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Drilling Holes In Glass or Gems

Sandra Paluzzi
The Bead Peddler
and Mary Anne Shaw

This is your magazine as much as  it is ours - Click here to email a beading tip for publication or to pose a question for a future tip.

Many thanks to Mary Anne Shaw who both corrected and enhanced this tip.

Every once in a while someone calls to ask how to drill holes into sea glass or other glass to make beads.  The first thing you need is a drill.  While most people use a Dremel drill, you can use a regular drill with a small diamond tipped drill bit.  Bead hole size is typically 1 to 2 mm. 

The bead should be kept wet while drilling. One way to keep it wet is to submerge the object into a cup full of water.  The object can be positioned into silly putty or a similar surface to make it more stable.

While drilling you need to go in and out to let the cold water get into the hole so the bead keeps  cool.  Mary Anne uses a flat tray with a small acrylic cutting board and the silly putty (in that order).  Then she holds onto the acrylic and centers the bead under the drill bit and slowly drills.  She further states that a mark with a Sharpie is a good idea.

Be very careful while drilling and always wear protective eye wear.

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