If you need to drill a hole in a glass and you want to do it yourself but you’re afraid the glass will shatter, you’ve come to the right place.
Today we’ll show you what is tempered glass and what you need to drill a hole in a glass, how to get ready, and how to do it without damaging the glass or putting yourself at risk. You’ll find out that it is actually not that complicated!
Steps to bore a hole in a glass
1. Planning: Prepare tools and materials
The first thing you need to do to get ready to drill a hole in a glass is to determine the type of glass you have at hand. You can drill holes into all types of glass, except tempered glass or safety glass. If the glass is tempered, the glass at each of the corners will be etched.
You also want to make sure you’re wearing the right kind of clothing. Avoid loose clothing or dangling accessories when you’re drilling because they can be a safety hazard.
It’s also a good idea that you use protective goggles and gloves when you’re drilling. And last but not least, you’ll want your drill. It doesn’t matter what kind of drill you have, since drilling a hole in the glass doesn’t require a specific one. However, you will need the right drill bit for the job.
The drill bit you use will have to be specifically for drilling through glass. You can’t choose any drill bit you have, so make sure you purchase a glass drill bit, which is common and super easy to find both in hardware stores and online.
For example, carbide drill bits are meant for drilling glass and tile, so it can work perfectly. You can also use a diamond drill bit, which is meant for glass, marble and stone.
2. Setting Up: Ready for the drilling
Once you have your work space ready and you’ve gathered your safety goggles, gloves, drill, drill bit and you’ve put on the right clothes, it’s time to set up! You want to place the glass in a container that fits to prevent you from drilling through your table or any other surface you’re working on.
Also, make sure there’s nothing in the area that can be damaged and that there’s no water nearby so there are no electrical accidents.
Take a small piece of cardboard or tape and tape it on the surface to prevent the drill from slipping when you start drilling. You want to be precise, so the tape or cardboard will help with that. Cereal box cardboard will work just fine for this as well as packaging or painter’s tape. You’ll also want to mark the spot where you want to drill the hole so you can be exact and do the job right. Remember that there are no do-overs once you’ve started drilling!
Also, make sure you use coolant so your drill doesn’t get too hot. Pour a little water or oil on the area; and remember that the harder the surface, the more coolant you’ll need
3. Applying the drilling
Now that you’re all set-up, you’re ready to start drilling. Take your drill bit, which should be 1/8” or 3/32” (at least to start with) and secure it tightly before you begin. You want to start drilling very slowly because you’re working on a hard surface, so start simply by creating a dimple on the glass with your drill.
After this, you can remove the tape or cardboard you’ve put in place during set up and start drilling faster. Don’t drill too fast, though, because it could cause burn marks on the glass. If you need to, switch to a larger bit if you want your hole to be larger. This will, of course, depend on the size you want your hole to be, so it’s up to you.
When your drill is closer to breaking through the glass, you want to slow down the speed and slow it down even more as it’s breaking through because this is where the glass is most fragile. If you apply too much pressure or go too fast, the glass could crack. You also want to hold the drill at a perpendicular angle to prevent the glass from chipping.
If you’re afraid you’re going to mess it up, you can drill half way through the glass, and then flip it over to drill on the other side until you reach the middle. And that’s it! You’ve successfully drilled a hole in a glass.
Is It Possible to Drill a Hole in Tempered Glass?
No, there’s absolutely no way to drill a hole in tempered glass. This type of glass will completely shatter as soon as your drill comes in contact with it. Any hole or shaping you need your toughened glass to have will need to be done before the glass is tempered, otherwise, there’s no way.
Tempered glass is treated in such a way that the inner layer is compressed by the outer layers, which have been hardened. This is why it shatters; because the pressure release is too fast and it causes fractures until the inner layer is completely shattered. There’s no way to cut or drill into tempered glass, no matter what kind of tool or technique you use.
If you have tempered glass and you want or need to drill a hole in it for something, you won’t be able to! You’ll have to get the glass drilled or cut the way you want before it gets tempered so you don’t ruin the glass. However, you can drill into any other kind of glass surface.
All you need to do is have the right drill bit for the job and follow our guide. Remember that you need to start slowly and then build up the speed a bit only to slow down once more when you reach the center of the glass.
If you’re not careful with this, you can ruin your glass, so make sure you’re patient and take your time with it!