Driling glass tile

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Old 07-09-20, 07:32 AM
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Driling glass tile

I need to drill three 1/2" holes in glass subway tile backsplash. I have drilled ceramic and porcelain tile but never glass. Am I better off tarting with a small pilot hole and working up to 1/2" or should I just start with a 1/2" bit?
 
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Old 07-09-20, 08:45 AM
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I use diamond hole saws, though carbide might also work and would be less expensive. I have a machine shop so I take whatever I need to drill into work and put on the mill or drill press, build a clay dam around the area to hold a puddle of water and then drill the hole. If doing it by hand I would have a helper with a spray bottle of water they can spritz on as you cut to keep dust down and cool the bit and glass. You do NOT want to get the bit hot. It's bad for the bit and if the glass heats too much it could cause it to crack.
 
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Old 07-09-20, 10:42 AM
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I have a couple of smaller diamond bits (1/4" and 5/16"). I thought that I would have a hard time keeping it from walking on the slick surface. I'll give them a try on a spare piece of tile.
 
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Old 07-09-20, 11:42 AM
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That's where a drill press or mill comes in handy if you have not mounted the tile yet. You can just block and lightly clamp the tile to the machine's platform to prevent it from rotating and hold it in place.

If drilling a mounted tile with a hand drill I use the drill bit to bore a hole in a scrap of plywood. Then use hot glue to stick the board on the tile where you want the hole. Then the board will hold your bit in place and keep it from walking. When you're done a putty knife flat or a very shallow angle will pop the guide board loose.
 
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Old 07-09-20, 12:56 PM
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Tough to get that drill press mounted to the backsplash.
 
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