View Full Version : Help with Glass

11-16-2006, 12:20 AM
Greetings. I need advice on drilling holes into wine bottles using my Clarke 16 speed drill press. Should I be using a lubricant? If so, which one? A well meaning friend told me to put masking tape over the drill site to reduce the stress on the glass. Does she know what she's talking about? Any help will be kindly appreciated.

11-16-2006, 05:30 AM
i used to work in rhe optalmic industry...manufacturing precision parts from all sorts of glass.....u need to used a water-based coolant for glass drilling or else a 'microcracks' will occurs on the surface....

11-16-2006, 10:08 AM
Turpintine for coolant. And diamond coated hole cutters. The tape on the glass only works if you can put it on the underside of the glass. And a hand held drill is what is commonly used by most glass shops, high speed but if the bottles fit on your drill press. What I do is put coolant over the cut area, starting the cut is a little tricky (the cutter wants to skip and bounce) I slightly tilt the cutter as to start one side of the hole and then I balance out the cutter over the hole . Once the hole is started a little you now press a little hard, I will also slightly wallow out the hole( do this by tilting the drill all around the hole, just slightly, too much and you,ll break or shell out a big piece of glass) as the hole gets halfway I lighten up on the downward pressure just a bit. Good luck

AtHomeGlass Inc.

11-16-2006, 10:30 AM
Well, you can use any of the carbide bits that you find at Home Depot or Lowe's they spec. them for use in drilling glass, tile, etc.

Diamond bits work the best and last the longest, but alas you'll have to search for them. And I would use water as the lubricant for diamond....does wreck drill stand table...unless you make a trough and bottle holder.

Lubricant....any light oil will work....even WD40....I'd shy away from Turpentine, just because of it's flammability aspects.....plus I bet that Clark has a nice sparky motor or is it a TEFC motor.

Tape is useful to keep the bit from dancing about when you first start....you'll reduce the micro-cracks by reducing the pressure you apply when drilling....let the bit do the work.

2nd Post....well Welcome Anyway!

11-16-2006, 12:53 PM
ViperTX, Sorry, but this is the first response I've seen from you. Maybe there is more than one place I need to look for replies. I'm very grateful for the advice that you and others have given. In regards to the motor in my Clarke press, it's a model BT1029. Haven't been able to find where it specifies sparky or TEFC. Just went out and looked at the unit to see which it it and couldn't locate a plate or anything, and of course it would be too easy if they had listed it in the manual. I'll post back again after giving it a go and let you all know how it went. Thanks again!!

11-16-2006, 12:56 PM
*chuckle*....No, I meant it was you're 2nd post.

11-16-2006, 01:22 PM
Well... duh! Looks like you've had over 2 grand posts!! I guess part of what makes a good machinist is attention to detail. Used to have that, kinda flakey these days. though. smiles...

12-05-2006, 01:45 AM
i have been drilling glass blocks lately for holiday decorations. and use a cheap masonary bit to make a 1/2inch hole through the 1/4 inch glass. and have found that a spray bottle filled with water and dawn dish soap acts as a lubrcant and is easy to clean up to :)

12-05-2006, 07:52 PM
If you are continue to have any trouble with the drill bit "walking", grind a small flat to start the hole. The drill will wander less and start more true.

12-06-2006, 12:28 AM
Thanks for the pointers, guys. This sounds like a much more simple approach to the delima. Hopefully this will work. If not, I think I have figured out how to implement the dam and slurry systems. Been a little under the weather so I haven't really been hittin' a lick at a snake. I'll be sure to let you know about the results when I get after it next.


12-06-2006, 06:23 AM
You could google for lapidary supplies and you will find a water swivel for your drill press. I use one for drilling stone and glass for jewellery.

12-07-2006, 11:50 PM
Funny - The more I learn the more you see to know!!

12-08-2006, 01:22 PM
I drill holes from time to time. Here is a video of one setup. I always use a drill press and diamond core drills with tap water.


01-03-2007, 08:34 PM
wow neat question, i dont think its a question of lubricant efficiancy, i would reccomend that you have a sturdy setup, and your on center of the bottle (assuming your side drilling) then... its a matter of the drill type your using.

not having drilled glass, i have drilled glass filled phenolics, kinda like fiberglass. In those situations, heat was generated quickley, so id advise pecking often and constant coolant.(carbide drill! was needed) hmm i might have to try this on break.

ps fiberglass is a bear to grind, so i imagine quite a bit of trouble but not sure how much,

again as usual, im probably no help

01-04-2007, 11:43 PM
You underestimate yourself. Your recommendations are similar to those I've gotten from several others. I haven't gotten anything done since I originally posted. Well that's not true. I did do one bottle successfully. I was having trouble with the heat and with a small amount of flaking. Hopefully I'll be feeling up to it in a few days. I'm trying to figure out how to protect my drill press from the lubricant and coolant. I'd hate to tear it up this early in the game!!

Thanks for taking the time to give me your advise. I really do appreciate it.


05-12-2009, 11:08 AM
Newbie here... I am drilling a 1/2 hole in a hollow glass cube (the type used in walls of buildings), the thickness to cut is about .3 and I am doing it on a CNC vertical with water based coolant. I have to drill about .75 to get the full diameter due to the angle of the bit. Right now I use 700rpm and about .5 in/min, I am wondering if anyone has specific speeds and feeds for normal glass, and will rpm and feed causing shattering, and would pecking be recommended?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.