Disclaimer. Using rotary tools near water has never been, to the best of our knowledge, endorsed by any of the rotary tool manufacturers. If you do choose to drill near water or with attachments under water connected to your drill then you do so at your own risk. Please be aware that mixing electricity and water can be very dangerous.

Lets say you'd like to drill a hole through glass. When you're drilling with diamond drill bits, water is the key ingredient. The water acts as your coolant and is going to preserve the life of the drill bit and prevent your piece of glass from cracking. So whether you have a plastic trough or a drip feed system set up, this part of the drilling process is vital. But what do you drill onto or against? The following are a few suggestions of what you could use to rest on whilst drilling a hole, making jewellery or glass engraving. If you have something you'd like to add, we'd love to hear from you.

1. Wood.

A small piece of wood submerged in your trough with about 1cm of water covering that and your piece of glass works a treat.


The sort of rubber needed must be thick enough and hard enough to take the drilling impact. Some have suggested mud flaps or roofing rubber if you can get hold of some.

3. Blu-Tac.

Yes, plain old Blue-Tac works wonders as a cushion for your jewellery making purposes and helps to keep the piece of material you're working on in place better. Gemstones can be slippery eels sometimes, hold them down with your Blu-Tac, you'll need a nice big lump, not the sort of size to hold up a postcard with!

4. Thick layer of Wet Towel.

If you're drilling through fused glass lets say for pendants or decorations then this is a good idea to hold the piece you're drilling in place whilst acting as a constant coolant. Also ideal for drilling a hole in tiles, plates and fish tanks. If you're drilling a hole in a fish tank it's also a good idea to have a towel on the inside of the tank to catch the drilled glass as it falls.

5. Polystyrene or cell foam.

Take a look at Jeans Art Glass. Jean has fashioned a foam set up to hold her pieces of glass in place whilst she engraves which is then covered with black cloth. So don't throw out your packing material, use it to create the perfect working platform. The Glass Goddess Engraving uses an upturned lap desk. Have the wooden side facing down and place a piece of black cloth over the bean bag part.

Polystyrene rest for drilling or engraving

Jeans Art Glass, polystyrene rest for her glass engraving work

6. Piece of Carpet.

It's cheap, it's tough enough and when you're not using it to lean your material against to drill or engrave on you can curl up on it in front of the fire!

7. Wax.

Fill a large shallow tin such as the spanish tuna you can buy called Ortiz with melted wax. This can then be immersed in your water trough.

For many craft and jewellery making purposes we often don't need such set ups but when we do it's nice to have 7 options to help us out. I'm off to find some mud flaps!