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Help help help! Drilling Glass plates

Posted by mjowest 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 15, 10 at 14:10

Help! it may be the heat, it may just be me-

I took out a second mortgage, and got the diamond drill bit (just kidding on the mortgage part)-

Here's what I've done, and here's what's happening-

I use the bluep lates I find at Walmart, and they seem to drill ok-
if a plate has any kind of decoration, it shatters, even if I drill it in a bowl of water-

I take a plastic tub,fill it with water, put piece of wood under the plate to catch the bit when it goes through, and drill the hole this way-

so far so good, but will I be able to drill china plates this way?? or will they shatter, also?

so I drill the hole in the copper pipe, put the screw through the holes, and when I tightened up the 'washer' or round thing to hold the screw in place- what IS that thing called?
the glass shattered. The plates that did not immediately shatter, shattered within a half an hour.

Is my screw not long enough? what in the world am I doing wrong?
I'd like some flowers before summer is all used up!!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help help help! Drilling Glass plates

hmmm well, I've never drilled mine, just relyed on good old Silicone II, but I would recommend a small rubber O ring in between the plates. Be sure not to over tighten the screw/nut. Good luck, let us know your progress.

RE: Help help help! Drilling Glass plates

Well, let's see...are you using the diamond bit that looks like an arrowhead? You have to drill pretty slowly too and keep putting water on the drilling site. How big is the drill bit? Are you trying to drill too big of a only need one the size of the screw. And, I would recommend that you use a rubber washer between the plate and the nut...I do and so far I haven't had a plate shatter. I did screw one down too tight when I first started and it shattered in a million pieces the next day!

Good luck!

RE: Help help help! Drilling Glass plates

Drill very slowly and let the bit do the work for you and keep the hole wet. Do not force the bit thru the plate. Take your time and all will go well.

RE: Help help help! Drilling Glass plates

Well, all I can say is that you must be patient--don't force it and use plenty of water. I drilled holes in teacups for planters and they took FOREVER! Bone china I think is the hardest...probably a rubber gasket/washer on front AND back of flower and don't tighten too tight. My thinking is you got to leave wiggle space for heat and cold outside...
Love, Jules

RE: Help help help! Drilling Glass plates

I've drilled a lot of ceramic, pottery and glass and have broken very few. The link below is an earlier thread with photos of drill bit types.

Ditto what others said.

Let the drill do the work. You can drill faster with practice, but things break when you push too hard.

Use rubber washers between glass pieces and any metal.

Break up dense styrofoam pieces and lay them under plates or jam a piece into the cups you're drilling. It can help slow down the bit when it breaks through. Plates can also be drilled on wet grass or dirt. Keep water in the dip in the plate.

If you think the plate has a small crack or nick, you can sand it smooth with wet/dry sandpaper. Use it wet.

Drilling will get easier with practice.


Here is a link that might be useful: Drill bits

RE: Help help help! Drilling Glass plates

MJO, I also have never cracked a plate but if I had to guess I would think it is probably one of two things You are either going too fast or applying too much pressure and possibly not keeping it cool enough. The reason they recommend using water or oil is to keep the spot you are drilling from getting too hot. If you see it turning red (from heat) add liquid and drill slower. I always start with a pointed diamond drill bit until I get it at least partially started then I go to a diamond bit that is 1/8" until I go through the plate. Then I use the same bit and keeping it wet I keep enlarging the hole

Hope this helps

RE: Help help help! Drilling Glass plates

Tempered glass cannot be drilled. It will shatter.


RE: Help help help! Drilling Glass plates

thanks for clearing up all my questions-

The latest shattering took place "after" the hole was drilled- many weeks after.

so I have determined it must be the screw,or my DH corrected me- BOLT.
I used too big of one, and tightened it too tight-

I will add the rubber washer, also-

back to the local hardware store!

thanks everyone!

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