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Thread: Drilling Sea Glass

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    19

    Default Drilling Sea Glass

    Hi

    I recently bought a Busch Diamond 8203 Hss Twisted Drill 1.5mm bit, after a recommendation, to go into my Dremel 3000 to drill sea glass. I used it for the first time yesterday, and I was very pleased when I started to drill some small pieces. But after drilling 5 pieces it stopped actually making any headway into the glass, making only a small indentation. I tried a few pieces thinking the first one it stopped working on might have been a bit hard, but it was the same with the other pieces, hardly a mark on the drill spot. I tried again this morning, and again it wasn't drilling a hole(?)

    How long should such a drill bit last?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
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    Default

    Yes diamond drills quickly become bald after three or four uses on glass, even if you drill under water, or rig up a continuous water drip.

    As Wendy (Pearlescense) has often recommended, it is best to buy really cheap drills and treat them as disposable. 1.0mm is a good size for the initial hole.

    Here is an example, but there are even cheaper bulk buys on line:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diamond-Jew.../dp/B00WSKB41Y

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    998

    Default

    It might also have overheated. The water cooling is important. Plus stop/starting to allow the bit and the hole to cool. Don't just bash at it
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    45

    Default

    My partner is a glass artist and I often use small pieces for jewellery.

    Firstly as Dennis said buy cheap diamond bits, although the set he linked to is like most full of shapes you may never use.. But you will find 4 or 5 handy ones. Eternal tools is the provider most glass artists reccomend so worth checking them out.

    You will get a bit more life out of your bits if you water cool, though take precautions!

    I have a flat bottomed polyurethane box about 10 x 20 cm and 5cm deep for drilling in. If you put a piece of dense sponge wipe (like the spontex waffle ones) in the bottom and pour in just enough water to reach the top of the sponge when you press down on the glass it will flood the drill site just enough without causing splashing.

    The best technique is to use the cylindrical bits and hold them on the glass at 45 degrees so it cuts a small divot then bring the drill up to 90 degrees and drill through.

    I'm usually drilling through 6mm of borosilicate glass which is harder than the lime glass you usually find on the beach, and I expect to drill at least 10 pieces with one bit..

    Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Dec 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1711 View Post
    Firstly as Dennis said buy cheap diamond bits, although the set he linked to is like most full of shapes you may never use.
    Dear 1711,
    Thank you for your valued contribution. However if you look carefully at the Amazon site I have linked to, it is for thirty identical 1.0mm cylindrical diamonds. Dennis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    45

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    Dear 1711,
    Thank you for your valued contribution. However if you look carefully at the Amazon site I have linked to, it is for thirty identical 1.0mm cylindrical diamonds. Dennis
    No need to be snide Dennis.

    Apologies freely given I was looking at it with my specs off and it looked like the mixed profiles. But even the mixed ones have sufficient useable ones to represent "good value"

    Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Not a big problem. We all make mistakes, which just proves we're human.
    Not being snide, but thanking you for posting.
    Forums need contributions from their members, or they become boring and die. Dennis.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    998

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    I drilled into a scrap of wood. The piece needs to be under water but don't electrocute yourself
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Devon, UK
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Some great tips on this thread.

    I have some rough jasper pieces that I need to tumble and would like to drill but havn't drilled stones as yet. Can you use the same 1mm cylindrical diamond bits for drilling jasper and other semiprecious gemstones?
    "The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person." ~ Frank Barron, Think, November-December 1962

    Crystal Clarke Jewellery Artist Maker
    Jewellery handmade in Mixed Media, Texties, Embroidery, Chainmaille, Titanium, Silver, Copper, Beads, Gemstones.
    Website: https://www.crystalclarke.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CrystalClarkeJewellery
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Crystal_Clarke

  10. #10
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    You can, but some stones will be so resistant as to ruin more than one drill. Dennis.

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