How To Drill & Shape Rocks Into Beads
Drill small holes (under 1") into rock with these simple instructions. The drilling process is the same whether you are working agate, slabs, gemstones, jade, marble, or just about any other type of rock.
1. Start with a diamond drill bit. Diamond bits are the correct type of bits to use for rock work.
2. Diamond bits are meant to be kept wet. The bit doesn’t need to be in a lot of water, just enough to wash away the rock mud and keep the bit wet. The easiest way to accomplish this is to do your drilling in a bin or tub of water. A butter dish works well.
Once you start drilling use a very gentle up/down motion to let fresh water under the bit. If you slam you bit back down on the rock, you will knock off the diamonds, making your bit useless.
Another way of keeping the stone wet is to have a drip system continually dripping water on the point you are drilling. Or, you can have someone with a spray bottle stand next to you and squirt the point of contact with water.
3. Drilling is best done in a drill press. If you tweak the bit, it snaps apart. Holding the bit perfectly perpendicular to the stone is vital.
By following these three steps your bits should give you their maximum drilling capacity.