Part 2 of 3
I'm easy to buy for. Instead of jewelry, my family now gives me books or tools. A couple of recent gifts were a dremel drill and a drill press. I also got some diamond tipped drill bits from eBay because I want to be able to drill glass, particularly sea glass.
I've also been researching in preparation for the task. One thing I discovered is the drill press is optional as many sea glass artisans don't use one - flex shafts are often used instead. The latter takes some practice and especially to avoid the bit skipping at the start. The drill press, on the other hand, does help by keeping the bit perpendicular. This site has some excellent how-tos, a drill speed chart for the different materials you are drilling and tips.
It's important to be safe so I will always wear my glasses whilst drilling. If you have 20/20 vision, then safety glasses for you! Drilling with the bit underwater is firstly to lubricate and cool the process but the second reason is to contain the dust which should not breathed in.
I was also intrigued by the different materials used to support the glass whilst drilling. As the drilling takes place unterwater, the most popular materials are sponges,foam (like florist foam) and thin pieces of wood. Some people use a multi-folded piece of cloth but being Canadian, my favorite suggestion is the hockey puck!
I have learned diamond bits don't last forever.The lifespan will depend on many factors including what you are drilling. I'm also prepared for breakage so I shall be practicing on regular glass first. Onwards to the tutorials...
1. Janetarfin has a how to drill sea glass and beach pebbles tutorial with pictures (the one above is the first one)! She uses a flex shaft. Many glass artisans like to first mark the front and back of the hole location before drilling. They drill on the front partway and then flip over to complete the drilling from behind. This prevents chipping.
2. Charles Peden of By the Bay Treasures has two great videos to watch. He uses a drill press.
The next step,find some sea glass. This is going to be the hard part!
For more tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips
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