Diamond Drill Bits

When I drill through glass- sea glass- , I make a small “bowl” with
modeling clay to both hold the piece in place and to fill with water
to keep the diamond bit wet. My bits seem to go dull after about 12
holes- is the clay clogging the bit - do I need to clean the bit and
if so how? Should I use a different clay? Help!!! Jessica

Jessica, Sounds like your bits are glazing. Same as on a lapidary
grinding wheel, the metal glazes over the diamonds. To sharpen them,
just drill a little into an old silicon carbide wheel or even a
brick. That will wear away the metal and expose new diamond.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1

Jessica, Try using a diamond cutting lubricant instead of water. Use
sintered diamond bits instead of bargain bits. The cheaper bits are
attractive at first but do not last as long. Let the bit and drilling
device do the drilling. You are the pilot not the plane. Pressure
increases friction, increasing heat, (even under water) heat ruins
the bit. BACK OFF, back off on the bit after a bit (No pun intended)
backing off means lifting up lightly on the bit to allow lubricant to
reenter the drill site. Happy Drilling!

Regards J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio

Jessica - It sounds as though you are using diamond plated bits,
like from Harbor Freight. 12 holes is pretty near the maximum for
them, even if you are very careful. As other have mentions
previously, you will get much longer service from sintered bits, but
they cost much more.

Jim Small
Small Wonders

Actually you are using just the very tip of the drill drilling this
way and it is going to wear out pretty fast. Really long life hole
drilling is often done with diamond core drills. The physics of it
all is why one works better than the other. Talk to you drill
supplier and see what they have to offer. Check out lapidary
suppliers (Kinsington is one that comes to mind). Go to a good rock
collectors or lapidarist show and look, see and ask questions. We
were at a show this year and one fellow had real small core drills.

John Dach

Hi Jessica, Are you continually lifting your bit out of the hole,
allowing the water to flow in and remove debris, then going back in
to drill further? I have found that if you simply drill straight
through, even though you have water keeping your bit cool, your bits
wear out rather quickly as opposed to the above action. I have a
lapidary drill that uses just such a reciprocating action and it
seems my bits last quite a long time (of course the size and quality
of the drill bits you are using will also affect their longevity).

Best regards,