Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: How to drill sea glass?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    34

    Default How to drill sea glass?

    What is the best way to drill holes in sea glass? I believe it has to be done underwater? I have a dremel that is mains powered so I'm wondering how this can be very safe?
    What drill bit should I be using?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Exeter, Devon
    Posts
    1,783

    Default

    I have been told that the water doesnt have to be deep, just enough to cover the glass. Let me know how you get on because its something I would like to have a go at.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    984

    Default

    From memory I used a hand drill with a diamond bit. Had a puddle, no more, and put the piece of glass onto a piece of wood (for the drill to go into once through the glass). You just need to have the water skimming the item.
    I used a battery hand drill - which solves the mains problem and gives plenty of power
    Are you tumbling the glass yourself? I did, used many of the offcuts from hobby of making stuff with coloured glass
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Exeter, Devon
    Posts
    1,783

    Default

    I used to fuse glass too to make cabs. Never tried drilling it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    440

    Default

    I've drilled lots of sea glass. The best setup I've found is a Dremel in a workstation/drillstand, with a shallow plastic dish of water under it - you only need enough water to just cover the glass surface where you are drilling. You can do it without the workstation, but it's harder to direct and control the drill bit while working freehand.

    A good tip is to use a piece of blutack to hold the piece of glass on - it allows you to hold it firm with the fingers of one hand while controlling the drill with the other, and it helps to cushion the glass, absorbing shock and vibration. Also when the drill bit goes through you are less likely to carry straight through to the bottom of the dish - and the blutack catches the bits of glass that sometimes flake off the underside.

    I buy cheap Chinese diamond coated drill bits on eBay and treat them as disposable - sometimes they survive 30 or 40 pieces, sometimes they give up before you've completed a single one. Don't get the twist bits, go for the ones like this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20-x-1mm-T...item232aacce6e

    I drill in short repeated bursts, bringing the drill bit down into contact with the glass, then up to allow the rubbish to clear and the water to get in and cool both glass and bit, then back down again. Be patient - if you press too hard you're more likely to crack the glass and/or blunt the drill bit.

    Alan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pearlescence View Post
    From memory I used a hand drill with a diamond bit. Had a puddle, no more, and put the piece of glass onto a piece of wood (for the drill to go into once through the glass). You just need to have the water skimming the item.
    I used a battery hand drill - which solves the mains problem and gives plenty of power
    Are you tumbling the glass yourself? I did, used many of the offcuts from hobby of making stuff with coloured glass
    I have some lovely pieces I collected on a beach in Wales.

    Quote Originally Posted by ajda View Post
    I've drilled lots of sea glass. The best setup I've found is a Dremel in a workstation/drillstand, with a shallow plastic dish of water under it - you only need enough water to just cover the glass surface where you are drilling. You can do it without the workstation, but it's harder to direct and control the drill bit while working freehand.

    A good tip is to use a piece of blutack to hold the piece of glass on - it allows you to hold it firm with the fingers of one hand while controlling the drill with the other, and it helps to cushion the glass, absorbing shock and vibration. Also when the drill bit goes through you are less likely to carry straight through to the bottom of the dish - and the blutack catches the bits of glass that sometimes flake off the underside.

    I buy cheap Chinese diamond coated drill bits on eBay and treat them as disposable - sometimes they survive 30 or 40 pieces, sometimes they give up before you've completed a single one. Don't get the twist bits, go for the ones like this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20-x-1mm-T...item232aacce6e

    I drill in short repeated bursts, bringing the drill bit down into contact with the glass, then up to allow the rubbish to clear and the water to get in and cool both glass and bit, then back down again. Be patient - if you press too hard you're more likely to crack the glass and/or blunt the drill bit.

    Alan
    Thanks Alan. Some great tips and I will get some of the drill bits to try. I have plenty of glass to play about with so will hopefully get the knack before I try the really nice pieces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patstone View Post
    I have been told that the water doesnt have to be deep, just enough to cover the glass. Let me know how you get on because its something I would like to have a go at.
    I'll let you know how it goes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Patstone View Post
    I used to fuse glass too to make cabs. Never tried drilling it.
    How do you fuse glass?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    43

    Default

    I spent most of yesterday drilling seaglass and can confirm that the advice above is all spot on!



    The only thing I would add is that a folded dishcloth in the bottom of the plastic container helps to keep the glass in place without slipping and dampen the noise a bit.

    I'm starting to get more confident with it, but still daren't touch this little beauty!

    Last edited by jayneharrison; 17-08-2015 at 07:56 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Exeter, Devon
    Posts
    1,783

    Default

    Glass fusing.... Bits of glass put in a kiln and microwaved. It melts one piece of glass into another, so enabling you to make diocroic cabs. Didn't make many as I prefer to use semi precious stones.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    984

    Default

    There was indeed a huge fad for dichroic glass a few years ago. I was still doing fairs etc then and all you could see was dichroic cab earrings and (sometimes) pendants
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    440

    Default

    There's a great deal to glass fusing beyond dichroic cabs. If you google images of "fused glass" you'll get an idea of the possibilities. There's a lot of very basic stuff around, but also some extraordinary and beautiful stuff. If you google images of "kiln forming" you'll probably see more of the latter.
    Alan

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •