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View Full Version : Drilling through Borax Crystals - advice needed



harryn
05-06-2008, 02:02 AM
Hi. Last week, I was driving through the Mohave Desert of CA, and happened to pass through the town of Boron. Being a Chem Eng by training, I just had to stop at the "Borax Museum".

I ended up buying a small bag of Borax Crystals about 1/2 in on each side - sort of shaped like prisms. It turns out that you can polish / sand them up a bit, and they make sort of a pearl like surface. It will dissolve in hot water, so you can imagine it will not replace diamonds.

We did manage to polish these up some with 400 grit wet sanding, but 800 would be better. He tried a hack saw to split the stones, but they just turned to powder - but - he was able to sort of cleave them with a chisel.

In any event, my 10 yr old son would like to drill some holes in a few pieces to make a necklace for my wife for Mother's day, so time to experiment (and stone quantity) is limited. I have access to a small drill press, so that is the tool of choice if it is going to work, and a variety of TiN coated drill bits - mostly for wood / Al use.

Questions
- Suggestions for a proper / easy to obtain drill bit - approx 1/8 inch ?
- Drilling speed - more like wood or more like steel ?

Thanks

Red Frog
05-06-2008, 05:30 AM
A maintenance department friend once drilled a thin piece of plexiglass backwards to keep it from cracking. Not really sure if this would work for you. Good luck.