What’s the best way to get a hole in a thicker project to place clockworks?

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    Has anyone had success in drilling or in some other way making a 1/8″ – 1/4″ diameter hole in the approximate center of a 3/8″ – 1/2″ thick piece of fused glass?  I’m trying to make a clock.  Also, what’s the best source for clockworks?


    Ed Richburg

    Klock Kit has a catalog with any kind of mechanism  and hands you might want.

    Order sonething and they will keep sending the catalog for years.

    A diamond coring bit (they come in a vatiety of sizes), a ring of puddy filled with water, a drill press, and a lot of patience will driill a hole in the center of a clock face.

    Watch the distance between drill press post and center of work.



    Ed – Can you clarify what you meant  ‘Watch the distance between drill press post and center of work…’?  Is there a recommended distance? 

    And thanks for the Klock Kit info.



    I have a drill press and a plastic (Tupperware/Ziploc) container. At the bottom of the container, I put a thin sponge or plastic protective wrap– the kind that is about 1/4 thick and is often used to pack glass. I fill up the container with water and put the glass to be drilled into the container. This provides me with enough water to keep the bit wet and enough padding to keep the glass stable and provide a stop for the bit. Otherwise, a ring of putty or Playdoh and water work on larger items.

    I do know that slow, even and steady drilling works well for me. The key I have found is to have even pressure and to pay attention to the thickness of the glass. I’ll mark the depth of the glass on the drill so I know when I am coming to the bottom. I’ve been able to get through 1″ of glass with some patience.


    Ed is referring to what is called the “throat capacity” of the drill press.  It is the distance from the center of the chuck (where the bit goes) to the closest edge of the column on which the drill is mounted.

    It is the maximum distance from the edge of the piece you are drilling that you can drill before the drill press column/post gets in the way.

    Helios Kiln Glass Studio


    Ed Richburg

    Paul is correct.

    One does not have to use a drill press but it is a lot easier and

    has better results and less chance of cracking the piece

    than freehanding.



    petra kaiser

    we drill all our holes with a dremel and a diamond core drill bit, using a container and a piece of glass as a bottom glass to make sure the drill does not get any slower or faster when going through our art glass. (See also Introduction to Glass Fusing, Pg. 29. I tried the putty ring, loosing all the water in no time and ruined my $ 8.00 drill bit in seconds.

    have fun

    petra kaiser – http://www.kaiserlee.com



    The putty always seems like an iffy business, so on larger pieces that I drill (like mirrors), I will hotglue a dam made of a plastic bottle.


     I’ve found that diamond drill bits that are ‘hollow core’ in the center, basically drilling a circle into the glass rather than drilling a hole, work best for me. Here’s a link for an excellent company which provides these affordable bits and gives you a world of helpful information. http://www.diamond-drill-bit-and-tool.com/Diamond-Drill/Default.htm?Diamond-Drill-Bit.htm They even give you information on drilling tempered glass, which they do not recommend.  I have only drilled 1/2″ glass with a Dremel and an extention hose for the drill bit. The glass sits on a sponge in the water and I pull the bit in and out of the hole, allowing it to cool.  But I can see Petra’s point in using glass as a backer, because of the speed of the drill.  The bit at the end seems to be the place where you want to drill the slowest and be the most patient.

    Hope that helps!


    Wow!  Thanks so much for all of the information.  You all have helped me a great deal!



    Which ever way you do the drilling, please be sure that the electrical cord and motor are properly grounded and that there is a drip loop so no water can run down the cord to the electrical socket.

    I used the drill press method and have bought a GFIC protected extension cord to use with it. 



    Best results, especially on 1/4″ or thicker, is with a water swivel attatchment that feeds coolant through the center of the drill. Also, to prevent “breakout on the back side, wax a sacrificial piece to your workpiece and drill partially into it. You get a much cleaner hole. I’ve drilled 1000’s of holes from 1/2 mm to 3”.


    I’ve used Lou Davis Wholesale.  Their prices used to be pretty good.  Here’s the url:  http://www.loudavis.com/


    you can get details from clock kit catalog.

    Danforth Diamond offers engagement rings available in Diamonds platinum, palladium and gold and all are solid metal. Look for the HARMONY heart logo throughout our web site when searching for that perfect engagement ring or wedding band.


    I agree with earlier suggestions and free hand and use my Dremel tool with the 2′ extention wand, so I don’t have to worry about shocking myself. For me, it’s easier than a drill press because I can do this in the laundry sink in my studio, where water is easy to obtain.  Also I order diamond bits which are hollow core and make a hole much faster.  When I’m drilling thick glass, I will bring the bit in and out of the hole I’m creating to allow fresh/cool water at the point where the bit meets the glass.
    Good Luck!

    Windows listen attentively for the sound of broken glass.

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