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Unread 08-28-2008, 09:41 AM   #1
Beegee14
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Drilling 1 1/2" hole into ceramic tile?

I need to drill/ cut a 1 1/2" hole into ceramic tile. Concrete and abrasive bits don't even touch the stuff. Any suggestions?

Thanks!!!
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Unread 08-28-2008, 10:01 AM   #2
bbcamp
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Diamond hole saw (core bit).
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Unread 08-28-2008, 05:01 PM   #3
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you might try cutting a square from the back with a diamond wheel in a hand held grinder.

layout both sides, cut your layout lines on the front and overcut the backside layout. you may get lucky and break out the slug.
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Unread 08-28-2008, 07:48 PM   #4
tilelayer
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that works or use a wetsaw and take some of the back part of the tile off so when you hold it to the light you can almost see thru the body but the glazings still on the tile, then you tap the front in this same area with a chisel or your nippers and you can shape it with punches and other steel tools and make a pretty darn good circle.
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Unread 08-28-2008, 08:12 PM   #5
mdanforth
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try this
http://www.contractorsdirect.com/Dia...cid=1426423086
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Unread 08-28-2008, 08:40 PM   #6
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi beegee, welcome.

If you go the route of a holesaw:

Mike's link leads to a very long lasting sintered hole-saw. There's 1/4" or so of diamond bits/matrix that slowly wears away during use that constantly exposes new diamond bits. It will last a long time, but has a bit of a healthy price tag at $62.

If you are only making a few holes and are sure you're dealing with ceramic vs. porcelain (porcelain is much tougher on the bit), you might consider an electroplated hole saw. All the diamond bits are exposed from the get go....once you wear them away, it's done. It's about half the price of a sintered holesaw at $29 from a place like Construction Complete. If the bits are spun slow and kept cooled with water, they'll last for this project plus a few more. There's a pic below of what it looks like.

Here's a link
>Click on the tool picture
>Tile equipment
>Ceramic Tile Drill Bits
>1 1/2" Ceramic/Marble drill bit
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Unread 08-31-2008, 09:58 AM   #7
Beegee14
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Thanks for the replies everyone!

I had to go out of town so I'm just now able to check this. I lied! It is porcelain. I only need to drill one hole so that is a pretty expensive hole buying the bit. Will the trick of grinding out the back and tapping through work with the porcelain? I do have diamond blades to cut the tiles so I'm sure I could put one in an angle grinder and do that. Does it chip bad when breaking out the thin area? There is a cover that goes over it but its not real big. Thanks again!
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Unread 08-31-2008, 10:42 AM   #8
buzzards27
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it shouldn't chip up much. if you work both sides with the grinder you should be able to make a nice hole. the smaller the wheel you use the better.

this thread is about cutting a larger hole, but the facts apply to what you are doing.

http://johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=17456
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Unread 08-31-2008, 12:36 PM   #9
Tool Guy - Kg
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If the holesaw is diamond bit vacuum brazed (vs. carbide), you'll be fine for a few holes on the cheaper bit.

If you use a diamond blade and plunge through from the backside, I like to accurately mark the location of the hole. But not just with a little mark, rather drawing a tic-tac-toe grid (with long lines) on the back side of the tile gives you a great reference to keep your blade very centered. When cutting from the back, it's critical that the blade pops through the front face of the tile very slowly and centered within the hole area. I'm tellin' ya, it pops through and makes a long cut in a big hurry due to the blade's large arc....you gotta take it slow so the cut can be hidden behind the escutcheon plate. This is where tilelayer's trick of holding the saw up to the light before popping through can be helpful.
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Last edited by Tool Guy - Kg; 09-03-2008 at 04:50 PM. Reason: spelling
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Unread 09-01-2008, 08:58 AM   #10
Brian in San Diego
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BG,

You could also try my favorite source of inexpensive diamond hole saws...this eBay seller. Saws around the size you are looking for are less than 5 bucks. I've bought everything from hole saws to diamond polishing pads from them. Good service, good prices. They are not "production" type tools but to perform what you want, they should work just fine. They did for me.

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Unread 09-01-2008, 09:19 AM   #11
buzzards27
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thanks brian, i just added him as a favorite seller.
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Unread 09-01-2008, 04:07 PM   #12
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Another good source is Harbor Freight Tools. They have a small diamond hole saw for about $5. You would need to drill three or four smaller holes and then smooth them using the side of the drill. I used it to drill porcelain with no problem.

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