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If you drill your own glass blocks, you will need to clean out the glass dust. Following are some suggestions for ways to clean your blocks.
Try using rice and water shaken around in the block to clean it out. Then simply empty out the rice, rinse, and let the block air dry.
Another method that works well is to use an empty toilet paper roll attached to the end of your vacuum hose. Bend the unattached end into a cone shape and insert and tape a drinking straw to the cone. Put the straw inside the block and suck out the dust.
Finally, just wash each one with hot water "no soap", immediately after drilling and turn them hole side down in a dish drainer. Washing this quickly will not allow the glass dust to dry inside. They just sparkle when you are done.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
How do I make a slot in the top of a glass block to make a bank. And how do you smooth the edges after drilling?
Drilling glass blocks.
You have to use the right rpm range, there should be something on the side of your drill listing the rpm.
Gradually increase speed and slowly decrease.
Use a carbide bit especially for glass.
Tape a small piece of cardboard to the glass block so it doesn't slip.
Place light pressure on the drill.
Can someone tell me of a tool that will make a hole in a glass jar for wiring a light? The drill bit tools don't work. Or can I buy jars with a hole in them already? Please help.
If you go to a community college in your area that teaches stained glass, the instructor can help you drill a hole in glass for a minimal fee. They have the tools and know how on this subject. Otherwise, look for stained glass cutting tools on the 'net for hole drilling. Buying the tool will be more costly.
You might also try a glass company in your area. They work with glass and may have the tools you need.
You need a diamond drill bit. There are several sizes, just depends on what you are going to put through the hole. I make night lights with very small wine bottles, drill a hold about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the glass on one side and then stuff a 25 light string in the bottle.
You can purchase glass drills. They have a rounded point. I dipped mine in oil and went slowly. Careful not to break through as that will crack your glass. Check the web to see what they look like. You may have to purchase them there also.
I have a glass jar with wire handle. Make sure it is heavy enough to hold had and anything inside. Wrap wire around jar neck (just under threads) and make a bail handle on it.
I am looking for a diamond drill to drill a 3/4 inch hole in glass blocks. Can you help me find one?
By Greg I
I found my bits at Sears. They are not cheap, but they last a long time!
Try Home Depot or Lowe's. Like the poster said, they aren't cheap, but they last.
Home depot and or Menards have them as I have bought one a few years ago at Home Depot....maybe even try Lowe's.
What do I need to cut a hole in glass (bottle, blocks)? I want to put lights in them and use them for decoration. Can anyone tell me the tools that I would need for this? Or if there is a web site that I could go to for help. Thanks.
By Karen from Reynoldsville, PA
My daughter and I are currently working on these. Get a 1/2" glass drill bit, they are shaped like an arrowhead at the tip. When drilling, drill slow and try to keep the drill bit wet so it doesn't get too hot.
I drill a lot of glass blocks and glass bottles, but I changed from the old carbide glass drill bits to a diamond drill bit. Since then, I have never broken any glass.
A good diamond drill bit makes a huge difference.
Get a diamond hole drill bit - sorta looks like a thimble. Use 3/4" as it is much easier to put the lights in. I use a drill press with the speed set around 1100 RPM (my press allows you to easily move the drive belt to raise/lower speed) Use a spray bottle with water only to keep the bit cool, and bear down with light to medium pressure. This process takes less than 30 seconds per block.
These hole drills create a smooth hole that will not cut your fingers. I then vigorously shake the block to knock off the glass edges of the glass piece that is inside the block. I then fill half-way with water, plug the hole and shake vigorously, then pour out. This brings out all glass bits and usually the glass plug - though who cares if it remains inside? You can't see it nor does it harm anything. I set it aside to drain/dry and the block is clean.
As to the lights - I use 50 or 70 lights, whatever is cheapest, with white cords. Cut off the end plug and tape the ends with scotch tape or white tape. It won't short out, and can't harm anyone/anything inside the glass block. I drill these blocks a case at a time, and I'm done with everything, including rinsing, in 15 minutes total.
We drilled a case of glass blocks and the rinse out process didn't work, there is still residue left inside. How do we get the cloudy residue out?
Crushed ice and salt swirled around the inside and then rinsed out. You can also use crushed ice and broken up egg shells.
Polident tabs or any other denture cleaning tabs that fizz and foam when you drop them in warm water are supposed to clean the old mineral buildup in vases ought to work for that. It's the same principle. Try dropping a few of those inot your glass block After adding some warm water. Good luck! I hope this helps.
I bought an incense burner that is a jar and I would like to put a small hole close to the bottom for the scent to come out instead of having the incense coming out the top and having ashes everywhere. Any ideas on how to do this without breaking the glass?
They make a special drill bit just for glass and tile. You must drill at a low speed and keep the glass coll by misting with water while drilling. The drill can be bought at any hardware store...and they come in many sizes.
try this one its a technique used on aquaruiums buy a diamond drill bit because diamond is like the hardest and they're thirty bucks.
How can I prevent glass shards from falling into a wine bottle, which is creating scratches in the bottle?
There is a special drill bit you can buy at Home Depot or Lowes. It costs about $8
I am looking to find the best way to drill a hole in glass. I have used the Dremel rotary tool, and also a drill press. Both of these work, but it takes so long just to make one hole. It is very time consuming. I would be grateful for any info.
By Rose M from UT
Having a diamond tipped bit helps. Also if you want one to last longer, sintered (sp?) is the way to go.
Does anyone know how to drill a hole in sea glass without it breaking?
I have had pretty good luck using my Dremel with a diamond bit and also my drill using masonry bits. The process is as follows: 1-wrap the area of the glass where you want to drill with masking tape, three or four times. 2-in a shallow container place a thin piece of wood, paneling or plywood work fine. 3-on top of the wood, place a regular cleaning sponge, nothing fancy. 4- once these items are stacked in the container, add enough water to cover the wood and wet the sponge, but do not cover it. 5- with your free hand place the piece of glass on the sponge, gently push down until firmly seated on the sponge and wood. 6- with your drill or Dremel in the other hand place the bit in the spot you want to drill then slowly start to drill, firmly holding the glass so it doesn't spin.
This speeds up the process of drilling only a little, but by constantly keeping the bit and the glass wet so it doesn't get hot there is rarely any breakage. Also, by having the sponge as a cushion you can keep constant pressure on the glass and the drill works faster. It may take some trial and error before you have a process that works for you, so try out on some glass that you aren't too concerned about. Hope this helps!
I am wanting to drill a hole in the old glass insulators to make a pendant light. What is the best bit to use and size if anyone knows?
By Judy B
Empty wine bottles are often used in craft projects. Using the right process you can successfully drill holes in the glass. This is a page about drilling a hole in a wine bottle.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
How do you get the hole started with the glass hole drill bit?
By Bremda from Princeton, IL
I'd put a mark with a permanent pen on the spot where you want to drill and cover it with masking tape. I wouldn't drill directly into the glass without that tape. Slowly begin, until you see some progress. Gently and slowly drill. Or call a glass company and ask them. (10/09/2009)
By PENNY K
Will a 10 inch drill press work for drilling holes in glass blocks for Christmas decorations?
By Christibelle from Houston, TX
We dealt with this the last two years. I tried a diamond bit, water running over bit, etc., finally took the blocks to local glass company. I paid a couple dollars a piece and they came out perfect. Perfectly round hole, etc. Glass companies have the right tools for doing this and for the price, it is well worth it. (10/28/2009)
Dewalt makes a diamond drill bit that will make the hole in about 3 minutes. They have different sizes, and I usually buy the 3/8 inch, and keep spraying the hole area with a water bottle and wipe it constantly with paper towel. Also rinse with warm soapy water and let air dry. The bits aren't cheap around 25.00, but if you plan on doing a lot of blocks it's well worth the money. I have bought 3 and done dozens and dozens of blocks as I make a snowman out of 2 sizes and drill 3 holes for each snowman. (01/30/2010)
Has anyone made glass block luminaries? If so, how do you drill the hole in the side of the glass block? Any tips?
Patricia from Stoney Creek, Ontario CA
Pittsburgh Corning has just put a new glass block on the market. (DecorBloc) It comes in a maroon red box. There is a large hole in side of block and they also provide the insert to put in and also a hole in the insert for a plug for a coin bank or for the wire to come out of. The only thing is the price.
They are pricey. $12-$19.00 for large and $9-$13 for smaller one. Joann's, Michael's and some Home Depot stores have them. Also Rona in Canada. (10/22/2008)
(submitted via email)
Carrie, I know what you mean. It takes 5-10 minutes to drill one hole. Another tip is not to leave the blocks in the garage when it's cold. The glass is cold and then when you drill and the bit gets hot,
the glass cracks.
Try calling a local glass and mirror place and ask if they would drill the hole size you need. It would be worth it if they don't charge a fortune.
I use a diamond tip 1- 3/8 hole bit. It is meant to drill a hole perfect for the night light size bulbs. I punch small holes in the lid of a 2 liter soda bottle and fill it with cool water. While my spouse drills the hole I drizzle water from the bottle on the bit. It only takes about 1 minute to do each block. (11/03/2008)
We were told to coat the area with liquid soap. It helps to keep the area cool and lubricated while drilling. My husband said that it did help. (01/28/2009)
By Tracey C.
When making the lighted glass blocks, are the diamond bits round like a hole saw? Can a 3/4 size work? We have made some but have used a bit shaped like an arrow head.