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'[OT]:Drilling glass'
2003\05\01@215108 by Jinx

face picon face
I've got some ideas for using electronics with glass (1.5-3mm) and
would like to drill holes in the glass to pass wires, mount LEDs etc.
I went into a local glass supply store and was told that diamond drills,
which according to the web appears to be the recommended way,
start at $200. Ouch. Or I could have them do the holes for me at $6
each. Ouch. They suggested cobalt twist bits as a poor 2nd choice.
I've some 1mm PCB Co drills which might do for wires but I'm not
banking on it.

As I'd planned to do some bending and sealing with a gas torch one
other possibility is to use a small tip with oxy-acetylene and blow a
hole, but that seems like a pretty crude way to do it, and there could
be problems with heat and cracking

Any other ways that might be worth looking into ?

TIA

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2003\05\01@224323 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 01:49 PM 5/2/2003 +1200, you wrote:
>I've got some ideas for using electronics with glass (1.5-3mm) and
>would like to drill holes in the glass to pass wires, mount LEDs etc.
>I went into a local glass supply store and was told that diamond drills,
>which according to the web appears to be the recommended way,
>start at $200. Ouch. Or I could have them do the holes for me at $6
>each. Ouch. They suggested cobalt twist bits as a poor 2nd choice.
>I've some 1mm PCB Co drills which might do for wires but I'm not
>banking on it.

There are carbide spade bits at Home Despot etc. that are supposed to
work on ceramic or glass. The traditional slow-but-sure way is to use a
thin brass tube (hobby shops carry various sizes) chucked
in a drill press and build a dam with putty with abrasive/water in it.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffKILLspamspam@spam@interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

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2003\05\01@224332 by Lee Jones

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> I've got some ideas for using electronics with glass (1.5-3mm) and
> would like to drill holes in the glass to pass wires, mount LEDs etc.

Check stained glass supply stores.  Online (Pennsylvania, US east
coast) is Warner-Crivellaro (http://www.warner-criv.com).


> I went into a local glass supply store and was told that diamond
> drills, which according to the web appears to be the recommended
> way, start at $200. Ouch. Or I could have them do the holes for me
> at $6 each. Ouch.

For US$200, you can buy a pretty nice (middle grade) glass grinder
with bit.

Warner-Criv has 1/8", 1/4", & 3/8" diamond drill bits for glass
for US$14-15 each.  On their site, click on "Shop Online" (left side).
Then enter "diamond drill bit" in the search box.  Or go down via
"Tools" tag then "Grinder bits & accessories".  Drill bits are on
the 2nd page.

I went with my wife (who does stained glass) to a glass craft expo
at the beginning of March.  I went to look at tools (I admit it, I
am a tool junkie).

There were a couple vendors with Asian import diamond coated glass
drills & bits.  Larger sizes were the cylinder style with diamond
dust on the open circular end.  Sizes ranged up to about 2" diameter.
Prices for entire sets were less than $200.  Individual bits seemed
a bit pricey to me, but then I had no reference for comparison.  I
don't have vendor contact info.


> They suggested cobalt twist bits as a poor 2nd choice.

I've never tried them on glass and don't think I ever will.


> As I'd planned to do some bending and sealing with a gas torch one
> other possibility is to use a small tip with oxy-acetylene and blow a
> hole, but that seems like a pretty crude way to do it, and there could
> be problems with heat and cracking

That would probably work.  But I suspect you'd have to pre-heat
the glass evenly over a larger area to prevent cracking.  Probably
worth a try though.


> Any other ways that might be worth looking into ?

A few weeks ago, I got a frosted glass 1/3 sphere from a friend.
He was going to throw it out.  As a pack rat, I took it.  Found a
use for it as a lampshade in my son's bedroom.  Just had to drill
a 1/2" hole in it.

I had a 1/4" tile & ceramic bit from some bathrooom work.  Great
for tile.  It's a pointed ogive shaped flat cutter mounted on a
shaft.  Package claimed it would do glass.  Cost about US$8.

It does work.  Took about 10 minutes on the drill press.  Maybe I
could have gone faster if I had pushed harder, but flexing of the
glass surface made me nervous.  I then used a 1/4" bit on my wife's
glass grinder (for stained glass) to enlarge the hole to 1/2".

                                               Lee Jones

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2003\05\01@224748 by hard Prosser

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Jinx,
One Idea I seem to remember is that you place the glass in question under
water. This dampens (sorry!) out the vibration that can lead to shattering
etc. Also acts as a coolant.
The big problem IIRC is getting it started - once you have a slightly
roughened surface the drill has something to work against.

Otherwise - grinding paste???


Richard P





I've got some ideas for using electronics with glass (1.5-3mm) and
would like to drill holes in the glass to pass wires, mount LEDs etc.
I went into a local glass supply store and was told that diamond drills,
which according to the web appears to be the recommended way,
start at $200. Ouch. Or I could have them do the holes for me at $6
each. Ouch. They suggested cobalt twist bits as a poor 2nd choice.
I've some 1mm PCB Co drills which might do for wires but I'm not
banking on it.

As I'd planned to do some bending and sealing with a gas torch one
other possibility is to use a small tip with oxy-acetylene and blow a
hole, but that seems like a pretty crude way to do it, and there could
be problems with heat and cracking

Any other ways that might be worth looking into ?

TIA

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2003\05\01@225221 by Picdude

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Not sure about glass, but perhaps they can drill the holes for you for a much lower price.  As an alternative, would you consider plexiglass/acrylic/lexan/polycarbonate?  I've a piece of (I think) polycarbonate that looks exactly like glass except for some flexibility (this piece is only 1/8" thick), so you might want to see if you can find something similar in your neck of the woods.

Cheers,
-Neil.



On Thursday 01 May 2003 20:49, Jinx scribbled:
{Quote hidden}

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2003\05\01@233014 by Des Bromilow

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Joe,

there is an article I have a copy of about drilling holes in glass.
I have emailed it to you (400k in size.. apologies)

Basically the  article describes everything you need for small holes, and large.
I got the article from a group on yahoo but can't remember which otherwise I'd have posted the URL.

Des

>>> KILLspamjoecolquittKILLspamspamCLEAR.NET.NZ 2/05/03 11:49:12 am >>>
I've got some ideas for using electronics with glass (1.5-3mm) and
would like to drill holes in the glass to pass wires, mount LEDs etc.
I went into a local glass supply store and was told that diamond drills,
which according to the web appears to be the recommended way,
start at $200. Ouch. Or I could have them do the holes for me at $6
each. Ouch. They suggested cobalt twist bits as a poor 2nd choice.
I've some 1mm PCB Co drills which might do for wires but I'm not
banking on it.

As I'd planned to do some bending and sealing with a gas torch one
other possibility is to use a small tip with oxy-acetylene and blow a
hole, but that seems like a pretty crude way to do it, and there could
be problems with heat and cracking

Any other ways that might be worth looking into ?

TIA

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2003\05\02@011313 by Jinx

face picon face
Thanks for the info re tile drills. One suggestion I saw on the
web was that you use a drill press with the spring removed
and let the weight do the work. Build a dam to hold turps as
lubricant then watch and wait

The glass supplier I went to (which does stained glass and
fittings for local artisans and hobbyists - "The Raffia") did
mention that tile bits aren't suitable, but they probably have
higher ideals and standards when it comes to their chosen
profession, whereas  I'd make do with a slightly naff job for
home and friends. I even suggested using a masonry cutter
to them but the outbreak of air sucked through teeth pretty
much brought that particular thread to a speedy conclusion

Yours and Spehro's replies think maybe I shouldn't necessarily
take the experts' word as being the final opinion. The way they
do it commercially is likely to be far more refined and efficient
than a way it could be done amateurly

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2003\05\02@011512 by Jinx

face picon face
> Not sure about glass, but perhaps they can drill the holes for you
> for a much lower price.

Well, I used to have a bag of holes around here somewhere but I
think they got lost in a tidy up

(I got a box of components the other day padded with inflated plastic
bags made by The Sealed Air Corporation, so there's gold in them
thar holes !!!)

> As an alternative, would you consider plexiglass/acrylic/lexan/
> polycarbonate?

Yes, I've got bits of Lexan and acrylic and it's no bother to work with
those. One problem though is heat. A couple of the ideas I'm looking
at would eventualy cause plastic to droop and warp, perhaps even
discolour. As well as glass plate (cheap window stuff) I'm thinking
of grabbing a load of bottles from the recycling rubbish bins out on
Tuesday mornings and cut them up. Completely cut, not half-cut like
a few of the dypsos around here get over the weekend

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2003\05\02@012842 by Kyrre Aalerud

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face
You could ofcource simply punch a hole with a carbon-rod after heating with
a regular blowtorch...
I used to do it like this when I needed a hole for some tubing.

Glass isn't all that though so heating it to a redish glow and pushing a
hole with rod that won't steal too much heat actually works!

You may not end up with a 100% flat surface though...

   KreAture

{Original Message removed}

2003\05\02@035327 by Jinx

face picon face
> You could ofcource simply punch a hole with a carbon-rod after
> heating with a regular blowtorch...I used to do it like this when I
> needed a hole for some tubing

Yes, that was a thought I had, except I imagined a smooth steel
rod. I figured the cold metal would "fix" the circular hole shape, or
I guess any blunt shape. You could be right about the area around
the hole not being flat. If the glass was heated enough to make it
sag onto a surface, that would get it reasonably flat again

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2003\05\02@041000 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>A few weeks ago, I got a frosted glass 1/3 sphere from a friend.
>He was going to throw it out.  As a pack rat, I took it.  Found a
>use for it as a lampshade in my son's bedroom.  Just had to drill
>a 1/2" hole in it.
>
>I had a 1/4" tile & ceramic bit from some bathrooom work.  Great
>for tile.  It's a pointed ogive shaped flat cutter mounted on a
>shaft.  Package claimed it would do glass.  Cost about US$8.
>
>It does work.  Took about 10 minutes on the drill press.  Maybe I
>could have gone faster if I had pushed harder, but flexing of the
>glass surface made me nervous.  I then used a 1/4" bit on my wife's
>glass grinder (for stained glass) to enlarge the hole to 1/2".

My experience with doing this is that it works, but it does pay to half the
glass item under water to keep it cooled. It may be sufficient to have a
stream of water flowing over it, like lubricant in a machine shop. The
biggest problem seems to be localised heating from the drilling causing heat
stress in the glass and making it crack. The Ogee shaped bits seem to be
available at quite reasonable cost at local DIY stores here in the UK.

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2003\05\02@111259 by John Ferrell

face picon face
The traditional slow-but-sure way is to use a
> thin brass tube (hobby shops carry various sizes) chucked
> in a drill press and build a dam with putty with abrasive/water in it.
>

I recall something about turpentine works better than water...

John Ferrell
6241 Phillippi Rd
Julian NC 27283
Phone: (336)685-9606
Dixie Competition Products
NSRCA 479 AMA 4190  W8CCW
"My Competition is Not My Enemy"

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2003\05\02@133356 by Walter Banks

picon face
Look at some of the web sites for the astronomy groups. One
(of an endless list) of ways to make holes in glass is similar to
what is below except except to use a soft tool and an abrasive
mixture mixed with water. (Fine beach sand even) The water and
abrasive mixture does the cutting, cooling and vibration damping.

I have heard of people using some strange tools copper tubing
for example and in one case a mounted tuna can to core a large hole.

Slow and easy. It is a common topic of discussion at star fests.

w..


Jinx wrote:

> Thanks for the info re tile drills. One suggestion I saw on the
> web was that you use a drill press with the spring removed
> and let the weight do the work. Build a dam to hold turps as
> lubricant then watch and wait

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2003\05\02@134550 by Sean H. Breheny

face picon face
I'm trying to figure out what the major reason for wanting to drill holes
in glass for telescopes would be...for a focus behind the main mirror (like
in a Cassegrainian scope?) I didn't think that very many people made their
own scopes of that design.

Sean

At 01:47 PM 5/2/2003 -0400, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2003\05\02@135900 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Jinx wrote:
>> You could ofcource simply punch a hole with a carbon-rod after
>> heating with a regular blowtorch...I used to do it like this when I
>> needed a hole for some tubing
>
> Yes, that was a thought I had, except I imagined a smooth steel
> rod. I figured the cold metal would "fix" the circular hole shape, or
> I guess any blunt shape. You could be right about the area around
> the hole not being flat. If the glass was heated enough to make it
> sag onto a surface, that would get it reasonably flat again


Hi Jinx, how you doing man?

I know you are able to do crazy things, this is one of them.
If you are planning to do it in some quantity, think big and nasty.

Why don't you just melt the glass and pour it into a pinned molding?
Try to contact people who produce handmade glass jars by blowing melted
glass.
They could give you ideas, or better, they could produce it for you.

In time and with a star temperature under the arm, you could produce a nice
glass molding system, you can not only produce the glass with the holes you
need, but also with different shapes and details, texture, lettering, etc.
Mixing color classes (beer bottles) is easy and very, very cheap to get
them (your fridge). It could be a pleasant job... :))  Drinking beer and
getting rid of the evidence... hic!  Just bottles please.

Sometimes we just forget the basic foundry process.  Many years ago I went
to a a glass foundry company, temperature is high, but not impossible to
do, even at home.  Recently I saw some specs how to build a home very high
temperature oven, used some concrete (for temp isolation), butane tank and
something like that. The guy was melting aluminum or zamak, for a molding
process, I am not sure.

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2003\05\02@192937 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
As far as I know, "standard" tungsten carbide bits will cut glass pretty
well, although angle-of-attack and such probably isn't ideal.  See for
instance http://tinkers-emporium.com/hobby.htm, where tehy're drilling
holes in marbles.  A lot of specialized and improvised techniques people
are discussing are more applicable to especially "large" holes...

BillW

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2003\05\03@132656 by Walter Banks

picon face
Mirror blanks and coring a hole in a main mirror sometimes. The tuna can
I head about was for a Cassegrainian type scope. The can is good for
one hole :))

Copper pipe was drilling a small hole in a homemade instrument.

w..


"Sean H. Breheny" wrote:

> I'm trying to figure out what the major reason for wanting to drill holes
> in glass for telescopes would be...for a focus behind the main mirror (like
> in a Cassegrainian scope?)

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2003\05\05@204644 by Jinx

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> Hi Jinx, how you doing man?

Box of birds mate - barrel of monkeys

Although I've got the seesaw teetering between busy happy
days and stress-related stress. And that's why it's taken a day
or four to reply

Many thanks for the on- and off- list info from people about drilling
holes. Ground-down files, copper/brass tubes, abrasives, melting -
I'm spoiled for choice

> I know you are able to do crazy things, this is one of them.
> If you are planning to do it in some quantity, think big and nasty.

> Why don't you just melt the glass and pour it into a pinned molding?
> Try to contact people who produce handmade glass jars by blowing
> melted glass.They could give you ideas, or better, they could produce
> it for you

That was something I considered doing re another little madcap
scheme. I wanted to make a glass gearbox for a clock. Melting the
glass would be fairly easy, but then there were the 1/2 dozen machined
molds, and that wasn't going to be cheap. There's a company just up
the road that can cut glass with sand/water jets but they couldn't
guaranteee good results with 5mm plate. So I think I'll get them to use
Lexan instead. It's not so classy (but probably a better choice in the
long term) and I won't be paying the sort of $$$ you'd expect to pay
for Louis XV cut crystal

> In time and with a star temperature under the arm, you could produce
> a nice glass molding system, you can not only produce the glass with
> the holes you need, but also with different shapes and details, texture,
> lettering, etc.

Yes, I know. It's nice to daydream but practically that could be a very
time-consuming learning curve

> Mixing color classes (beer bottles) is easy and very, very cheap to
> get them (your fridge). It could be a pleasant job... :))  Drinking beer
> and getting rid of the evidence... hic!  Just bottles please

That's what I was saying the other day about Tuesday morning rubbish
bins. Enough drinkers around here for an endless supply of bottles. I'd
like a few more blue ones though guys

Personally I just have one (medicinal) glass of port or wine a day so
I'm not a very good self-supplier. But I do get through a few varieties
choosing by the shape of the bottle not the contents !!

> Sometimes we just forget the basic foundry process.  Many years ago
> I went to a a glass foundry company, temperature is high, but not
> impossible to do, even at home.  Recently I saw some specs how to
> build a home very high temperature oven

I've always wanted a little kiln. It shouldn't be too hard to make with a
few heater elements, fire-bricks and temperature control. I haven't
used one since school to do some enamelling but my sister did night
class pottery recently that got me thinking

> used some concrete (for temp isolation), butane tank and something
> like that. The guy was melting aluminum or zamak, for a molding
> process, I am not sure.

I thought "zamak" was a typo for "mazak" for a minute, but there really
is an alloy called zamak. Back in school some friends of mine filled
the metalwork teacher's shoes with molten mazak. Tut tut, bad boys ;-)
Poor old Bill. He was the cycle inspector too, and on his last day at
the school before emigrating to Australia, someone stripped his bicycle
down to every last single piece - including spokes

In the meantime, a chubby boy who wants some LCD routines written
is poised to jump on the seesaw............

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2003\05\06@164441 by Peter L. Peres

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Have you considered pouring it cold ? As in sodium silicate ? Into honest
molds made from rubber mats and plasticine ? Acrylic, pored ?

Peter

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