Introduction: How to Drill Holes in a Glass Bottle

Does drilling in glass seem difficult?

Do you have a project or craft that requires you to drill glass?

With some basic tools and setup drilling glass is not that difficult. The most important part is using the correct bit. The bit has to be harder than the glass. Never drill tempered glass and remember safety since you are working with power tools and glass.

Follow the steps below and you can do the same.

Step 1: Making a Jig for Drilling a Glass Bottle

Picture of Making a Jig for Drilling  a Glass Bottle

The jig used for drilling a glass bottle is very simple to make. It is important is to make sure everything is lined up so the bottle will sit secure in the jig and on the drill press. The wood used was just from my scrap pile so it was not expensive.

Materials

Small piece of 2x4

Piece of plywood

4 wood screws

One bottle

Tools

saw

drill press

hole saw

Step 2: Setting Up the Bottle

Picture of Setting Up the Bottle

The top and bottom of the bottle circumference are measured and a hole saw is matched. Finding the right height on the blocks is important so the bottle stays level in the jig. When everything is line up the two blocks are screwed into the base plywood. Two screws are in each block, so when one of the screws is removed the block will swivel and the bottle can be removed easily.

Step 3: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

Pipette: A pipette or dropper is used to transfer water to the dam. You can apply very small amounts of water and this will help keep things tidy so you don't get water all over the place.

Plumbers Putty: The putty is used to make a dam to hold a small amount of water for the drilling. The water helps you drill faster and keeps the bit cooler and the bit will stay sharp longer.

Diamond Coated Hole Saw Bit: This will cut the glass. It sounds expensive but it is not, I bought mine on sale for around $8.00. The hole saw works best at low speeds (100 to 200 rpm).

Step 4: Drilling the Glass

Picture of Drilling the Glass

Now for the fun part. When everything is stable and lined up it will be easy to drill in the bottle. The bit will make funny noises when drilling into the glass but this is good as you can tell how much pressure to use. To prevent “heat shock,” use the pipette and add some water. Water keeps everything cool and actually helps the hole saw cut a little faster. Work slow and you will be fine. Since I was drilling two holes I rotated the bottle and drilled the other side. The small pieces of glass that fall inside the bottle can just be shaken out.

Step 5: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion

The bottle drilling turned out great, I made this for my next video which was the Impossible ring through glass bottle.

Drilling glass is not that hard as long as you do it right and follow these steps. I hope this article will help you.

Have you ever drilled glass and what did you make?

Comments

FabianA11 (author)2016-01-22

This 5 step project is awesome. I have to try this. I'm a guy that likes no loves to tinker around with things. Thank you i enjoyed your article here.

yoemilio (author)2016-01-07

Un buen trabajo, ingenioso y practico. Muchas gracias.

Jack Houweling (author)yoemilio2016-01-15

Thank you!

Seeed Studio (author)2016-01-09

That's cool, man.

Thanks for checking it out.

jʎɐɹ-ɾ (author)2016-01-05

Nice instructions! Do you have any tips for someone without a drill press?

DanW36 (author)jʎɐɹ-ɾ2016-01-07

You can buy molding plastic and put it on the bottle and drill through the plastic first which will hold the bit in place while drilling through the glass

Jack Houweling (author)DanW362016-01-15

Thanks for the information.

jʎɐɹ-ɾ (author)DanW362016-01-07

That's a good tip!

If you can build the jig you can try the same as I did with a cordless drill. When you drill you have to start at an angle and go slow. Let me know how it works.

MarkL113 (author)jʎɐɹ-ɾ2016-01-07

a dremel with a diamond bit works well [sphere shape]

Jack Houweling (author)MarkL1132016-01-15

I will have to try that, thanks!

Raitis (author)jʎɐɹ-ɾ2016-01-05

Just drill it with a handheld drill and diamond holesaw. You might want a guide for starters since it's tricky to get the initial groove nice and steady (if completely handheld, do it while drilling at an 45 degree angle to the glass, then straighten out).

Jack Houweling (author)Raitis2016-01-15

Thanks for the good tips.

darrenah (author)Raitis2016-01-06

There's another instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Drill-a-Hol... where they use a hand drill and instamorph to make a guide. They drill under water to lube and cut down on glass dust in the air.

jʎɐɹ-ɾ (author)Raitis2016-01-06

Thank you!

Jack Houweling (author)Raitis2016-01-05

Raitis, thanks for the information.

DanW36 (author)jʎɐɹ-ɾ2016-01-07

Preferably use cordless drill because you should have it submerged in water or water running on it to lengthen the bit life

MarkL113 (author)jʎɐɹ-ɾ2016-01-07

a dremel with a diamond bit works well [sphere shape]

If you can build the jig I show that would work with a handheld drill. Just remember you need good support for the bottle you are drilling.

howie57 (author)2016-01-09

Drilling glass is great fun. I just drilled out two scotch bottles for my neighbor to make lamps out of for Christmas presents. I was a little woried about one of the bottles, it was a $500 bottle of scotch. Not a problem with the right drill bit.

Jack Houweling (author)howie572016-01-15

I am glad it worked out for you. Sounds like a neat gift.

Rawbacon9975 (author)2016-01-13

I tried drilling 1" holes in the bottoms of some pint glasses that I 'borrowed' from a few pubs during my stay in the UK. I tried it on two, using some water for cooling and going slow with handheld cordless drill, but I ended up breaking both - one cracked into a hundred pieces while drilling, and the other exploded (sort of) when I stopped drilling to take a break. Haven't attempted anything else since. Any idea why my attempts failed so fantastically?

Try a different type of glass. Maybe the bottoms are to thick or your support is not that good. Good luck.

bsodergren (author)2016-01-09

man jax, looks like your drill press needs some maintenance work done to it!

Actually it was the drill bit and not the drill chuck.

Magzzee (author)2016-01-07

Nice one! TYSM.

Jack Houweling (author)Magzzee2016-01-15

Thank you!

wliu3 (author)2016-01-07

Will drilling with the glass object submerged in water do the trick? You know the crude method used by POW.

Jack Houweling (author)wliu32016-01-15

I have never tried it that way so I can't comment but I find my way very safe.

Gilo (author)2016-01-06

good instructable. it is definitely a safer and more stable way to drill holes in bottles. thank you.

Jack Houweling (author)Gilo2016-01-15

I like to support the bottle with a jig. It is way safer.

ashleyjlong (author)2016-01-06

Thanks for the great step by step! I wouldn't have known how to go about this.

Ashley, thanks for checking it out, I hope it can help you.

Just4Fun Media (author)2016-01-06

Very well done instructable! How slow did you drill the glass?

Have a great day! :-)

I put my drill on the slowest speed 540 RPM.

seamster (author)2016-01-05

Great technique, Jack.

I watched your video for this a little while ago. Glad to see you shared a write-up for it here on instructables! This is good stuff :)

Jack Houweling (author)seamster2016-01-15

Thanks Seamster, I am glad you liked it.

Jack Houweling (author)seamster2016-01-05

Thanks for watching, I hope you find some of the tips useful.

Vitor RoseC (author)2016-01-08

qual a utilidade de furar uma garrafa da coca ?

slapphappe (author)2016-01-05

Good suggestion. I've drilled both by hand and using a drill press -- for most applications I now prefer using a press where I can contrive a jig to hold the object, just as you have done here.

I am glad it worked out for you. Drill press just makes more sense.

Raitis (author)2016-01-05

Safety wise this is a great instructable. Effectiveness wise - probably not so much. As someone who has drilled my fair share of holes in bottles I can tell that I feel more comfortable using a handheld drill than a drill press for that.
Thing is, when you're drilling with a drill press there is no objective feedback for how much force you're applying to the glass. It is good in that there is no skill needed to drill it properly given some patience.

If someone needs to do more than a few holes and has some time for the setup here's what I recommend: submerge the bottle drilled in water for cooling - you can drill at full RPM then. Make sure the bottle is fixed in position (I don't recommend handheld, but it's the fastest unless you make a special holder). Make a guide to start the hole off in the right direction without jumping around (even styrofoam works, but use something harder).

Video for reference of my colleague drilling a bottle. The drilling actually began at the beginning of the video. 14mm hole being drilled in a reasonably thick wine bottle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ageyi_N5Be0

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