Can you drill holes in resin? – How to drill holes in resin

how to drill resinAfter creating your resin charms, you may be wondering, can you drill holes in resin? The answer is an emphatic YES! Here’s how to drill resin charms to make them into wearable jewelry:

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

mark hole on resin charm for drilling

Mark the spot where you want to drill.  A fine-tip Sharpie pen works great for this.

Step 4

drilling a hole in resin

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!

Step 5

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.

Step 6

stringing charms on beading cord

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.

Like this post? You may be interested in  Epoxy resin safety precautions: How to use epoxy resin safely

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

7 Comments

Bruce Burton

Your video was great, but your first and third pictures above concerned me from a safety standpoint as it appears you are holding the piece by hand while drilling. I suggest you change out such pictures since someone less adept may follow your example and put a whole through your hand.

Reply
Jean

Yes. That helps too. But you can also hold the piece with a soft grippy style clamp

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Shauna Steadman

My first pour (new beginner) using Alumlite Clear Cast. After 48 hours it still has tacky places. I poured in a silicone mold (I used mold release) in low humidity and warmed the Alumlite and the temp outside was 70 degrees. I was pouring over glass pieces affixed to a base of glass with E6400. I am a stained glass artist. The mold is about 3/8 inches high by 3 inches in daimeter. Do I need to wait longer for it to completely cure? It only seems tacky around the rim and on top, otherwise it seems solid. I stirred for 2+ minutes for each of three pours.

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