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Drilling Holes In Sea Shells

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I have many shells that I would like to make into necklaces but I don't know how to drill a hole in them?

Lynette from Michigan

Answers:

Use A Dremel

A Dremel tool works well also because it's higher speed than your regular drill. Especially good for delicate shells; use a very small bit.

By tinatalker

Ceramic Drill Bits

Hardware stores carry ceramic drill bits; for drilling holes in ceramic tile; special hardened steel. I just used one with my regular drill-driver to put holes in about half a dozen shells for my daughter. Might not last as long as a diamond bit; but lots cheaper. I dipped the bit in a bowl of water before and during use, just to avoid dust and keep bit from getting too hot. If the shell is slick, it's a little hard to get it started in one spot, it keeps drifting until it gets a good start; but otherwise it was very simple. Not too much pressure, you can crack the shell; but I didn't have any problem.

By Loneshtar

Use Masking Tape

How about some masking tape down first and mark the spot where you want to drill. You can drill holes in glass using a normal bit, just keep the speed down and using some turpentine on the tip for lubrication so drilling a shell shouldn't be a problem. The tape will stop the drill bit from wandering and should take some of the vibration away so the shell doesn't break. Perspex, being difficult to cut, has adhesive backing which does the same thing as the masking tape. To be sure that the shell doesnt break, start with a small bit and work up. Don't use pressure on the shell, allow the drill to do the work. Use some turpentine to lubricate the bit. I am sure that you will find the best method, hope those tips help.

By Brent

Do you have any ideas for drilling holes in sea shells? Post them below.

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Robert of Dog Walk (Guest Post)01/21/2009

Follow the good advice in the other postings. I used diamond points to drill. You can find cheap diamond points, both in price and of fair quality from Harborfreight.com. They offer both 1/8 inch (Drimmel size) sets on their own and a set of 3/16 inch (dental lathe size) as part of a little 12VDC small hand "dremmel" type tool. Buy the set with the 3/16inch diamond tip points and toss the cheap little tool they come with if you have a 3/16" (dental) lathe / tool or 3/16" adapter for a real Drimmel tool.

When you drill with diamomd points, ALWAYS use water to cool the points or they will fail quickly. This also keeps the dust down, but wear a good quality filter mask or use a vacuume to catch any dust/spray. A small wax or plastic modeling clay dam around your drilling area helps to hold the water. As stated before, be cool, let the tool do the work, Luke.
REMEMBER, with 110 Volt tools. You do not want to mix water and the tool~~~~ZAP!

By Giulia (Guest Post)08/28/2008

Where can you find a dremel tool?

Editor's Note: Dremels should be available at any large hardware or home improvement section. They would be located with the drills and sanders.

By Caroline (Guest Post)06/13/2008

When drilling seashells it can be difficult to hold the shell in place. I use a lump of my son's plastacine. It's cheap, simple to use and very effective at holding the shell steady while you drill. I was delighted when I read this handy tip in another forum so decided to share. I hope it helps others too !

By (Guest Post)10/17/2007

How do you cut sea shells?

Archives

Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Drilling Holes In Sea Shells

What is the best drill bit to use to drill holes in sea shells? I am trying to make some Christmas decorations with the pile of sea shells I have accomulated. Melody


RE: Drilling Holes In Sea Shells

Try masonry bits (08/31/2005)

RE: Drilling Holes In Sea Shells

A Dremel tool works well also because it's higher speed than your regular drill . Especially good for delicate shells; use a very small bit. (09/05/2005)

By tinatalker

RE: Drilling Holes In Sea Shells

Hardware stores carry ceramic drill bits; for drilling holes in ceramic tile; special hardened steel. I just used one with my regular drill-driver to put holes in about half a dozen shells for my daughter. Might not last as long as a diamond bit; but lots cheaper. I dipped the bit in a bowl of water before and during use, just to avoid dust and keep bit from getting too hot. If the shell is slick, it's a little hard to get it started in one spot, it keeps drifting until it gets a good start; but otherwise it was very simple. Not too much pressure, you can crack the shell; but I didn't have any problem. (07/16/2006)

By Loneshtar

RE: Drilling Holes In Sea Shells

I tried masonry bits with a dremel tool on seashells; I don't recommend it... (12/24/2006)

Archive: Drilling Holes In Sea Shells

I have several beautiful polished and unpolished sea shells and I would like to put holes in them so I can macrame a lamp or a table decoration with them and I am having trouble finding a way to do this. Can you help with this and do you have any shell ideas and patterns?

Thanks, Sandy from Kalamazoo, Michigan


RE: Drilling Holes In Sea Shells

How about some masking tape down first and mark the spot where you want to drill. You can drill holes in glass using a normal bit, just keep the speed down and using some turpentine on the tip for lubrication so drilling a shell shouldnt be a problem. The tape will stop the drill bit from wandering and should take some of the vibration away so the shell doesnt break. Perspex, being difficult to cut, has adhesive backing which does the same thing as the masking tape. To be sure that the shell doesnt break, start with a small bit and work up. Don't use pressure on the shell, allow the drill to do the work. Use some turpentine to lubricate the bit. I am sure that you will find the best method, hope those tips help.

By Brent

RE: Drilling Holes In Sea Shells

Hi, use the smallest ceramic bit you can find.

By Denise

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