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Drilling Holes in Slabs

Alex Rosek of Minocqua, Wisconsin, has an inexpensive way of drilling holes in slabs of gem materials to be used for clock faces.

He uses a cordless screwdriver. First he fits a piece of plastic tubing snugly into the chuck of the screwdriver. The chuck will then be able to accept the bit, which is a domed wood screw with the head large enough to make the right size hole for the clock shaft.

He uses a metal washer temporarily glued to the correct spot on the slab for the bit to fit in as the hole is made. The washer should be the size that the widest part of the bit will slip into. A couple of drops of water are then placed in the center of the washer and the slab, and some of the grit is put inside the hole of the washer.

The washer hole guides the bit and holds the grits and coolant needed to start the hole in the stone.

After the hole is started, the washer can be removed. Additional grits and drops of water are added until the hole in the stone is drilled.

Thanks, Alex, for a great idea for do-it-yourself lapidaries.

Via Umpqua Gem 8/05