You found or purchased the perfect crystal. Now you want to use it as a component in a piece of jewellery. Drilling a crystal is easy using a diamond-coated drill bit and a drill press. With practice, you can use crystals and other gemstones to make beautiful components for your favourite handmade art jewellery.
Examine the crystal you plan to make into jewellery. Determine where you want to drill the hole in the crystal. Where you drill will determine how the crystal will hang or otherwise be incorporated into your jewellery.
Select a diamond-coated drill bit that's the size of the hole you want in your crystal. If you want a large hole, then begin with a small drill bit and switch to the larger bit to enlarge the hole to the size you need.
Place the drill bit into your drill press and tighten the bit.
Put a thin piece of wooden board, plastic, or styrofoam in the bottom of your shallow pan or tray. Fill it with just enough water to cover your crystal. The water will act as a lubricant while you drill the crystal, and the padding will prevent you from drilling through the bottom of the pan.
Place the crystal in the prepared pan. The crystal must be completely submerged in the water.
Lower the drill press and begin drilling the crystal at a slow speed with light pressure and plenty of lubrication. Let the drill bit do the work. Slowly increase the drill speed but do not push down on the bit to hasten the drilling time. The drill bit must be wet at all times when drilling. Stop drilling from time to time and replace the dirty water with fresh, clean water as needed until your hole is complete.
- "Jewellery Concepts and Technology;" Oppi Untracht; 1982.
- "Complete Metalsmith: Professional Edition;" Tim McCreight; 2005.
- "How to Cut Gems"; Dan O'Brien; 1953.
- "Gemstones of the World: Newly Revised & Expanded Fourth Edition"; Walter Schumann; 2009.
- "Firefly Guide to Gems"; Cally Oldershaw; 2009.
- "Handbook of Rocks, Minerals, and Gemstones"; Walter Schumann and R. Bradshaw; 1992.
- Faster drilling will wear out bits more quickly. Balance the cost of time spent drilling against the cost of buying replacement bits.
- Use caution and do not wear loose clothing or jewellery when operating a drill press.
- Keep water away from electrical wires.