Glass usually breaks when you apply pressure from a drill, but this can be remedied with proper lubrication, gentle pressure and patience. When it comes to drilling a hole in glass, having the right tools and process also helps. For added safety, drill glass in an area away from your normal household traffic, such as a garage or basement, for efficient cleanup.
- Rotary, drill tool
- Diamond drill bit
- Several glass bottles -- for practice
- Safety goggles
- Spray bottle with water
- Wet cloth
- Cut-resistant gloves
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Preparing for Drilling
Grab a glass bottle to practice on before drilling into the bottle intended for your art work. Even with the best precautions, the glass can still break when drilled, so exercise caution and protective clothing, gloves and eye wear.
When handling your glass, wear safety goggles or glasses; laboratory glasses with side-shields keep glass away from your eyes. Wear cut-resistant gloves with latex palms for grip and to keep you safe from any shards of glass. Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling accessories when drilling, and keep your arms completely covered with long sleeves for optimal protection.
Also, keep a spray bottle filled with normal water nearby, because you'll be lubricating and cooling the drill bit and glass bottle as you work.
Drilling the Bottle
Place the practice bottle on a hard, solid surface covered with a towel and point the area where you want to drill a hole towards you.
With your safety glasses and gloves on, and your water handy for quick cooling, begin drilling the hole. Use soft pressure to start, and lubricate the drill bit by adding water constantly. Wait no more than a few seconds to spray water on the hole between drilling intervals.
Take a few moments every minute or so to set the drill down and wipe off the edge of the hole with your damp cloth, because glass shards build up and the spray bottle generally won't have enough pressure to push them out of the way if they pile up.
Continue lightly drilling, spraying water and wiping down the hole until you feel the drill push through to the other side of the hole. Immediately stop drilling to avoid breaking the glass.
Remove the drill and grab your damp cloth, wiping down the entire bottle to make sure all the tiny shards are cleaned up. Sand down the inside of the hole by rolling the sandpaper into a cylinder that can fit through it. Sand until the hole feels smooth.
Wipe down the excess shards once again.
Things to Remember
- Always wear safety goggles when drilling.
- Keep the drill's power cord away from water, or use a cordless drill.
- Use a soft amount of pressure when drilling to prevent cracking.