Cutting Glass With a Dremel

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Cutting Glass With a Dremel
Cutting Glass With a Dremel (Image: Jonae Fredericks)

Wood, metal and glass are all crafting tools, and what becomes of them is left at the hands of the creator. Sometimes a crafter will develop an idea that just doesn't seem possible--but when there is a will, there is a way. In this case, a hole drilled into a piece of glass is the will, and the Dremel tool is the way. So, if you ever find yourself with an overpowering need to drill a hole through a piece of glass, this is one way to do it.

Things You'll Need

  • Bar of soap
  • Dremel tool
  • Diamond tip drill bit
  • Clear packing tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Cold water
  • Ruler
  • Glass cleaner
  • Paper towel

Locate where on the piece of glass you would like to make the hole. Mark the area with a permanent marker to save the location. For precise measuring, use a ruler, especially if you are looking for a center mark.

Fill a glass with ice cold water and set it aside. The cold water will be used in between drilling sessions to keep the glass cool. If the glass gets too hot from the friction of the dremel tool, it will crack.

Cover the area that you would like to drill with a piece of clear packing tape. Cover both sides of the glass with the tape, front and back. The tape will help to collect any small fragments of glass that are removed by the drilling, and add an extra layer of protection between the dremel and the glass.

Rub a bar of soap--liberally--over the area that you plan to drill. The soap should cover the entire drilling area, including the tape. This will help to eliminate friction in the drilled area.

Attach a diamond tip to the dremel tool, and rub the bar of soap over it. The soap will add some slickness to the bit, adding less friction to the piece of glass as you drill.

Begin to drill the hole through the glass, using the dremel tool. Perform the task slowly, while applying very little pressure. Allow the drill bit to make its way through the glass on its own, without additional weight or stress.

Take breaks in between in order to prevent friction and heat build up. Upon stopping, pour some of the cold water over the area to cool it down, and begin to drill again. Continue the alteration of cold water, breaks and drilling until the hole has been completely cut through the glass.

Remove the packing tape, and use a piece of fine grit sandpaper to smooth any rough edges that have been made by dremel tool while creating the hole. Spray the surface with glass cleaner, and wipe clean with a paper towel. Your piece of glass should now look clean, and sparkling along with the new hole that you just drilled.

Tips & Warnings

  • Continuously adding a layer of soap to the glass as you drill will help to alleviate any heat build up that may occur. It will also give you a slicker work surface.
  • Be very careful when handling a piece of glass. The material is capable of splintering and fragmenting without notice, so lift and carry your piece of glass with diligence.

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