Drilling glass blocks..HELP

My husband is trying to drill a 1/2 inch diamond tip through a glass block for me and broke 3 so far. i made him get out of the basement before he broke anymore! I have read that water helps, with a clay ring.
Is there anything he should or shouldn't do? He is using his drill press, going slow. Any other suggestions? Help before he breaks them all!
Thanks a bunch!
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Brittle materials require a rotary hammer. The hollow glass blocks are difficult because they facesa re supported.
Why the hole in the glass block?
cheers Bob
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BobK207 wrote:

A rotary hammer for glass...?
My first question would be what type of drill bit he's using. He needs to use one of those arrowhead-tipped bits designed for glass, and yes, the ring of putty creating a small pool of water will help cool the bit and block and keep it from cracking due to thermal stress. You might have to get creative cleaning out the inside of the block when you're done.
Another alternative is to have him bring the block to a stained glass place - they'll probably drill the holes for $20 or so. Cheaper than wasting block.
R
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A friend of mine drilled about 25 of those glass blocks last year. Just a regular drill and used one of those arrow head drill bits made for glass. She poured water over the glass block for cooling the bit.
She stuffed a small string of christmas lights inside the the glass blocks. decorated them with ribbon and flowers.
Sold many for $20 a piece and gave some for christmas presents. They really turned out beautiful.
I have a feeling this is what this lady it going to do.
Pat
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Yup! I'll send you pictures after the holidays....... :)
Cheers Bob
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On 12/16/05 8:03 PM, in article 56Mof.165459$ snipped-for-privacy@fe09.news.easynews.com, "spunkster_1964"

carborundum or some similar abrasive. If the block is hollow, it might be difficult getting the slurry into the right location. It would help to know just what you are trying to do.
Bill
-- Ferme le Bush
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Is he using a bit specially made for glass and or tile ???
Before he continues to break more blocks why not just take the block to your local glass mirror supllier...they are in the yellow pages under "glass" and have them drill it.
I had a large mirror drilled one time...4 holes in the corners and it was only 6.00
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Your husband should be using a pipe bit that has two slots, the putty or clay ring is supposed to hold graphite powder and a drop of water for cooling and cutting. The graphite is supposed to do the cutting not the bit. Tell hubby if he owns a dremel tool he can buy a glass etching bit for it that will cut a hole but he needs to take his time.

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Abrasive, perhaps... but not graphite. Graphite is a lubricant. It won't cut _anything_.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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don't even know where that came from lol I've seen this grit and it resembles grinding dust.
wrote:

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Valve grinding compound. That was the "old" way : )
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On 12/17/05 4:10 AM, in article ffTof.141118$ snipped-for-privacy@ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca, "Grandpa Dan"

Graphite is a lubricant. It will not cut or grind through glass. You must mean silicon carbide (trade name carborundum) raather than graphite.
Bill
-- Ferme le Bush
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spunkster_1964 wrote:

I missed the size of hole you were drilling. My other post answered the typical question about drilling a more typical smaller hole in glass or tile - sorry 'bout that!
Here's some more specific information from a place that sells abrasive diamond hole saws: http://www.diamond-drill-bit-and-tool.com/Diamond-Drill/DD1.htm#anchor230
R
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Out of curiousity, why do you need 1/2" holes through a glass block?
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snipped-for-privacy@spam.invalid (spunkster_1964)

Go to a glass shop and buy the correct drill bit. You "might" be able to buy one at Home Depot.
Just did a quick search, looks like Lowes carries them so this would mean that HD also has them.
Scroll down a bit (no pun intended ; ) and you will see a pic of a bit made for glass.
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=howTo&p=BuyGuide/DrlBtsBul.html
The correct bit is shaped like an "arrowhead" on the end. (there are other types of bits for glass but they are VERY expensive - they are for professional use)
Using a damn of clay or putty with water and even a little anti-freeze mixed in is the correct way to drill the holes. But START drilling the hole DRY just so you will have a small (size of a BB) pilot spot to keep the drill bit steady and straight.
I would recommend using a variable speed hand drill, not a drill press.
Tell your husband to drill VERY slowly applying VERY light pressure.
Ron - 25 yrs in the glass business
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Ron wrote:

What is the advantage of using a hand drill (I'm assuming you mean cordless or electric)? The drill press has a table which allows the block to be clamped in place, controls the speed very accurately, and gives far greater control over advancing the bit and pressure.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

I was assuming that "his" drill press doesn't have variable speed......All of the ones that I've used (which isn't many) only have one or two speeds.
If he uses a variable speed hand drill (electric or cordless) he will have more control over the pressure and speed.
It's very easy to apply too much pressure with a drill press especially when drilling glass.
If you've done it a million times like I have, then a drill press is fine.
I'm just trying to help the guy not break anymore blocks.
And there is really no need to clamp a glass block, best just to lay it on a flat surface with a piece of carpet under it.
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On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 04:03:13 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@spam.invalid (spunkster_1964) wrote:

I've drilled a number of glass blocks with no problems. Used a 1/2" diameter diamond core drill bit ($19). Drill press (actually a milling machine) at very slow speed. Water for coolant. Note that the water & ground glass will be sucked inside of the block when the bit breaks through due to the vacuum within.
Details at: http://www.kissingfrogs.tv/blocklights.html
Steve Noll | The Glass Block Pond | http://www.kissingfrogs.tv
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My mother-in-law just completed this craft project. Drilled holes in glass blocks, inserted mini Christmas lights and decorated the outside. They look nice and she's giving them away to friends for Christmas. She bought a diamond drill bit at Home Depot. I think it was $12. To my knowledge, she did not use a slurry, etc. She did indicate that she needed to go very slow. He drill was somewhat underpowered for the job (a Black & Decker cordless). She made about 10 or so of these things with no breakage that I am aware of.
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He is drilling a hole through it so I can put the small x-mas lights in it and wrap a bow around them. It was a crafty thing I seen at a show that I wanted to give as presents this year.
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