Drilling Holes in Glass

December 16, 2011

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.

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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.

October 22, 2017

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?


October 22, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Drilling glass blocks.

Step 1
You have to use the right rpm range, there should be something on the side of your drill listing the rpm.

Step 2
Gradually increase speed and slowly decrease.

Step 3
Use a carbide bit especially for glass.

Step 4
Tape a small piece of cardboard to the glass block so it doesn't slip.

Step 5
Place light pressure on the drill.

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December 27, 2010

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.



December 27, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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December 27, 20100 found this helpful

You might also try a glass company in your area. They work with glass and may have the tools you need.

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December 29, 20100 found this helpful

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. They burn very cool and I never turn them off. The LED lights may even be better, just can't find a small enough string for my needs. Good luck!

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December 29, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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November 4, 2012

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


November 12, 20120 found this helpful

I found my bits at Sears. They are not cheap, but they last a long time!

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November 12, 20120 found this helpful

Try Home Depot or Lowe's. Like the poster said, they aren't cheap, but they last. You could try your local freecycle group also.

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November 13, 20120 found this helpful

Home depot and or Menards have them as I have bought one a few years ago at Home Depot....maybe even try Lowe's.

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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


September 1, 20100 found this helpful

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.
A drill press works best to hold the block still while drilling but we had a friend drill ours. Make sure you rinse the glass bits out right away after drilling, let dry overnight, fill with 50 count or less lights & decorate.
fill with 50 count lights or less & decorate.

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January 26, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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January 28, 20121 found this helpful

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.

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November 14, 2013

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?

By Ma

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July 13, 2005

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?



July 13, 20050 found this helpful

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.

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By Brennan (Guest Post)
July 11, 20060 found this helpful

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.

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March 8, 2016

How can I prevent glass shards from falling into a wine bottle, which is creating scratches in the bottle?

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March 22, 2012

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


April 22, 20120 found this helpful

Having a diamond tipped bit helps. Also if you want one to last longer, sintered (sp?) is the way to go.

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September 19, 2011

Does anyone know how to drill a hole in sea glass without it breaking?

By Marlene


February 11, 20130 found this helpful

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!

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March 13, 2014

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

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January 4, 2017

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.

empty wine bottle

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 27, 2010

How do you get the hole started with the glass hole drill bit?

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August 31, 2010

Will a 10 inch drill press work for drilling holes in glass blocks for Christmas decorations?

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October 27, 2009

Has anyone made glass block luminaries? If so, how do you drill the hole in the side of the glass block? Any tips?

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