How to make a hole in a bottle?


I have a few empty Crown Royal bottles out of which I want to make small lamps. Most are the 750ml size & a couple 1.75 liter size. The bottles are attractive and I think they could make nice lamps for background or accent light in an office or den.
My problem is that I don't know how to make a hole in the back side of the bottle near the bottom in which to thread zip cord.
I've tried new drill bits running the drill press as slowly as possible, using various lubes (oil, alcohol, and carb cleaner), but can't get a hole started in the glass. I even tried a masonry bit - didn't work either.
Any ideas? Thanks, Bob-tx
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Bob wrote:

Take a look at this site.
http://www.cowtown.net/mikefirth/bottle.htm
Google on:
glass bottle hole drill
I've never done it. I've heard that fillin bottle with wet sand, packing dense, drilling with a tile repeat tile cutting bit ( which is not a masonry bit) of the kind used for drilling into bath / shower stalls to install grab bars is the way to go.
Again, though, I've never done a bottle,
I've installed a lot of tub/ shower grab bars through tile as a volunterr for the local senior center though. The tile bits work great on that.
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Bob wrote:

Thanks much for all the great information. You guys have a wealth of information and ideas.
Thanks again, Bob
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Bob wrote:

With a glass drill bit, of course. See: http://www.drillglass.com/drillingglass.html
--
Grandpa

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And make sure the surface of the bottle gets water to cool it? It will crack if you don't. The bit is essential.
Betsy
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Use a drill press. Get a piece of pipe the diameter of the hole you want, cut an end square and chuck it. Put a ring of clay around where you want the hole and put a water grinding compound mix in the ring. Have the drill on slow and slowly grind through.

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Method that Jeff recommends worked for glass telecope mirrors built at the Hayden Planetarium some years ago.
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wrote:

A glass bit.
I like your idea better, but just in case:
I'm looking right now at a lamp made of a bottle. The dark bottle is filled with some kind of gravel so it doesn't fall over, and the light socket is right above a cork. The wire comes out of the bottom of the light socket and doesn't go through the bottle at all. I think the whole socket with hole, short pipe, cork is sold as one item.

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Richard J Kinch wrote:

I've used these on ceramic and porcelain; they're supposed to work on glass:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberB829
Bob
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zxcvbob writes:

Good porcelain will dull a carbide drill before you finish the first hole.
Go for the diamond.
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Dremel tool and a glass bit, i've etched bottles and even cut the necks off with this to make flower vases for second in command.

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There are bits available for drilling glass, the business end looks something like a spear head. Check out for instance:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberB829
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Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler.

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The easiest way to make a lamp out of a bottle is to get a bottle lamp kit such as http://www.cherrytreetoys.com/prodinfo.asp?numberG-130 or http://cgi.ebay.com/BOTTLE-LAMP-KIT-by-GE-is-NEW-NIB_W0QQitemZ190108275213QQihZ009QQcategoryZ75576QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem . No need to take the wire through the bottle.
--
Peace,
BobJ

"Larry W" < snipped-for-privacy@sdf.lNoOnSePsAtMar.org> wrote in message
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wrote:

Method 1: Build a little cofferdam of putty around where you want the hole, fill it with jewlers rouge and cutting oil, And set a stick in there in the drill press, and leave it running. come back once an hour or so and bounce the stick up and down to get more abrasive under it.
Method 2: If you're really skilled and lucky, you can melt the hole instead. Preheat a bucket of sand and the bottles in your oven to as hot as you can get it, then use a mapp-gas torch on the spot where you want the hole, and poke it with a stick when it starts to glow brightly. If the bottle doesn't explode, bury it in the hot sand and let the whole thing cool. (I've seen hobbyist beadmakers use a crockpot filled with vermiculite, but I suspect your bottles are too big for that.) Method 3: Get a dremel tool with a thick grinding wheel, and prop it against the glass, running, and go read a book.
Method 4: Use battery-driven LED arrays, and skip the external power entirely.
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On Fri, 4 May 2007 12:08:21 -0700, "charlie"

For coolant, could one just fill the bottle with water. Or does the water have to be closer to the wheel?
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wrote:

you're cooling the tool and the glass you're grinding. temperature differentials in different places in glass cause cracking. the water on the inside won't cool the outside of the bottle except through convection, and glass is a good insulator and a (relatively) poor conductor of heat. that's why you have to carefully anneal glass when cooling it.
regards, charlie http://glassartists.org/chaniarts
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Glass bit is best. Other bits can be made to work with a LOT of care. It helps if you have a few bottles on hand, so you don't have to worry too much about breaking one. I find if I have 20, I'll drill the first no problems, or at least the second. If I've only got 1, I'll break it. Maybe the extra nervousness takes away from the smoothness of my hand controlling the drill? Crown is tasty stuff, so coming up with surplus empty bottles should be a joy.
Filling the bottle with sand seems like a good idea, never heard that before today. The dremel w/ a grinding wheel is interesting as well, though it would certainly require attention and lubricant. I've no experience with either method, however.
You may try to tape the area you want to drill before drilling. I've sucessfully drilled through glass with a regular bit by putting plenty of tape over the area so that I was drilling through at least 1/16" of tape using an _extremely_ light touch and plenty of cutting oil.
I've also used wick holders meant to fit into empty bottles and convert them to oil candles. No holes required, nice light, oil can be nuetral or scented. Cost ~$1US each at candle shops everywhere. Not as bright as an electric light, but not a bad option.
Post back, let us know how you make out. Especially if you try the dremel w/ grinding wheel.
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Have you thought about using hydrofluoric acid instead?

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wrote:

Yup.
Nope.
Most grocery or department stores in cleaning products.
http://www.whink.com/rust_stain_remover.htm
Granted, it is a dilute solution, but if you leave it on glass you will cut it, eventually. With minimal contact time, it also works well removing some hard water deposits on glass when regular lime removers fail.
sdb
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