches the size of the hole you need. 

Diamond bits (even coarse) will leave a smoother finish than spade bits or twist drills and won't chip and crack your work. With a little luck, the finish will be smooth enough, without any additional polishing. Drill speeds vary. Start out very slowly and gradually increase the speed. As a starting point, start hole saws at about 700-800 RPM. Start round end bits at 2500-5000 RPM. The larger your bit is, the slower you should start. The more lubrication you use, the faster you can drill. 

Drilling faster increases friction , burns up the bit and causes the colorful drill tips. Everyone repeat after me: if your drill bit develops yellow, brown, blue or black “burn marks” around the tip, slow down. 
Increasing the pressure on twist drills makes the bit drill faster. Not such a good idea with diamond bits. When you use diamond drill bits it is very important touse light to moderate pressure and to let the bit "drill at its own speed". 

Increasing the drill pressure will only increase the friction and heat. This not only burns up the bit, but also increases your stress level, causing your face to turn red and steam to come out of your ears. Heat will also fracture or crack the material you're drilling . Again, everyone repeat after me; if your drill bit develops yellow, brown, blue or black “burn marks” around the tip slow down and lighten up. 

If you are dilling a hole completely through an object, it is important to "lighten up" the pressure even more when the drill bit is about to break through. This reduces chipping on the backside of the object when the bit emerges from the back. 

Better yet drill half way through, flip the material over, start a new hole on the backside and let them meet in the middle. Yes, I know this is "easier said than done". I have plenty of glass with holes that didn't quite match in the middle. It must be a faulty measuring tape! 

Lets start out with the legal stuff first. Please be careful using any electrically powered tool near water . Water or another lubricant should be used to cool and lubricate the tip of diamond bits. Lubrication reduces heat build-up, sort of like adding a little cold water to hot coffee to cool it. Water is usually used, because it is cheap and available. 

Increase the amount of lubrication used with harder materials. If you are drilling fiberglass, a diamond bit can be used dry or with a very small amount of water.When drilling in glass, ceramics, or stone use enough water so that the “dust” from the hole is a very wet paste or wetter. The tip of the drill bit should always be wet . If you are drilling hard or abrasive material, use even more lubrication. If you can, have a small amount of lubricant constantly running over the drill tip and bore hole. 

A Few Tips: Use a small hose or tube to run water onto the surface near the drill tip and bore hole. Some people place a plastic jug (milk jug) with a small hole near the bottom of it, next to the drill hole. As the water leaks out of the bottle, it provides continuous lubrication as you drill.

A better trick is to build a "dam" around the drill hole using modeling clay. Fill it with lubricant. 

Or best yet, place the object being drilled into a shallow pan or tray then fill the pan with enough water to just cover the material. Don't make my mistake. Place a thin board or Styrofoam in the bottom of the pan or you will drill right through the pan bottom making a mess and causing you to wonder why you thought this was a good idea. 

If you are drilling on a vertical surface use a hose or tube to run water to the drill tip. If that's not possible, have someone "mist" water onto the drill tip using a squirt bottle. (More legal stuff) Please be careful and use common sense around water if your tool is electrically powered. 

Unfortunately learning to balance drill speed, drill pressure, lubrication and your time is a learned skill. Learned from trial and error. It is best to start out with avery slow drill speed , very light pressure and lots of lubrication . Gradually increase all three until you reach the point where time spent drilling balances against the cost of more drill bits. Starting slow reduces risks and extends bit life . Always use more lubrication than you think you need. 

Your choices include diamond bits in several different grits, Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Coarse and Super Coarse. These are all relative terms. How fine is Fine?How coarse is coarse? Most people are familiar with sandpaper so we've compared international standards for diamond tools to common sandpaper grit. 

The table below compares diamond grit to sandpaper grit: 

· Extra Fine diamond grit is comparable to 360 grit sandpaper. 

· Fine diamond grit is comparable to 200 grit sandpaper. 

· Medium diamond grit is comparable to 120 grit sandpaper. 

· Coarse diamond grit is comparable to 95 grit sandpaper. 

· Super Coarse diamond grit is comparable to 75 grit sandpaper. 

We hope this helps. Most people will not see or notice a significant difference between medium and coarse grit diamond tools. For most applications we recommend that you order the coarser grit. 

The best way to prevent the bit from skipping or walking when you're starting a hole is to use a drill press. This holds the bit firmly in place. Use a vise or some other system to hold your work firmly in place under the drill press. 

If you can't use a drill press, keep the bit from walking or skipping by making a pilot hole in a piece of wood or plastic using the diamond drill or another bit. 1/8" thick wood, 1/8" Plexiglas or even cardboard will work. Place this "template board" on the material being drilled, with the pilot hole above your target spot.This will keep the diamond bit centered in place while you start the hole with your hand drill or rotary tool. 

This is the question our customers ask most often and the one we can't answer. 

The hardness and abrasiveness of the material being drilled, the tool speed, the pressure used and the amount and type of lubrication affect the life span of all diamond bits, ours and all others. Even materials that appear similar have varying degrees of hardness and abrasiveness. It is impossible to estimate the life of a diamond bit . On some thin, soft materials a diamond bit may last for 50-100 holes or more, while on some thick, very hard or very abrasive materials the life many be only 1-3 holes or less 

There are two things that we do not recommend doing with your diamond bits. 

· Use diamond bits with impact type "hammer drills" . The impact will bend the tips . 

In addition: 

· Diamond bits are not recommended for steel or other ferrous metals. You will get much better results using carbide bits on iron, steel and other ferrous alloys. 

Let's start drilling. Choose from below or from the navigation bar on the left.