Make sure your resin is fully cured. You cannot drill uncured or partially cured resin. Besides being messy, soft or gooey resin will not maintain an open hole. You need to make sure it is fully cured first, otherwise, not only will you not have a hole in your resin, you will ruin your drill bit.
Select the size drill bit you need. When I’m drilling holes for resin jewelry, I use something between a size 55 to 65 drill bit which will accommodate most sizes of jump rings and bails intended for resin jewelry charms. If you are not sure what size drill bit you should be using, this chart compares drill bit sizes to common wire gauges for jewelry. Drill bit to wire gauge conversion chart.
Pro tip: If you aren’t sure which size drill bit you should use, go a little smaller than what you think you need. You can always drill the hole again with a larger drill bit to enlarge the hole.
Mark the spot where you want to drill. A fine-tip Sharpie pen works great for this.
Place your resin charm onto a scrap wooden block. Drill the hole in your resin by holding the drill bit at the desired angle while drilling slowly. Do not drill quickly as this causes friction which may cause your piece to soften or melt. Drill all the way through your charm into the wooden block. By drilling into the block, you mess up that surface instead making marks or holes on a countertop.
Clean out the hole as necessary. A piece of flexible wire is good for this.
Pro tip: if you drill through clear resin, the hole will show as frosted. You can use a toothpick or thin piece of wire to lightly coat the inside of the hole with freshly mixed resin. While it will not make the frostiness completely disappear, it will make it less noticeable. Be careful though that you don’t use too much, or you will plug up your hole again with resin!
If your hole has a burr on the end that you can’t clean up with your fingernail, grab a drill bit a size or two larger than the one you are currently using. Then, rest it on top of your hole and spin it by hand for a turn or two to remove the burr.
Add your jump ring, bail, or string on a cord to make the charm wearable. If you want to see how this project turned out, check out this easy resin bracelet idea.
Here’s a few more tips how to drill resin:
Cheap drill bits are fine. For those of you working with metal jewelry, you may have invested in expensive drill bits (like diamond drill bits). While these are great for drilling metal, resin doesn’t need anything that hard or durable. Resin is relatively soft and any drill bit should work.
The resin itself serves as a drill bit lubricant. Additional lubricant on the bit is unnecessary. (But don’t forget to maintain your drilling apparatus with lubricants as recommended.)
I always use a separate set of drill bits for my resin drilling versus metal drilling. I don’t want to take a chance that resin crumbs could contaminate metal that I might be heating with a torch and cause a dangerous mix of fumes.
Drilling is hard. I don’t mean the resin, but the act of drilling resin is hard. While getting your drill bit to go from one side to the other is pretty easy, getting it to do it straight and even is not. This is a great time to pull out your resin mistakes and use them as practice pieces.
Pro tip: If you really want to make sure your holes are straight from one side to the other, using a drill press to drill holes in resin is the best option. You can see how to do that here:
What other questions do you have on how to drill resin?
Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2019 Resin Obsession, LLC