Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Drilling Glass Blocks - SAFETY WARNING!

I know a few people have been drilling the blocks they've found at various home improvement stores to use for the Cricut and vinyl and such. A word about safety: The glass blocks you buy at the H.I. stores are tempered glass. That means they've been hardened and are not like drilling regular glass. It means they CAN shatter or break in the wrong place, or send a sliver into your eye! So please follow some common sense tips:

Wear eye protection! Can't emphasize this enough.

Use a drill bit made especially for glass. If you are lucky enough to have a Harbor Freight near you, they have glass bit sets for less than $20. A whole set! (They also carry a great rolling telescoping-handled bag to carry the Expression in for about $20, also, if you didn't know!)

A good method for drilling: use plumbers putty to make a dam around the area you're drilling. Keep it filled with water. Keeping water in the dam keeps the drill bit cool and will help chips stay put instead of flying around. Go slowly! Once you've broken through, the water will go inside the's how you know you've gotten in!

Most of all, be careful! It's far better - safer, and faster to purchase the blocks pre-drilled! The one I purchased at Michael's was about $6 after the coupon, and has several inserts for different inserting lights, or making a bank. But if you're making a lot of them as gifts and are determined to use the home improvement type of block, the glass-drilling kit is well worth the investment...just be aware that not all blocks are created equal! Happy cutt...uhm, drilling!