Wednesday, June 24, 2015

You can do it! Drill holes in stones.

Seriously. Nothing gives me a bigger feeling of accomplishment than drilling a hole in a stone. I mean, the possibilities are endless if you can drill a stone. You can make a hole bigger to wrap with heavy-gauge wire. You can use a pebble that you found to make a pendant or drill a bead to rivet on a ring. Like this.

I have been working on this technique to add to the projects in my upcoming book (Spring 2016, FYI. More details to come) but I wanted to share some tips with you, since drilling is such a handy skill to master.

I use these diamond drill bits found in my Etsy store. Use them in your Dremel, flex shaft or drill press. Here are some tips to consider when drilling:
  • Always use diamond drill bits wet. Use an old plastic container as a water reservoir. Hold the stone that you are drilling underwater close to the surface and drill. 
  • If it's not possible to drill underwater, dip the tip of the drill frequently (very frequently) in water to keep it cool and lubricated. Also dip the object being drilled. If you see dark grey colored dust around the hole as you are drilling, that means that the drill and object are too hot and you are close to breaking your project and drill. Dip immediately if this happens.
  • Hold the drill bit at a 45-degree angle as you begin to drill. Apply slight pressure and as the drill begins to pierce the surface, rotate the tool upright to 90-degrees and continue to drill. This will provide a "seat" for the drill bit and prevent it from skittering over the surface of the piece you are drilling. 
  • Drilling makes dust. Wear a dust mask while you work to prevent breathing particles in.
  • Wear safety glasses. Objects can fly right out of your hands as you drill. Take care to protect your eyes.
I have a class coming up that is all about drilling a variety of objects plus a whole bunch of techniques using the rotary tool. You can join me at BeadFest in August in my Pierce, Set, Texture and Polish: Rotary Tool Basics class on Thursday, August 20.  Check out all of the classes on their website. Class is filling, but there are a few spots left. 

I also have a FREE class coming up soon on that demonstrates how to drill on a variety of pieces. I'll share it as soon as it is available.

I encourage to to give drilling a try. I know you have a rotary tool hanging around your tool box. Break it out and experiment! And don't forget to let me know how it goes.


  1. Can't come to beadfest so will wait to see the class on

  2. Kate, the timing of this couldn't be better! I have a pebble that I picked up on a beach in Ireland that I want to turn into a pendant. I was about to search YouTube on drilling techniques, but you saved me the trouble. Thanks!


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