How to Drill a Hole in Glass: Step-by-Step DIY Guide
If you like to take on various DIY projects, then you’ve probably been accumulating skills over time. But one skill that intimidates many is the ability to drill a hole in glass. You might drill in wood or metal without batting an eyelash, but glass is an entirely different story because it’s so fragile.
Many people worry about what might happen if the glass shatters, and rightly so! That’s an injury waiting to happen and a mess no one wants to clean. But if you follow the steps we’re going to outline, then you can safely drill through glass without all the worry and fear, allowing you to add another DIY skill to your toolbelt.
Before You Get Started
Though drilling through glass isn’t a particularly complicated task, there are some things you’ll need to be aware of before you start putting bit to material. First, we’ll need to talk about the special tools you’ll need to safely and successfully drill through glass. Second, we’ll discuss the technique you’ll need to employ to make it work.
Tools for Drilling Glass
Obviously, if you want to drill a hole in glass, you’re going to need a drill. You can use any drill; it doesn’t have to be anything special. However, you will need a special bit that’s meant for drilling through glass.
Glass bits are shaped like a spear with diamond or carbide tips. You can find them in various sizes at just about any hardware or home improvement store. You’ll need one bit that’s the size of the hole you want to drill and at least one very small bit to get the hole started.
Additionally, you’re going to need some masking tape for drilling through glass. You’ll also want a marker to mark the spot where you’ll be placing your hole. A pen or pencil will work as well.
Once you’re finished drilling the hole, you’ll also want a file or some sandpaper to dull the sharp edge of the exit hole.
It also wouldn’t hurt to wear some safety equipment while working with glass. The last thing you want is a glass splinter in your eye, so safety glasses or goggles are a good idea.
There are two main things to be aware of when drilling through glass; the amount of pressure you’re applying to the drill, and the speed at which the drill is spinning. You’ll want to keep the pressure pretty light or you could shatter the glass.
Just as importantly, you’ll want to drill at a low speed. If you let the bit spin too fast, it could cause the glass to overheat, which will increase the likelihood of it breaking. Plus, higher speeds increase the buildup of glass powder and will ruin the bit faster.
One word of caution; be sure you’re not trying to drill into safety glass. This is a special type of glass that will shatter when you apply force to it. You can identify safety glass by the markings at the corner of the pane. Any other type of glass is fine to drill through, but you won’t be able to put a hole in safety glass.
How to Drill a Hole in Glass
Now that you know what tools you need and have a basic grasp on the technique you must use to drill glass, let’s get into the specific steps you’ll be taking to create a smooth hole through a piece of glass.
Drilling through glass can seem like a daunting task, but once you understand the process and the tools you need, it loses the intimidating feeling. Hopefully, after reading this article, you feel confident enough to take on that project and drill through glass yourself. Just make sure you use the right tools with the right technique. And don’t forget to wear your safety equipment!
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Featured image credit: Manuel Trinidad Mesa, Shutterstock