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Drilling sea glass


#1

I love Sea Glass.

I need to know how to drill a hole in the Sea Glass?

Thanks,
Lyn Maloney
Fountain Hills, Az.


#2

Lyn:

I am a collector of ocean glass. I walk the beach in Lewes De almost
everyday and I find at least one beautiful piece.

I have tried to drill holes in the glass, but I never had any
consistent success. I kept getting the blowout from the back of the
glass. I tried submerging the piece in water. I tried going very,
very slow. I tried putting silly putty in the back for stability. I
tried drilling from each side (I could never get the holes to match
up). I did have a few successes, but far more failures. I stopped
trying… …I did not want to destroy what took mother nature a
long time to do.

I decided to wire wrap, or put a bezel around the glass. Most of the
jewelers here do one of the two. I have seen holes drilled in glass,
but it was obvious that it had seen a tumbler. It was also obvious
that from the colors of the glass it was tumbled glass to begin with.

Good luck.


#3

Lyn,

it’s not that tough. You need water and good quality diamond burs.
(www.lascodiamond.com)

I use a tuna can about half-way filled with water. Mark on the glass
exactly where you want to drill (sharpie works well).

If you’re drilling all the way through, you should mark both sides
of the stone (use calipers to figure out the exact opposite side of
the piece of glass).

Start with a round diamond bur several sizes smaller than the hole
you want to drill. Work from the front of the glass. Drill slowly to
get started and “pulse” the bur up and down gently so that the water
in the can washes out the hole continuously. Stop periodically to
wash out the hole (a q-tip with water is a good way to do this).

Drill from the front about 2/3 - 3/4 of the way through.

Turn the piece of glass over and drill from the back through to meet
the hole in the front. This avoids “blowout” where the back can’t
take the pressure and fractures much larger than you want.

Once the small hole is all the way through, you can enlarge it by
using diamond cylinder burs to progressively move up in size a bit at
a time until you reach the size you want. With the hole drilled
through you no longer need to pulse because the water will be
continuously washing the grit away. However, you should still be
working fairly slowly (bit rotation) to preserve your bits and avoid
fracturing the glass.

Hope this helps!
Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry


#4
tried drilling from each side (I could never get the holes to
match up). I did have a few successes, but far more failures. I
stopped trying. 

Its not rocket science…just a few tricks. Yes, coming from both
sides can ge tricky but if you do it a few times it is not really
difficult. Use a Sharpie and draw a line on the side of the glass
from from where you stopped drilling straight along to the other side
and drill another hole to corrospond with the line. It will match
every time.

Re the blow out…get some ‘dopping wax’. This is used by lapidarys
to hold stones on dop sticks whilst cutting the stone. You can get it
at Rio, Graves, and many others. Clean the glass to be drilled with
alcohol, warm it with an alcohol lamp, smear some wax on. Get a piece
of plate glass or a piece of glazed tile. Clean with alcohol and
heat. Heat the piece being cut again and when both are hot to the
touch, put them together. You will never have another blow out…the
drill does not know if it is in glass or the wax!

Cheers from Don in SOFL