How to make holes in ceramic pots?

mcsix(z8 WA)June 24, 2005

I bought three beautiful pots and then realized they don't have drainage holes. Is it possible to make the holes somehow?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Bonniepunch was just wondering the same thing. ;o)


Here is a link that might be useful: Come take a look at what I told her.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 11:01PM
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Eliza_ann_ca(zone 6 ont ca)

I also have three beautiful pots without drainage holes(Why do they even make these?"
Is there an advantage to drilling from the outside as opposed to the inside?
I think I might bite the bullet and get DH to use the drill while I dribble turpentine on it.
Eliza Ann

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 1:48PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

No advantage to drilling from inside or out. If you don't want to use turpentine, use the pot-in-tub method where the water just covers the surface you're drilling or let a hose trickle on the area you're drilling. These bits work well & really cut pretty fast unless the pot is highly vitrified (hi-fired). It's really not that big a project if you have the right bit. Good luck.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 2:04PM
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just get a masonary drill bit from your local hardware store. tell em you want to drill holes in ceramic pots, they will point you in the right direction

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 2:41PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

A few comments from my experience, which is more limited than tapla's.

Upending the pot on a newspaper seems to suppress vibrations while holding the pot steady enough for the drill to enter.

I've found that drilling a smaller pilot hole does help  the larger bit then gets through more quickly and easily, without jumping around or nicking the surface, and with less heat.

Also, there's a difference between ceramic bits and masonry bits; hardware stores sell both. Masonry bits are designed more for heavy materials like cement. They work on unglazed terra cotta, but I'm not sure I'd use them on harder or more finished ceramics. Ceramic bits look like the spearpoint drills in tapla's picture.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 5:34PM
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mcsix(z8 WA)

Thank you all for your help. We'll going to try to drill an old pot, and if it works, we'll do the new pots. If not, I'll buy plastic pots to put in the ceramic pots. It does seem strange that anyone would sell them without the holes.....

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 1:30PM
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pluvious(z7 NYC)

i like this topic. i've got several pots around the house that i've been wanting to use, but haven't, on account of the fact that they've got no holes. now i'm going to try and put holes in them. thanks for the tips.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 1:36PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

But then you could take 'em out to the shooting range for target practice!LOL

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 10:15PM
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hi guys,
about to try the hole drilling myself, but was surprised to hear a few of you pondering the pots with no holes... 'Cache Pot' is the correct term for these pots. they are made to slip another pot into, a growers pot for example... mainly used for indoor plantings, it makes switching out plants a breeze. some stones on top or a bit of moss and you're good to go.
it's worth checking if you are putting that pot outside. a cache pot might not be frost safe. different clays, different glazes... some are meant to stay inside. happy drilling! :-)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 7:05PM
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