There are several tools suitable for drilling glass, but they must all be used with caution and attention; let’s see everything there is to know on the subject.
The need to drill the glass can arise from different needs, and the types of glass that can be drilled are equally different, both in terms of the thickness of the sheets and their intended use. To understand how to make a hole in the glass without running the risk of breaking it, therefore, we must first consider the characteristics of the material to be punctured. This can be the pane of a window, the glass of a shower cabin, that of a mirror or a curved one, for example a bottle; it can also be normal, tempered, sandblasted or etched glass.
Knowing the type is very important because some types absolutely cannot be drilled except during the production phase; a classic example is tempered glass, which after undergoing the hardening process can no longer be subjected to further processing.
During its production, in fact, the external layers are subjected to hardening, in order to stiffen and contract, thus increasing their hardness; in doing so, however, they compress the internal non-tempered layers, also increasing the structural strength and solidity of the glass. If a hole were to be made in this type of glass, therefore, as soon as the outer layer was nicked up to the inner ones, the pressure accumulated in the latter would be released suddenly, thus causing an explosive fracture of the sheet.
Another type that cannot be perforated is double glazing, in this case not for reasons of breakage but due to the gas contained within it, which would escape from the hole and compromise the thermal sealing performance.
Having said that, however, with most of the other existing types it is possible to pierce the glass , and this can be done in different ways and with the aid of different tools; some of these are used only in professional and industrial fields, such as lasers for example, while drills and diamonds are also suitable for DIY and home use.
How to drill glass with a drill
The drill is used above all when it is necessary to make holes in very thick glass sheets, and it is preferable to use a column model equipped with an inverter speed variator that allows you to adjust the tool at very low speeds; furthermore, it is absolutely necessary to deactivate the percussion function, if present, and only the types of drill bits for glass must be used .
Before pushing the tip against the plate, it is advisable to spray the latter with water or oil, in order to reduce friction and facilitate the penetration of the tip; the pressure exerted by the latter on the sheet does not have to be constant, but must be loosened often to avoid subjecting the glass to excessive stress.
As for glass tips , on the other hand, to avoid the risk of breaking the plate, they must be sharpened to perfection before being used, and to do this it is advisable to use a drill sharpener . Furthermore, the type of tip for glass to use varies according to the size of the hole; if you need to drill holes with a diameter of no more than one centimeter, it is advisable to use bits of different sizes in succession, starting from the smallest to the largest, in order to drill the hole safely and then gradually widen it. For holes with a larger diameter, however, it is advisable to use a cup tip or a circular glass cutter.
How to pierce the glass with a diamond
The simplest and safest method to drill a hole in a plate, however, is to use a circular glass cutter with suction cup. In this case, simply clean the glass, mark the exact center of the hole with a felt-tip pen and then apply the suction cup on the appliance. At this point, the slab can be cut by engraving the edge of the hole with the diamond wheel.
This method is especially useful when you need to drill holes for the installation of revolving aerators; the advantages posed by the use of the glass cutter are the ease of execution and the possibility of being used also on the sheets arranged vertically, without necessarily having to place them on a flat surface. The disadvantage, on the other hand, is that the glass cutter is effective only on thin sheets.
How to pierce a glass bottle
If the surface to be pierced is curved, such as that of a bottle or any container, it is advisable to fill the latter with sand so that it can absorb vibrations; Furthermore, the object must be kept firmly in place with a bench vice, or by means of clamps attached to a stable surface.
In this case it is necessary to use the drill with speed variator and the area to be punctured must be constantly wet with water during drilling; for larger diameters, obviously, it is advisable to use a diamond cup tip.
The same procedure illustrated for piercing the bottles must also be used when it is necessary to pierce the sandblasted or etched glass or sea glass. The use of the vice is only necessary with curved glass; in the case of plates, on the other hand, these must always be placed on a flat surface. Furthermore, the drilling speed of the drill must be slow and constant; while the pressure exerted on the sheet must be loosened from time to time, to avoid the risk of breakage.