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Author Topic: Tips on using a diamond drill  (Read 4610 times)

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Offline Adrian - MLUK

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Tips on using a diamond drill
« on: October 30, 2011, 03:22:49 PM »
Lubrication
Water or coolant should always be used to cool and lubricate the tip. The lubrication reduces heat build-up and heat fractures in the material. Water is most often used as the lubricant, since it works very well and has no cost. Oil based lubricants do not work well on diamond drill bits. The amount of lubrication used should increase with the hardness of the material being drilled. When drilling in fibreglass, a diamond drill bit can be used dry or with a very small amount of water. When drilling in glass or ceramic, soft ceramic tile and porcelain, if properly lubricated, the dust from the cut should be at least the consistency of a very wet paste and the drill bit contact with the surface should always be wet. When drilling in hard, abrasive materials such as limestone, sandstone, hard ceramic and porcelain tiles, marble or granite, it is very important to have lots of lubrication. With these hard materials, it is common to have a small amount of water constantly running over the drill bit and bore hole.
This discussion is presented only as a guide. It is almost impossible to have 'too much' lubrication and the only down side risk is the mess from water being thrown off by the bit. However, 'too little' lubrication will cause many problems.


« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 03:36:38 PM by Adrian - MLUK »
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Offline Adrian - MLUK

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Re: Tips on using a diamond drill
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2011, 03:30:57 PM »
Lubrication tips and techniques
Various kinds of very specialised industrial water feed equipment are available for industrial production type work. However, when drilling with diamond bits, the primary concern is merely getting enough water lubrication on the cutting edge of the bit, no matter what method is used.
The most basic method is to use a small hose that runs water onto the surface near the bore hole. To provide lubrication on a horizontal surface, one trick is to place a plastic jug or bottle with a small hole near the bottom of it, next to the drill hole. The water leaks out of the bottle and provides continuous lubrication as you drill.
Another excellent lubrication technique is to build a "dam" around the drill hole using a small amount of modelling clay or a similar material. This method is very effective, especially if the water extends above the side tip lubrication hole to allow water to flow into the bit providing good interior lubrication. The clay can be used many times if it is stored in a plastic sandwich style zip-lock bag to keep it from drying out.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 03:36:24 PM by Adrian - MLUK »
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Offline Adrian - MLUK

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Re: Tips on using a diamond drill
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2011, 03:31:12 PM »
For low volume repetitive work, it is also possible to place the material into a short 'cake' style pan (place a thin plastic board underneath so you don't drill into the pan) and fill the pan with water so that it covers the surface of the material being drilled. If possible, the water should cover the side lubrication hole on the tip of the diamond drill bit.
When drilling on vertical surfaces, about the only way to apply water is to use some type of hose. If that is not possible, a reasonably effective solution is to have someone constantly "squirting" water into the bore hole using a squirt bottle. In any case, the amount of lubrication should always be in relation to the hardness and abrasiveness of the material.
No matter what lubrication method is used, a periodic "pumping" action can significantly improve lubrication at the drill tip. This will increase the drilling speed in addition to improving drill bit life. While drilling, merely raise the drill up and down a fraction of an inch once in a while as you drill (about every minute or so). This assures that water enters the drill tip area completely and fully lubricates the very tip of the bit .
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Offline Adrian - MLUK

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Re: Tips on using a diamond drill
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2011, 03:31:37 PM »
Starting a Core Drill Bit by Using a Template
Core drill bits above 1/2" work best when used in a drill press rather than in a hand drill. Starting a core drill bit when using a drill press is simple, since the drill press keeps the drill bit from moving about. To reduce drill bit slippage or "walking" when using a hand drill, a template can be made to help start the drill bit if necessary.
A template is made by drilling a pilot hole in a piece of soft wood or plastic, using the diamond core drill bit or by cutting a "V" in the edge of a piece of wood or plastic. Templates are often made of 1/8" plexiglass, 1/8" pressed wood or even cardboard. For repetitive drilling, a plastic or plexiglass template works best since water lubrication can be used immediately. The template is placed on the surface of the material being drilled, with the pilot hole or "V" above the target hole area. The hole or "V" in the template will hold the core drill bit in place as it starts. After just a few revolutions of the drill bit, a groove is created and the template can be removed.
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Offline Adrian - MLUK

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Re: Tips on using a diamond drill
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2011, 03:32:15 PM »
Drill Pressure
When using normal drill bits on soft materials such as wood, increasing the pressure causes the bit to drill faster and has little affect upon friction or heat build-up on the bit. When drilling in harder materials such as hardwoods, it is more important to reduce the pressure and let the bit "drill at its own speed". Otherwise, friction will quickly burn up the bit. When using diamond drill bits, the affect is similar to hardwood drilling, but it is magnified many times due to the extreme hardness and abrasiveness of the material being drilled.
When using diamond drills on glass, ceramic or porcelain tile, limestone, marble and granite, etc, it is very important to have only light to medium pressure on the drill and to let the bit "drill at its own speed". Increasing pressure will not speed up the cutting noticeably, but it will increase the friction considerably and quickly cause the bit to overheat. This not only burns up the bit, but it also heats up the surrounding surface and can cause heat fractures or breakage to occur.
Recommended Drill Head Pressure
Fiberglass 10 to 15 lbs.
Limestone & Marble Stone 12 to 18 lbs.
Glass, Ceramic & Porcelain China 12 to 18 lbs.
Ceramic/Porcelain Wall Tile 15 to 20 lbs.
Stone Style Porcelain Floor Tile 18 to 30 lbs.
Granite Stone 18 to 30 lbs.
* WARNING: Drill press arms leverage hand pressure by a factor of about
6 to 8. So 2 lbs. of hand pressure on the drill press arm will apply about 14 lbs of pressure to the drill head.
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Offline Adrian - MLUK

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Re: Tips on using a diamond drill
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2011, 03:32:40 PM »
If a drill bit develops yellow, brown, blue or black 'burn marks' around the tip, it is an indication of extreme heat caused by the excessive drill speed or by too much pressure on the drill. Impact type "hammer drills" should never be used with diamond drills as they have no benefit and will cause the tip of the bit to mushroom or split.
If a hole is being drilled completely through a piece of material, it is also important to "lighten up" considerably on the pressure when the drill bit is near the back of the material. This reduces chipping or fracturing on the back of the material when the bit emerges from the back.
Water or coolant should always be used to cool and lubricate the tip. The lubrication reduces heat build-up and heat fractures in the material. Water is most often used as the lubricant, since it works very well and has no cost. Oil based lubricants do not work well on diamond drill bits. The amount of lubrication used should increase with the hardness of the material being drilled. When drilling in fibreglass, a diamond drill bit can be used dry or with a very small amount of water. When drilling in glass or ceramic, soft ceramic tile and porcelain, if properly lubricated, the dust from the cut should be at least the consistency of a very wet paste and the drill bit contact with the surface should always be wet.
When drilling in hard, abrasive materials such as limestone, sandstone, hard ceramic and porcelain tiles, marble or granite, it is very important to have lots of lubrication. With these hard materials, it is common to have a small amount of water constantly running over the drill bit and bore hole.
This discussion is presented only as a guide. It is almost impossible to have 'too much' lubrication and the only down side risk is the mess from water being thrown off by the bit. However, 'too little' lubrication will cause many problems.
Happy to help with any issues you may have......

Happy reefing

Visit us at www.marinelifeuk.com

Offline Adrian - MLUK

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Re: Tips on using a diamond drill
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2011, 03:33:35 PM »
Glass Block Drilling
Drilling in glass block is basically no different than drilling in normal glass. If you keep the speed down, use low drill pressure and plenty of water for lubrication, you won't have any problems. However, there are a few very important facts and tips that will help people in their task.
There are numerous different types and styles of glass block made by many different manufacturers. Most have some type of design or pattern, however, for drilling purposes, there are two very important characteristics to be aware. Glass block varies significantly in the thickness of the glass wall and also by how tempered the glass is. This information is rarely disclosed on the block itself, but should be considered when buying glass block for crafting purposes.
If you are drilling glass block that has been installed in a wall, you don't have much choice but to drill whatever is there. However, for craft projects, it is good to be very selective. If the glass block is 3/8" thick, it will take three times as long to drill compared to block with a 1/8" thick wall. Additionally, it will triple the drill bit wear per hole, causing the bit life to be only one-third as long.
Tempered glass is often used in glass block to increase the load bearing capability of the block. Tempered glass has differing degrees of temper, and while it can be drilled, it should be avoided if reasonably possible. Tempered glass block can increase drilling times by 200% to 500% or even more, when compared to standard un-tempered glass. Additionally, depending upon the degree of glass temper, drill bit life can be reduced by 75% to as much as 90%.

« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 03:35:56 PM by Adrian - MLUK »
Happy to help with any issues you may have......

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Offline Adrian - MLUK

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Re: Tips on using a diamond drill
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2011, 03:33:46 PM »
Experienced crafters who work with glass block eventually learn to search for different types and styles of glass block to test. After drilling a sample of each block, it is obvious which block has a thin wall and which block is un-tempered. Also, crafters who are drilling lots of glass blocks, normally develop some type of pan drilling method, so that the block can be drilled under water to improve lubrication and extend drill bit life. Water lubrication techniques are discussed in more detail in the Lubrication Tips & Tricks section.
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Offline Adrian - MLUK

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Re: Tips on using a diamond drill
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2011, 03:34:25 PM »
Aquarium Drilling This is the bit we are all hoping to here about
Aquariums are often drilled to allow for installation of side-entry filter systems rather that standard top-mount systems. The side-entry systems also provide better flow-through water movement where that is a special factor. Drilling in aquariums is not difficult - it is basically the same as drilling normal glass. However, additional precaution should be taken when drilling aquariums compared to normal glass.
There is always a small risk of causing a break when drilling any glass. While the risk is extremely small if proper drilling techniques are used, this small risk is always there. If a break would occur when drilling in regular glass, it is frustrating, but not a major loss. However, the loss of an aquarium is much more significant, so reasonable care should be taken.
As additional 'comfort', we offer that the structural integrity of glass increases significantly as it becomes thicker. So, the small risk of a drilling problem actually reduces significantly as the size (and cost) of the aquarium increases. Based upon our testing and our customer contact, we offer the following suggestions for aquarium drilling.
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Offline Adrian - MLUK

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Re: Tips on using a diamond drill
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2011, 03:34:50 PM »
Take proper care: You don't need to be an expert at drilling glass or aquariums. No matter if it is a 20 gallon tank or 2,000 gallons. Take your time, use proper drilling speeds, low drill pressure, good water lubrication and follow a few basic cautions relative to aquarium drilling.
Be sure you have the right sized drill bit: Pipe is measured as an inside diameter. So 1-1/2" pipe or a 1-1/2" fitting will have an 'inside diameter' of 1-1/2". However, the outside diameter can vary depending upon the type of pipe or fitting used and depending upon the specific manufacturer. Be sure to measure the outside diameter properly so that you drill the correct size hole. This may sound rather basic, but we assure you that it is a common mistake.
Avoid drilling in the bottom of the tank: The bottom of a tank is often tempered glass, but it is extremely rare for the sides to be tempered. Additionally, the water weight on the bottom is significantly higher than on the sides of a tank. Anytime glass is cut or drilled, micro fractures always occur along the cut, plus a hole reduces the structural strength of the glass. While tanks are generally "over engineered" to be much stronger than actually needed for their capacity, the bottom is the "weakest link" and should generally be avoided.
Drill at least 1" from the sides of the glass: All glass contains minor imperfections and flaws. Micro fractures also occur along the edge of glass when it is cut. To avoid placing any additional stress on those weak spots, we recommend staying at least 1" away from any glass edge.
Happy to help with any issues you may have......

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Offline Adrian - MLUK

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Re: Tips on using a diamond drill
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2011, 03:35:24 PM »
Use proper lubrication techniques: Basic lubrication techniques are discussed above in Lubrication Tips & Techniques. The best lubrication method for tank drilling is to position the surface horizontally and use a dam made of clay or similar material around the drill area. The method as discussed in the above section, is very simple and also very effective. If a large stationary tank is being drilled in the vertical position, use the 'spray method' and take care to get as much of the spray into the drill slot as possible.
Assure adequate lubrication: While drilling, it helps to raise the drill up and down a fraction of an inch once in a while as you drill (about every minute or so). This merely assures that water enters the drill hole completely and fully lubricates the very tip of the bit . The technique is especially helpful when drilling larger tanks with thick walls.
Ease off when you are nearly through: As a drill breaks through the back side of any material, it will cause some splintering. Due to the brittle fragile nature of glass and your desire to retain structural integrity, you want to minimise the splintering. Merely reduce the drill pressure as you near the back of the glass. This is one of those rare instances where time is your friend. If it takes you 3 minutes to drill 3/4 of the way through, back off and use another 3 minutes to go most of the the the remaining 1/4. The final 1/32" to 1/16" is the most delicate, so again take your time and ease up on the pressure.
If your hole ends up being a little too tight: You don't want the hole to be any larger than you actually need, but sometimes people cut it a little too close. Since the pipe fittings are normally plastic, an easy solution is to use fine sand paper to reduce the outside diameter of the fitting slightly. If your hole is a little too large, the gasket on the fitting normally provides extra room and should provide an adequate seal.

Happy to help with any issues you may have......

Happy reefing

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Offline Adrian - MLUK

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Re: Tips on using a diamond drill
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2011, 03:35:36 PM »
Finally: Drilling holes in any glass reduces the structural integrity of the glass and will reduce the safety levels that were intentionally engineered into an aquarium. We must specifically state that in offering these tips and techniques, we do not accept any liability and disclaim any express or implied warranties and all incidental or consequential damages should problems arise from using our products for drilling aquariums.
Happy to help with any issues you may have......

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