any geologists or crystal experts?
I want to drill a hole through a large (about 5 inches) crystal point (the long way). I'm considering quartz, angel aura quartz, or fluorite, anything with a medium range hardness level. can it be done?
pic related: something about yea big
You don't need a geologist or crystal expert. You need someone that knows how to drill holes.
Use a Mason bit, start smallish but be careful not to break it off in the stone
1/8th probly ideal
You need a diamond drill bit. I forget what its called exactly, but its a circular bit kinda like a tube.
Drill extremely slowly, and have a constant stream of water into the hole.
It can be done, but make sure you are drilling slow and straight.
Find a lapidary expert.
I really hope you're trying to make a crystal cock with a peehole in it. What are you going to use as a cum substitute?
warning--I know nothing of lapidary matters
anyway, various thoughts...
1) tungsten carbide is way harder than quartz, and you can buy round tool blanks of tungsten carbide and grind a single-flute tip on them with a diamond disk on a dremel tool.
2) as I have seen it, quartz crystal tends to crack or shatter if it is exposed to rapid or uneven heating. drilling at normal speeds would create a lot of heat, and so this kinda rules out any sort of normal drilling.
3) "diamond drill bits shaped like a tube" are called core drills. And they tend to be larger than 1" or so, since they're used for making holes for running small pipe or electrical conduit through concrete walls and floors of buildings. all the ones I've seen are too big for this
4) if I was tasked with doing this, I would build a low-speed "automatic" drilling setup. It might take several days to get through, but it would not require my attention so that long of a waiting time wouldn't matter. the crystal would be *above* the drill, so that it could be run dry and the quartz dust would fall out of the hole on its own. But I dunno how much OP wants to spend doing this. And I don't really know what I'm doing; jewelry people might know of an easier way.
building the drill I describe in #4 would cost maybe $40.
Yes. Get yourself a diamond bit / hole saw in the size you want. Since I imagine you want a straight hole, use a vise and drill press. Drill with water for cooling and to manage dust (silica dust is bad yo). Low speed, light pressure. You probably won't find a 5" long hole saw in your local hardware store, so drill to the capacity of the saw, back it out, and break off the core piece to make room for another go.
i know a lot about lapping glass not really lapping crystal. the make small core drills. they will bind if your doing it by hand. but they also make small carbide and diamond solid bits with no angle. you run water over it to remove the dust and cool it. the bits are usually to remove burs but they also drill. i'm gonna call shenanigans on the upside down part. otherwise decent post. also i didn't read this thread
fluorite is pretty low on the mohs scale, but finding a piece big enough will be the challenge. go look at cutting houses in the pink city (google) and see how they drill through stones for beading.
> you run water over it to remove the dust and cool it ...
yea but in a really deep hole that isn't going to work well. especially when using a non-twist drill bit that doesn't eject the cut material on its own, and that doesn't have thru-spindle coolant feed....
pic related: this is a gravity-driven setup (I am imagining). the whole thing is tilted at 45 degrees. the crystal is laid in a piece of metal angle, and there is a stepper motor with a long carbide drill bit that the crystal rests against. the drill bit would be made from a piece of 1/8" tungsten carbide rod. the stepper motor would spin at a very low speed, 5 rpms or so.
you'd prolly have to diamond-grind a little nib for the drill to get started in.
this would take a few days to get through, but you'd just turn it on and leave it going.
it would drill slow enough that there wouldn't be any heat issues, and the dust would fall out on its own.
Building this would be kind of a lot of work for drilling just one crystal, but sheeeeiiit nigerian.
Once built, this thing takes basically NO time on your part to do. The end product (crystals with holes in them) is small and cheap to ship.
you could drill more and sell them on ebay or etsy.... is anybody else selling crystals with holes drilled through them? all the ones I'm seeing are either glued or have wire twisted around them
My town is full of hippies so there is a 'rock shop' downtown that's been there since the 50's. It's actually a really cool place, they have all sorts of precious and semiprecious gems, amber, crystals, etc - lots of custom/consignment jewelry. Full of freaks 24/7, they actually have a sign up that says not to ask about the "healing properties" of their products so they can just point to the sign when someone starts sperging out, but a cool place nonetheless.
Anyway, dude really knows his shit and I had him drill some exceptionally tiny holes through some sea glass a few years back for my wife to craft with. Done in one day, for cheap.
Unless you're willing to lose a few crystals to trial and error, go find a guy that knows what he's doing and give him five bucks. I'm all for DIY but this is one case where you'll spend more on the necessary tooling to do something 75% well and learn a skill you'll never use again.