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Author Topic: Drilling beads  (Read 735 times)

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iceopals

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Drilling beads
« on: August 12, 2014, 05:12:30 PM »

I am hoping a tutorial will show up here on drilling beads.    ;)   I have drilled 4 or 5, but I cannot believe that I am doing it efficiently, or even correctly.   I use a diamond bit, water, in and out technique.   But it takes forever!   Any thoughts or advice would be most appreciated.
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Bentiron

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Re: Drilling beads
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2014, 05:29:17 PM »

I'm sure lithicbeads will tell us all how to do it, he has lots of experience at it.
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lithicbeads

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Re: Drilling beads
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2014, 05:34:16 PM »

To start you should look at the tutorial on Daniel Lopacki's store site. Just google him. Diamond  drilling of hardstones is a long and tiring business at the best of times. Lots of up and down with the bit to flush the swarf ( drilling residue) and get water to the cutting face to cool it. The largest cause of premature bit failure is too much pressure and not enough cooling. The diamond is only brazed to the steel shank and pushing hard without enough cooling will melt soften the braze and strip the diamond. It takes time but there is a sweet spot that you can learn to feel , just enough pressure and lifting.
 I just came from my shop where I introduced Gergis to my ultrasonic drill. He is making pendants and we put nice 4 mm holes in them . Eventually after he watches enough he will drill on that machine. Oddly the softest stone took the longest to drill because the up and down pounding action of the drill bit is absorbed to a surprising degree by soft stone. After a soft print stone I did a listwanite and it was a little faster and the Botswana agate was the fastest because it is brittle and responds well to the silicon carbide grit in water and runs down the vibrating bit.It vibrates about 10,000 times a minute.Very expensive machine though .
 I will try to convince a great bead maker to join this forum and tell about his diamond drilling procedure. He is fantastoic at diamond drilling, a true master.
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iceopals

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Re: Drilling beads
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2014, 05:51:38 PM »

Wonderful information!  Thank you!   I have read Lopaki's methods.  Even talked to him.   Appears to be a genuinely nice fellow.   But oh my I don't want to become so involved in drilling as that!   I really prefer the presto/chango method.    If I could JUST figure out what it was!!!    sigh...   I am drilling turquoise, so certainly one of the softer stones.   I would love to be able to work with an ultrasonic drill.   (Refer back to that desire for the instantaneous...)   I am not the most patient person that has ever walked this earth.   Oh, I did so want you to tell me that there was some fast easy something I was missing. 
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MrsWTownsend

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Re: Drilling beads
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2014, 01:23:46 PM »

An ultrasonic drill is also not an instantaneous hole, FYI.  Even turquoise takes some time to drill so that you don't get fractures on the goezouta side.  Goezinta, not so much of an issue.

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lithicbeads

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Re: Drilling beads
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2014, 09:00:06 PM »

Is that your drill. If so how old is it?
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