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Rick
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Me smart ,well I haven’t tried so we’re not exactly sure yet .
I’m working on tiling my tub/shower alcove ,and I’ve never cut a hole before.
I watched a few YouTube videos where the guy was angling in the diamond bit with a cordless drill to get it started ,and then straightened it out as it dug in .

I’m sure water would have helped ,but in my case I have no one around here dependable enough to hold a hose on it while I drill , so I concocted this device , a water table for the drill press .
I need to drill a large 4” hole for the mixing valve , and bought a cheap set of diamond bits off of Amazon.
So I took my scraps and built this dam and put a piece of Kerdi board on the bottom , this way I won’t drill into the wood once I get threw the ceramic tile .

My idea is to fill it up with water , just enough to cover the tile , and use my drill press to guide the bit .
I used tight bond glue around the sides to seal the wood from getting wet . Just added another layer to the corners , so the glues still wet, so I can’t do a test yet

Not sure if it’s going to work,but will report back later :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Where there's a will..... there's a way. (or in my case, usually 7 failed attempts and then a success)
I’ve got two four inch holes to cut ,plus another three for the tub spout etc. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered I guess .

I’m thinking I better change belt positions and get the press running faster . I’m assuming anyways .
 
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Where there's a will..... there's a way. (or in my case, usually 7 failed attempts and then a success)

That's about my average also...:grin:
 
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I just squirt a circular dam of latex caulk around the area to be drilled. I've done hundreds of holes like this. Drill slow with the drill press and don't put a lot of pressure on the tile. Some tiles are soft and easy others are hard and brittle. You can drill cups and teapots like this as well. My wife likes to make tea cup and pot totems as yard art. I cot cups in half for her to stick on some of her wall murals as well. some shots of one in our kitchen. A 1/2 cup as well as some family photos glued on to the backs of tumbled and polished glass, The Scotties and Geckos I cut out of tile with a Ring saw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Brian, I wish I had a cnc router table right now . Not sure if it’s possible, but I’d like to have these mosaic tile blend in with the main tile . But I’d say this is an impossible cut for tile , but if I had the tile in a water dam system with a small diameter tile bit , I think it might work .
Then there’s making the vector
 

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I also think a slow speed, low pressure approach would work better.
firm pressure..
low pressure generates heat and wears out the diamond faster...
 
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Hi Rick,
I have cut many small holes without bothering with a water dam. Have used carbide hole saws and diamond core type bits - the former start easier, as there is a pilot drill bit, like with a regular hole saw.
As Brian says, it depends on the composition of the tile body, and the hardness of the surface layer. If you do not use water, and the bit starts smoking, you are overdoing it. Keep overdoing it, and the bit and the tile start glowing.
The only time I have made a 4-inch hole was for a toilet waste pipe - drilled a series of 6mm holes around the perimeter, then used a 4inch carbide-tipped core cutter with a centre pilot. The tile was already adhered to the wall- no problems(but we have solid masonry walls in this part of the world.

Your blending exercise looks ambitious regardless of technology. However, if you simplify the ends of the mosaics a bit (fewer separate endings, no very thin tongues), it is doable with a diamond saw - cutting slits in from the edge like for a featherboard, then scoring between the slits with a carbide or diamond tile scorer, and snapping off the waste bits. Oil up your patience, and be prepared to waste a couple of tiles- typically on the last cut or snap. Leave relatively wide tongues at the outside edges of the tiles - they tend to break there when you are seating the tile.
 

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Brian, I wish I had a cnc router table right now . Not sure if it’s possible, but I’d like to have these mosaic tile blend in with the main tile . But I’d say this is an impossible cut for tile , but if I had the tile in a water dam system with a small diameter tile bit , I think it might work .
Then there’s making the vector

You could do that easier with a tile saw. You just make all of the parallel cuts, and snap off the "fingers".
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You could do that easier with a tile saw. You just make all of the parallel cuts, and snap off the "fingers".
I have a dewalt wet saw . You know I may just experiment, and just try making several parallel lines . May be a bit meticulous, but I’ll give it a try .
Great idea Gerry
 

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A ring of plumbers putty makes a good dam too. Some diamond bits can be used without water but it depends on what ways used to bond the diamonds with. With wall tiles a Rotozip with carbide tile bit works slick but it won’t work on floor tiles which are much harder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
A ring of plumbers putty makes a good dam too. Some diamond bits can be used without water but it depends on what ways used to bond the diamonds with. With wall tiles a Rotozip with carbide tile bit works slick but it won’t work on floor tiles which are much harder.
I’m just assuming you’d get a better life out of the cutter as opposed to dry ?
The set I bought were pretty cheap, so I thought it may be a good idea to help them along . I need to cut two 2-3/4” holes , and possibly more if I screw up . I have this feeling they get you threw once and that’s it .
Ok I just read the info on amazon , and it says to use water . So I guess I’ve got the right idea , but perhaps overkill
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B017AVIXZU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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Just use a wax ring (toilet seal) for a doughnut seal, fill with water when using diamond core bit.
window putty is better/easier...
not nearly the mess either...
 
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Latex Caulk is real easy. Takes a second to install, sticks well, no rolling in the hand to form a bead, holds enough water for drilling. and wipes off with a rag with a swipe. The water drains away when the cut is through and the caulk is wet and wipes of easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have duct seal also, it’s very similar to plasticine. I could have easily rolled it into a dam and stuck it on there . Maybe this was a dumb idea lol

Actually I have to cut an outside section off one tile , so my contraption will work good for that
 
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