UPDATE 2014 : : : Click here for our new and improved guide to drilling through vintage china & ceramic : : :
We do a lot of drilling through vintage saucers, to make our recycled candlesticks. There’s definitely a technique to it, and we’ve got a few tips & tricks to stop the project ending with a crack of disappointment!
The main tip is to use a specialist drill bit, (the removable, sharp pointy thing) in the drill. Choose one for glass or tiles, which may be diamond tipped. We use a pillar drill for more control, but a hand held drill can also be used.
It’s good to support the underside of the ceramic item, to relieve the pressure when bearing down with the drill – we cut cork to fit. Go slow, as the drill bit may get HOT. (You could carefully add water from a small jug to cool things down.)
The other main point is to avoid bone china, which is a nightmare to drill through as it’s super tough. Pottery and regular ceramic crockery is a lot easier to use. Unfortunately there will always be a chance of disaster, resulting in a big crack or shattered mess, so protect yourself & others with suitable safety equipment.