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Maha

Drilling Holes In Greenstone / Jade

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HI everyone Im back ben busy with studies and my camera is broken but the good news is they have stone carving equipment where Im studying so Ive Just started carving New Zealand Greenstone-Pounamu still cant figure out how to drill holes in it have tryed but fractures when drill bit comes through other side bit messy -

What are the best shaped drill bits - cylindrical

-or ball point ones

I am using water but what is the best drill press speed 300rpms enough?

I have managed to Acheive a satin finish with 800grit wet and dry sandpaper any tips on how to get more shine

 

Thanx in Advance I hope to get some pics up soon have done 2 so far

 

Kia ora koutou

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when i am drilling a hole in a gemstone i put a slab of gemstone or glass behind what i am drilling to keep the drill from breaking out a chunk.if you are using a drill press put the piece of flat glass or gemstone slab beneath the piece you are drilling and it should help.most of what i drill i chuck the drill bit in my handpiece and hold the stone in my hand,when i see a cloudy spot on the other side where the bit is about to come through i drill from the other side,this helps to prevent the bit from blowing out a chunk.best regards,kenneth neaves

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Maha,

If you go to this webpage it is on my website http://www.lopacki.com/howto/. It is a article that I wrote for Lapidary Journal in the mid nineties. It is on stone bead making but I get into drilling techniques about half way down the page. I think if you read the part about drilling it will be very helpful, you will notice that I also use a piece of stone as a backup to keep from getting a pressure fracture when the drill comes through the back of the piece being drilled.

 

If I am drilling clear or translucent stone I do the same as Kenneth and flip the stone over when I'm almost through and finish drilling from the backside, I usually backlight the stone so I can see where the hole is and then mark the spot with a .05mm pencil, this allows you to pretty much come down right on the center of the hole. If you do this with a smaller drill than the finished size hole you can then redrill with the proper size drill and you will get little to no blowout.

 

I started making stone beads in 1977 and had a lot to learn ........ At this time in my life I would guess that I've drilled in excess of 100,000 holes in stone. The more you do it the easier it gets .......... Its never simple or fast.

 

All my best ........ Danny

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Just started carving New Zealand Greenstone-Pounamu still cant figure out how to drill holes in it have tryed but fractures when drill bit comes through other side bit messy -

What are the best shaped drill bits - cylindrical

-or ball point ones

I am using water but what is the best drill press speed 300rpms enough?

 

Hi Maha, Whilst I do not carve jade, I do carve fairly hard stone. I bore my holes with a ball bit. Starting off with a small burr and enlarging later. I use my bit at high speed (around 12000 ++) but use a circular motion as I drill.(Using my Foredom look-a-like with flexy shaft). The ball of course starts drilling with its tip which is small and increases the diameter as it penetrates. You mention that you use water,as do I.Except---- I don't have a water source in my shed, so I use a drip system from a suspended plastic barrel (with tap and hose outlet). Also I collect the used water and reuse it. It is of course muddy, but that seems to assist with the carving proceedure. Just as the oil drillers use mud for their well drilling. Also when initially filling my barrel, I add a desert spoon or two of dishwashing detergent. Not too much as it becomes frothy, but enough to soften the water and lubricate the diamond drill tip. Sounds weird,but works for me. ...Cheers Colin

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Maha

I live near Tamworth NSW Australia, I have been carving Nephrite jade and other gemstone for about 4 years, all my jade I find myself from my local area, I have drilled heaps of holes in nephrite jade, I have found diamond core drills very good in the sizes you mention, another type is called a triple ripple by Crystalite, I have also used small balls as mentioned previous, all of these have worked for me, but I think the cores were better on nephrite, some people use bench or pedistal drills, most of these, do not have the speeds required for the drill sizes you state, 1-2 mm, you need speeds from around 19000 to 40000 rpm, depending on the drill type, most of the manufactures give there speeds, I now use a dental micro motor to carve and drill, speed 50000 rpm, one way of stopping the hole blowing out is to glue a piece of stone on the bottom, or drilling from both sides as mentioned, the hand piece and stone should be fixed, this stops vibration and movement, I fix my hand piece in my mill drill, and the stone fixed in a bath of water, nephrite may glaze diamond drills, the same as diamond blades, I use a piece of poor quality rhodonite to re sharpen the bit quite often.

 

Cheers michael B

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Maha

I live near Tamworth NSW Australia, I have been carving Nephrite jade and other gemstone for about 4 years, all my jade I find myself from my local area, I have drilled heaps of holes in nephrite jade, I have found diamond core drills very good in the sizes you mention, another type is called a triple ripple by Crystalite, I have also used small balls as mentioned previous, all of these have worked for me, but I think the cores were better on nephrite, some people use bench or pedistal drills, most of these, do not have the speeds required for the drill sizes you state, 1-2 mm, you need speeds from around 19000 to 40000 rpm, depending on the drill type, most of the manufactures give there speeds, I now use a dental micro motor to carve and drill, speed 50000 rpm, one way of stopping the hole blowing out is to glue a piece of stone on the bottom, or drilling from both sides as mentioned, the hand piece and stone should be fixed, this stops vibration and movement, I fix my hand piece in my mill drill, and the stone fixed in a bath of water, nephrite may glaze diamond drills, the same as diamond blades, I use a piece of poor quality rhodonite to re sharpen the bit quite often.

 

Cheers michael B

Very good information.

Thanks.

Yloh

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i dont know if this will help you at all but this is how i drill my gems out. first i take an old tuna can with the top cut off and i fill it half way with dental plaster (very hard when dry). while the plaster is setting up i place the gems in the plaster, kind of floating them in it so they are exposed halfway. when the plaster dries you can put about a quarter inch of water on top of the stones. (the top half of the can will keep the water in) then i drill through the gems with a diamond drill (the hollow kind). the water in the tuna can eliminates the need for a drip system and keeps things cleaner. youll have to change the water every now and then to be able to see what your doing. the plaster makes a little smoke trail in the water when you hit it so you know when you have gone through it all the way. and when your done the plaster can be chipped away from the gem easily to remove the stone. so there is no glue to remove. i break very few drill bits this way. if you need dental plaster contact Zahn dental or lincoln dental and get Ortho Stone. DO NOT BUY DIE KEEN it will destroy your gems since it is much stronger. a 20lb box should run you about $30 and it will last a long time if you keep it dry. plaster of paris will work to but it wont have the same holding strength as ortho stone.

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