Drilling Tumbled Gemstones

by Denise

I have tumbled many rough gemstones and now want to drill holes in them.

I have purchased the drill press and bits but am having a devil of a time with figuring out how to secure the stone for drilling. My stones are irregular in shape.

I have tried to use putty in the drilling container - works fine for flatter stones but the irregular shaped ones want to shift which causes the stone to be drilled improperly OR to actually break at the drill site.

I have researched bead vices but they are to be used for round beads/stones. Is there ANY way to secure the irregular stone within my vice that will allow complete stability AND the ability to use water as I drill?

I prefer a complete hands OFF approach so that my fingers will remain intact.

Comments for Drilling Tumbled Gemstones

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

drilling tumbled stones
by: Linda

I don't know the answer to your question, but you beat me to it to ask it. I need to know the answer too!

Drilling tumbled stones
by: Bella

Hi Denise,
I have just found this link for you.
Hope this might help, 2 items on this page.

Drill Under Water
by: whiskey1973

Drill under water in a pan. Use a slow speed on your drill press and go slow with your downward pressure.

There should be no reason you can't hold your stones by hand, if you go slow, and pay attention to the process at hand.

Using Hot Glue
by: Fallingleafdesigns

Why not use a hot glue gun to attach your gemstones to wood base then place in water container and drill.

To remove just heat with hair dryer or hot air gun.

You can reuse glue by heating with a hot air source!

Drilling Gemstones
by: wirelicious Jewellery

What drill would you suggest using?

Please be careful about using glue as this can mark and ruin your gemstone.

Tumbling Gemstones
by: Linda

I found by accident some jasper, I think, in some local stones. They are mixed in color and beautiful.

I want to tumble them and use them for cabs or whatever; maybe even just focal stones.

What equipment do I need to do just that?

Do I look under Lapidary supplies or will I just get ripped off?

I have a tumbler and I'm using it for wire jewelry to harden and smooth the edges. But I can use it for so much more I know!

Please help if you have the time.

What CAN'T Be Put In TheTumbler?
by: Linda

I have quite the variety of cabs and stones of diferent types.

I want an Ionic cleaner, but that will be in the future. For now I have to deal with a rotary tumbler.

How can you tell what kind of stone you have and if it can be tumbled.

I have a diamond tester. It measures the Mohs hardness. Can I use that to find out?

Thank you so much!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and create your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions - About Jewelry Making - General.

If you enjoyed this web page please "like" this page.  Thanks!