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Tips for drilling a Square Glass Bottle

We received an email from one of our visitors a while ago titled “Drilling”.

Hi, I’ve made a successful lamp out of a wine bottle but have run into problems drilling on square bottles. I’ve cracked 3 Jack Daniels bottles and a Crown Royal. They are flat and no matter how carefull I am, they crack! Any suggestions? Julie

How to drill a square bottle

Tips for drilling a square glass bottle

To tell the truth, Nick and I were a little bit stumped by this question. You would think drilling into a square bottle would be much easier than drilling into a rounded surface.

We sent her the following reply:

Julie,
We’ve been thinking about your problem for awhile and really couldn’t come up with a definitive answer.

Here are a couple things to look at though:

  1.  Have you drilled a few bottles with the drill bit your using? It may just be dull. I ran into this problem, and didn’t realize that I was over compensating by pushing harder to make it drill. (broke a few myself)
  2.   If your drill bit is still fairly new then you might want to look at where your drilling the hole on the bottle. I usually come up about an inch from the bottom. The base is sturdy and usually has a thicker glass that will compensate for drilling in the side.
  3.  If your drill bit is getting really hot during this process you might want to put a ring around where it is that your drilling and put water inside. I tried this with ‘Play-Do’ once, and the water just leaked around the edge. A clay ring or plumbers putty should do the trick. Keep it in a Zip-loc baggie and you can use it over and over again for all the bottle that you drill.

I’ve drilled a few square Jack Daniels bottles before myself and never really thought about the flat surface verses the round. Once you’ve made your mark on the bottle it shouldn’t matter and should still drill the same.

Hope this helps and don’t give up,

Nick & Silke

We were very happy when two weeks later we received another email from Julie with pictures of her finished square Jack Daniels bottles with lights.

Take a look at Julie’s lighted bottles on her DIY Show Off page.

Do you have a question about drilling glass bottles? Leave us a comment below.

4 Responses to Tips for drilling a Square Glass Bottle

  • I’ve found that using a few drops of oil helps tremendously! I use masking tape to mark the area where I want to put the hole (I use 4 strips of tape to make a little box, then drill in the middle). I use machine lubricating oil (I had lots of sewing machine oil already and so that is what I’ve been using) and put a few drops on the surface, drill until I get a hole started and then I add more drops as I go along until the hole is complete. I’ve not had any problems with the glass cracking or breaking using this method, and I’ve done it with round, square and flat pieces of glass.

  • Hi Rachel, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a comment. We appreciate it!

    Using strips of masking tape is a great way to keep the drill bit from sliding on the glass and the oil keeps the bit from over-heating. Fantastic tip!

    By the way, I love the glass engravings you do: https://plus.google.com/photos/112874209430629806203/albums/5830127593416354465?banner=pwa&gpsrc=pwrd1

  • Hi I work in a glass shop and we drill holes and cut bottles all the time. It doesn’t matter what type of glass bit you use the most important thing is to keep the bit cool we use water we put bottles in trays filled with water and fill the bottle to equal the pressure we also use a drill press set up. Any drill will work you can use a spray bottle. when using spade bits you have to wobble the bit slightly slow and steady always wins.let the drill bit do the work do not press hard. we use diamond tube bits they are the best but are not cheap. They do make them for the dremmel tool but bits are very small . Most good glass shops should be able to drill a hole for about 8 -10 bucks. Hope this info helps

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