A Cool Way to Drill Glass Bottles


Who doesn't like to recycle glass bottles? Perhaps you like turning them into lamps or a bird feeder or something else. I recently discovered a new way to do. Would you believe it involves plumber's putty.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
Let's set the stage - I would like to drill a 1/2 inch hole near the bottom of this wine bottle.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
I discovered that this 1/2 diamond hole saw bit works very well on glass.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
Here is the secret weapon --- plumber's putty. I will show you how to use it in the next few steps.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
Take some putty out and roll it between your hands. I know, it looks disgusting, but hey, it's like going back to kindergarten.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
Take the rolled up plumber's putty and form a small bowl around the area you will drill.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
Add about 1/4 water in the putty bowl. Putty should be pressed down firmly against the glass.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
Adjust your drill press to 700 RPM. Or whatever is recommended with your glass-drilling bit.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
Wear a face shield preferably. ANSI standard safety glasses if you don't have the face shield.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
Wear some work gloves and make sure your bottle or glass is secured somehow on the table of the drill press. If you're unsure, don't do it, but I found this method to be very safe.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
Turn on drill press and gently begin applying the drill bit to the glass surface. I liked to bump the drill bit up and down, gently. The water will facilitate drilling the glass and keep the bit cool and lubricated. When done, the water drains through the hole.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
I didn't time it, but I think it took me about 3 to 5 minutes to drill this hole through. When done, remove putty and discard. Clean up the glass and you're done.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
This hole turned out pretty nice. Since I'm placing an electrical cord through here, I will probably sand the edges or create a bushing for the holes. You don't want to cut an electrical cord.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
Here's another example where I'm drilling through an antique telegraph insulator.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
My finished 1/2 inch hole, looking up through the antique insulator.
a cool way to drill glass bottles, crafts, diy, how to, repurposing upcycling, tools
My finished steampunk lamp. I used some steel pipes for the body. The diamond hole saw bit and this drilling method really made this project a lot easier.
Stephen Scott Johnson

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Go

Have a question about this project?

3 of 12 questions
  • Amber Breanne Vandever
    on Dec 28, 2016

    Could you do this using a regular drill or is it not safe to use anything but a drill press?

    • Stephen Scott Johnson
      on Dec 28, 2016

      It depends on the application of the bit you are using. The Milwaukee bits (according to their specs) will cut tile, stone, or glass. Whatever you cut needs to be secured. Read the safety instructions that come with your drill (and bit) to understand any safety issues or its limitations. You may want to visit the Milwaukee website and see what they tell you about their bits. I've seen videos and pictures where they are using a hand drill but in those demos they were drilling tile. Keep in mind that tile is usually fixed or secured and it's usually a flat surface. In all cases, where safety glasses and other appropriate safety protection.

  • Mst4178849
    on Jul 27, 2017

    How do you create the bushing you mentioned in the tutorial?

    • Mst4178849
      on Jul 28, 2017

      Ok. I get the idea! I coul figure it out. Just didn't know if you had some easy hack for this. Thanks for responding!

  • Vic26678351
    on Feb 10, 2018

    I don’t have a drill press, can i use a drill? and the vice to hold it? the lamp is really cool!!

    • Itsmemic
      on Mar 16, 2018

      DAMN...just got into Steampunk...and just sold my drill press... I just can't win...:(

Join the conversation

2 of 58 comments
  • Susie Mueller
    on Dec 4, 2017

    I was excited about this idea until I realized you need a drill press. Yet another glass tool I don’t have. Great idea thougH.

  • Mary-Anne Swanson
    on Jul 14, 2018

    was just looking at glass bits today. I will keep this in mind when I purchase mine :)


Your comment...