Drill bit needed to drill holes in stones

Hi, I am looking for a drill bit to drill holes in round stones
(beads)agates,semi-precious stones and others. I also need a sliver
of turquoise for a replacement piece for a Zuni bracelet. I tried
sawing with my jeweler’s saw but it didn’t work. If you could tell me
what I need and where I could find them I would be most appreciated.
Thanks so much, Victoria

Do a search for lapidary equipment on the net. Kinsington has items
that you need but many places do. Look in the yellow pages under
lapidary equipment/rock shops, etc.

A diamond drill will work but if you are doing 100’s or 1000’s of
stones you might look into ultra sonic drills. Some years ago we
could have bought one for about $300/400. Fast and you don’t burn
up diamond drills.

Also, again if you are going to drill a number of stones, see if you
can get a very small core drill verses a diamond burr. The core
drill will last much longer but they are more $.

What do you mean by a “sliver of turquoise”? What color, pattern,
size, polish…? Cut stones and Turquoise with a diamond saw.
You can get blades that are basically paper thin (so you don’t loose
so much stone via the saw blade kerf). Usually these need water and
spin pretty fast. We bought machine at a rock show (the show demo)
for $300 with 2 blades. Variable speed, water feed, etc. Easy to
move, great fun to use. If you need the cuts polished, then you
will have to get some sort of lap (more $$). An alternative to
getting all of this equipment is to see if there is a lapidary group
near you. Or check schools, colleges, recreation departments,
senior citizen centers or see if you can locate a local rock nut.

Hope this helps.

John Dach

   Hi, I am looking for a drill bit to drill holes in round stones
(beads)agates,semi-precious stones and others.  

Several years back, museums across the US sponsored artisans from
Afghanistan to showcase the creation of lapis and carnelian beads.
The artisans were interested in our diamond saws and used electric
grinding wheels, but they found no high tech substitute for hand
drilling beads, especially the 3" to 4" long carnelian beads. They
used a bow drill and hammered “one or two” small diamonds into a
steel shank to form a drill bit. Water dripped from an elevated
clay pot that had a drip tube. As they drilled, they “felt” their
way along the length of the bead. They said electric drills are too
aggressive, over heat the stone, and can’t reach far down a long

I have seen pictures of bow drills, especially in older books, and
guess that they are still available. Does anyone know where a bow
drill can be purchased?

Nancy www.psi-design.com

Nancy Bow-drills are readily available in India, Nearly all local
gold-smith use them. If you know any one coming here…just ask
him/her to get you one, the drill cost some 100-200 Rupees, 2-4$ the
drill bits [for drilling gold] are usually made out of needles…
cheers akash www.akashjewels.com contact@akashjewels.com
[Pune, India]

Hi Nancy,allcraft (allcraftttools@yahoo.com) used to have bow
drills. Don’t know if they still do. Also Kenneth Singh
(ringtools.com) may have them.

Nancy - In the mid-1980s I purchased mine from Rio; it was a made in
India product, and works well. I can’t find it in my Rio tool
catalogue, but perhaps they can tell you where to find one.

Jim Small
Small Wonders

    Drill bit needed to drill holes in stones...Does anyone know
where a bow drill can be purchased?   

Nancy, Karl Frish Company in Portzheim, Germany {excuse spelling}
has some pump bow drills but you need to make sure you really need
that type i sort of think there are two kinds of bow
drills… the ones that you pump up and down-- verticals-- ( i have
one and really love it for certain techniques) and the ones that you
bow back and forth-- horizontals-- from what I’ve seen of the
stonecutters in Asia (India mostly) they tend to use the back and
forth bows that let you tilt the bit as you go in deeper… Karl
Frish does have a catalogue but its only in German. good luck…
mark kaplan