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Cutting ceramic with handyman tools

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:55 pm
by Rich Feldman
At my wife's late parents' house, four brand-new sink faucets didn't fit the 60-year-old sinks. New pop-up drain mechanism expects center hole to be large (1 inch) or set back from mid-line.
The chosen remedy was to move the sink holes. Found a Lenox brand diamond-grit hole saw at Lowe's for about $19. New hole intersects old hole, which was taped underneath to hold water.
By the third sink I had learned that the drill jig was only needed for starting. The cutter held up well, taking 10-15 minutes per 1/2 inch with a few pounds of force on top of drill motor weight.
Sink #4 will wait for a drill extension, instead of getting an angled bore.

Re: Cutting ceramic with handyman tools

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:13 am
by Andrew Robinson
Interesting, but I'm not sure I understand why you're posting this here? Perhaps documenting your method for others in case they need to cut ceramic for fusor related work?

Re: Cutting ceramic with handyman tools

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:18 am
by Richard Hull
I think this post falls under a material science thingy. Lot of folks might need to work finished ceramics. It is good to know there are a number of possible solutions to be found out there at stores like Lowes and Home Depot. This is the sort of image du jour "tip" that will not be archived as noted in the rules. It will have a life span and then go away.

Richard Hull

Re: Cutting ceramic with handyman tools

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:27 pm
by George Dowell
Caveat Emptor drilling electronics related ceramics- often are beryllium oxides- inhalation hazard.

George Dowell

Re: Cutting ceramic with handyman tools

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:26 am
by Rich Feldman
Good point about beryllium oxide, George. Toxic when inhaled, excellent electrical insulator, and better thermal conductor than aluminum metal. About 25 years ago my employer used hybrid-circuit substrates made of the stuff.

Maybe one could test ceramics for Be, using alpha particles and a neutron detector. Is the atomic number of Be too low to have a useful XRF spectrum?

I learned that drill extensions with adjustable chucks are hard to come by. Most extensions end with sockets for specific tool sizes. Found none to fit the shank of Lenox hole saw, which is 25/64" round (not 10 mm, though made in UK!) with 3 flats.
So I bought some 3/8" threaded rod and a coupling nut. Drilled the latter out to 25/64 for half its length, and gave it some setscrews.
It did the job, but with torque and vibration the rod progressively screwed itself farther into the nut, pushing out the hole saw. Should have taken the time to find a locknut before traveling to job site.

I interrupted the plumbing-fixture installer who had originally discovered the sink problem, and who hardly spoke English, to show him the hole-making technique. 10 minutes later, I saw a well-used 1" Lenox ceramic hole saw in his truck. :oops: