How to Drill Sea Glass

Do you envy those artists who drill sea glass and make beautiful jewelry and other crafts? Perhaps you’ve felt a little trepidation about using a drill press, but fear no more. Drilling sea glass is a lot easier than you think.

It takes a little practice at first to get the timing and speed down, but it won’t be long before you’re drilling sea glass quickly and effectively, just like a pro.

Things You’ll Need

  • Drill press
  • Clear plastic container
  • Piece of wood that fits in the container
  • Diamond drill bits (Triple Ripple diamond drill bits work well)
  • Sea glass
  • Safety goggles
  • Mask

Step One

Fill the clear plastic container with water, so the sea glass rests on top of the wood and under the water about 1/2 inch. A clear plastic container helps with lighting, so you can see the drilling process more clearly.

Be sure to use a non-oil lubricant to lubricate your drill bit often, so it will last a lot longer.

 

How to Drill Sea Glass

Step Two

Set your speed. You can drill sea glass at low or high speed, but it’s best to use slower speeds. Faster speeds will reduce drilling time but also reduce the lifespan of your drills.

I use 3,100 speed; however, I’ve seen people use speeds as fast as 20,000. Then again, they may drill quickly, but they probably go through drill bits fast too.

Before turning the drill on, line up your sea glass with the drill bit, and hold down the sea glass with your fingers firmly. Make sure the drill bit comes down on the right spot on the sea glass and doesn’t hit your fingers.

 

Step Three

Turn the drill to the on position. Lower the drill and begin drilling. Every few seconds as you’re drilling, lift the drill up a little bit out of the glass and then pull it down again into the sea glass. When you lift the drill up, the drudge from the sea glass will float away, so you can see the hole better. You also want to let the glass cool a bit, so it doesn’t blow out or crack.

Let the speed do the work and use light pressure. After a little practice, you’ll be able to adjust the pressure and the timing of the up and down strokes effectively.

 

Step Four

Drill one side about halfway through and then flip the sea glass over to drill the other side. After you flip the glass, you’ll have to line up the drill bit as closely as possible to the hole. You can use a marker to mark the hole if you like. Most sea glass is translucent, so you should be able to line up the drill easily.

If you don’t flip the sea glass halfway through the drilling process, you’ll likely blast out the glass on the other side.

Replace the water with clean water as often as necessary.

 

Drilled Sea Glass

 

Now that you’re an expert at drilling sea glass, you can make a lot of pretty things with drilled sea glass like earrings, bracelets, necklaces, wind chimes, and other crafts.

 

Sea Glass Earrings Drilled

 

 

3 Responses to “How to Drill Sea Glass”

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  1. susankhEROLD says:

    really cool Cathy and Kevin.

  2. emilyjhyde says:

    An interesting trick I read somewhere for drilling a hole in a ping pong ball is to slowly drill down with the bit twirling in reverse. It pulls the plastic pieces out – it works for drilling plastic or thin materials, too.

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