How to Drill a Hole in a Piece of Slate

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Some slate craft projects may include drilling.
Some slate craft projects may include drilling. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Slate is used for many purposes. This material is often associated with chalkboards or drawing tablets, as chalk adheres to slate very well. Slate can also be used in a number of craft and home design projects, such as slate tiling. Often a project may call for drilling holes into slate. For this task, a proper-sized masonry drill bit is needed. The bit must also be cooled as it penetrates the slate to avoid cracking or flaking.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Masonry bit
  • Water
  • Marker

Set the drill on maximum torque or the highest speed setting. High speed is required to drill through slate. Ensure that your drill is not set on a "hammer" setting. This will break or crumble the slate.

Mark the hole to be drilled on the slate with a marker or pencil. Wet the area to be drilled with water.

Position the drill bit tip onto the slate at your mark. Ensure that the drill bit is not angled at all. Start the drill and use firm pressure to penetrate through the slate, simultaneously pouring water onto the bit to keep it cool and keep the slate from cracking.

Keep the trigger depressed. Withdraw the drill bit while it's still in motion slowly. Repeat as needed for any other holes you might need to drill.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure that you hold the drill steady as you penetrate the material. Wiggling can cause chipping or flaking.
  • Use extreme caution when handling a drill.
  • Wear appropriate eye protection when drilling slate in case chips fly up toward your face.

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