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Topic: Best/Cheapest way to drill small holes in glass bottles?  (Read 25863 times)
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luderdune
« on: August 18, 2010 09:23:29 AM »

Hello -

Can anyone help me figure out a cheap way I can drill some 1/8", 3/8", and 1/4" holes into glass soda bottles? I did some research and am considering the cordless Dremel Minimite. I have heard somewhere that they are not to be used for this purpose, however, and even still I am confused as to which bits to order to drill the holes; I know they are diamond tips, but what shape? I've seen everything from conical to flat to ball shaped tips.

Thanks for your help!
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babalina58
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2010 07:15:48 AM »

Hello -

Can anyone help me figure out a cheap way I can drill some 1/8", 3/8", and 1/4" holes into glass soda bottles? I did some research and am considering the cordless Dremel Minimite. I have heard somewhere that they are not to be used for this purpose, however, and even still I am confused as to which bits to order to drill the holes; I know they are diamond tips, but what shape? I've seen everything from conical to flat to ball shaped tips.

Thanks for your help!

I dont know if the cordless will have the power you need but water will always help when drilling glass. I learned the hard way and I use a Black and Decker 18V plug in drill and glass bits!
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Mike Jordan
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2010 03:11:11 PM »

I just got done drilling some holes in some cut outs I did and I used my cordless DeWalt drill. Luckally I have two batteries because I went through one and needed the second one to finish the last hole.

I was drilling 1.25 mm holes or it might have been 2.0 mm. I needed smaller but none of what I had would take the really small diamond tip drill bits. The drills I have wouldn't and my Dremall wouldn't. Their collets just wouldn't tighten down tight enough to hold much below the thickness of a small paperclip.  I don't know what kind of drill has a collet small enough for these micro bits, but I know you can get adapters to fit into regular drills, so I'm going to have to get one if I want to use the small bits.

You also want something with variable speed if possible. With glass, slow is better than fast from what I've read and if you are going to do a lot, get a cheap drill press.  After holding my cordless drill (that battery gets heavy) for the time it took to drill 5 holes, my arm was tired.  When you start drilling, angle the bit side wise and use the side of the  bit where the diamond dust is thickest.  This starts a hole a whole lot easier than going straight down like you do with wood. Once the hole is deep enough that your bit won't start wondering as you drill, then straighten the drill up straight.  Also, glass is not like wood in that the harder you press the faster it drills. You will end up breaking the glass or your bit that way.  Just add a little more pressure than the weight of your drill.  With the glass under water, you will see a white milky cloud forming as you drill. This is an indication that you are drilling glass.  About every 30 seconds or so, lift your drill up enough to let water go into the spot the drill was so it cools the bit and the glass and washes out some of the white cloud.  On the flat things I drilled, I also put another piece of scrap glass underneath where I was drilling so I didn't drill through the plastic container I was using to hold the water that my glass was sitting in.  As soon as it broke through I could tell by the sound.  For a bottle you won't be able to do that, but you will be able to see when it is getting close and you can slow down drilling.

Find a pan or bucket or something that you can summerge the bottle in with enough water to have at least 1/4" to a 1/2" of your bit in the water. This way you won't have to worry about not having enough water to keep things cool. For the size holes you are cutting, the solid bits with diamond dust around the tip will work best. There are twist bits with diamonds (like wood bits with diamonds on them) and the hollow core bits. The hollow core are good for bigger holes and for enlarging.  Also, with the new bits I used, I noticed that the diamond dust comes off pretty quick. I did 5 holes with one bit but I did notice it gettings slower going on the last one. So if you have a lot of holes to do, buy extra bits.

I've not done a whole lot of glass drilling, so there is probably a lot more advice that can be given on this, but that's what I've noticed the times I've drilled glass.

Mike

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ozarkcat
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2011 07:39:15 PM »

You can sometimes get used drill bits from a dentist - they're not sharp enough to use on teeth anymore, but will do a great job with a lot of small work . . . . .
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Cathi

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HandyCraftsman
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2011 10:10:52 AM »

Hollow "core" style diamond drill bits work best.  I tried my Dremel tool with a diamond tip, but it dodn't work well for my projects.  Then I moved on to a diamond core drill bit and it worked great.  I used my barrery hand drill for a while, then bought a small inexpensive drill press.  When I'm drilling bottles, I get about 250+ holes per bit when I drill in a water bath.

Diamond Drill Bits for Drilling in Glasshttp://www.ameriglasco.com/Glass-Diamond-Drill-Bits/Diamond-Drill-Bits.shtml

Drilling Glass Block and Bottleshttp://www.ameriglasco.com/Glass-Diamond-Drill-Bits/Diamond-Core-Drill-How-To-Drill-Glass.shtml

How to Drill Glass and Tilehttp://www.diamond-drill-bit-and-tool.com/Diamond-Drill/DD1.shtml

Good Luck
.
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