I have a question on what and how to drill a hole in a glass bathroom
mirror. I have to replace the light fixtures and they are different than
what I have. These were the light fixtures in place when we went to full
length vanity mirrors and the installer made access holes for the wire
and the attachment screws. And, guess what, the attachment screws will
be in a different place this time.
What is there to use. I have Googled some and found out that there are
diamond drills out there. How are they used. I have to do this job right
the first time or I get to have a new mirror installed.
You can get diamond drills at most of the large hardware centres. It is best
to properly mount the mirror and use a drill press. As the drill is turning
you should use some high temperature silicon lubricant to help reduce the
heat from friction. This type of work is best done with experience. It is
best to have the feel for this, or you have a very good chance to scrap your
mirror. The drill bits have a high wear factor, so you may need more than
one for the job, depending on the number of holes. The instructions with the
drill bit may indicate something about its wear factor, or expected use.
The best solution is to precisely mark where you want the holes, and have
the proper size. Take the mirror over to a place that does glass work. They
will only charge a few dollars for the job.
If you can, find an old broken mirror and do a test run before you try
it on the real thing. Of course the test may dull a cheap carbide bit
to the point it will not work well on the real piece. While drilling
through the glass should not be too problematic, you must be real
careful with the mirrored coating on the back. This is typically a
thin foil or sprayed metallic film. Either way it is very fragile and
if you are not careful you can peel off large pieces beyond the
mounting coverage of the fixture. Taping it might help, but this was
more problematic for me than drilling through the glass itself. If you
do use a diamiond drill bit use plenty of water to clear out the debris
and keep the bit cool. Also, do a search of this newsgroup, I remember
this exact same topic a year or so ago.
You can use a brass flathead screw and valve grinding compound. Just don't
let the glass get hot. Mount the screw by the threads in an electric drill.
Run it slow in a puddle of compound. Press down and wait. When you feel it
quit cutting, lift the screw and push the compound back in the right place.
It's not fast but it works. I'd make a test hole in some scrap glass just to
get the feel of it.
On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 16:27:35 -0600, Ross Richardson
Test on the current mirror if you like, but the dangers of being
seriously hurt is still a factor. I agree with others - call a glass
and mirror company.
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland
and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore
excused from saving Universes."
Thanks for all the replies. From the searches I have done, this seems
like a art to do. I must tell everyone that the mirror is already
mounted to the wall, so I really do not want to remove it. The
suggestion of having someone come to the house is a good suggestion. I
bookmarked the Harborfreight drill bits and for the price might buy them
and get some old glass to practice on. For the reflective surface I
figured there would be some flaking near the hole, but at first that was
not a concern since I would be covering it with the light fixtures by
several inches. But the one responder makes be wonder how far this might
migrate. I'll have to think about this one. Everything that I did read
says it is a slow process, the diamond bits do wear, and should use a
drill press. Since the mirror is mounted the drill press is out of the
question. I have some more thinking to do.
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