How to Drill a Hole in Glass without Breaking it

How to Drill a Hole in Glass without Breaking it
So, you want to drill a hole in glass, but you are scared that you might just break it? Your fear is justified, as novices who try to drill a hole in a glass, often end up breaking it, but you can relax a bit now, as the following Buzzle article is here to help you with your task.
Very few people in this world are good at drilling a hole in glass. Even after years of practice, you cannot be completely sure whether you will be able to drill a hole without breaking it. Apart from skill and patience, you also need a bit of common sense to successfully drill a hole in glass.

How to Drill a Hole in Glass?

It might seem like an impossible task, but you can definitely do it if you are focused. Before you go any further, just make sure that the glass is untempered, if it is tempered glass, you will definitely shatter it, when you try to drill it. Here are the list of the things that you will need:
  • Drill
  • Diamond drill bit
  • Masking tape
  • Towel
  • Water
  • Cardboard piece
  • Marker
Before You Start
Take the glass and decide where you want the hole. Now, apply a strip of masking tape on the surface where you wish to drill, then tape the area, which will have the other end of the hole. After you have done this, precisely mark the point where you are going to drill. Place a towel on the opposite side of the marked spot (to collect the shards of the glass). Now, you have to make the pilot hole. So, take a piece of cardboard and drill a hole in it.

Begin the Drilling
Once you have everything set, it is time for you to start drilling. Wear your protective gear, place the pilot hole on the marked spot, spray some water on the drill bit (be careful that water does not come in contact with any electrical components of the drill), and start drilling slowly. Do not apply pressure, else you will break the glass.

While Drilling
"No pressure" is the golden rule here. You can slightly increase the drilling speed now. Keep clearing the glass shavings around the hole with a towel (do not continue drilling while doing this). Spray water on the drill bit and the target area at regular intervals, as this will help in reducing the friction, thereby reducing the heat, which in turn will avoid the breakage of the glass, and will prevent the damage to the drill bit. If you find discoloration of the drill bit, you should stop drilling!

At the End
When you feel that you are almost done with the hole, then minimize the speed of drilling again. Increase the lubrication. Do not get impatient and apply pressure, it won't do you any good. When the drill bit reaches the other end, stop immediately. You can breathe a sigh of relief now. You have successfully drilled the hole.

Eye protection is a must when you drill glass. Once you are done, clean the glass and the working area completely. If you feel that the hole is not smooth, you can sand it. Do not remove your protective gear unless you have made sure that there are no glass shards that will harm you.

There are many interesting techniques that you can use to lubricate the glass. Some people keep the glass piece under a stream of water while drilling, while others build a dam (using clay) to hold the lubricant in the target area. The lubrication is directly proportional to the thickness of the glass. So, a thicker glass will obviously need more lubrication.

I have not heard of a person, who has successfully drilled a hole in glass in the first attempt. So, do not lose heart if you end up breaking the glass. If you want to avoid the effort and the risk in drilling the hole, you can obviously ask a professional to do it for you!