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Topics: Gemstones, Drilling

Q.
I'm wondering how can I drill a hole in turquoise cabochons or other gemstones?
- JoAnn
A.
A Flex shaft is a motorized piece of equipment which carves, polishes and drills holes in beads, shells and wood. Before drilling a hole with this tool, create a pilot hole with a round needle file. The pilot hole will allow the drill bit to gain better purchase on the material to be drilled once you start drilling with speed.

Turquoise is very soft, so care is needed when drilling. Whichever method you choose, please wear eye protection, a dust mask and use water to flush the area where you are making the hole. Water will keep the dust to a minimum and reduce the heat from the friction of the drill. It will also clean out the hole, allowing the bit to work faster.

- Maura Buckner Jewelry-Making Expert

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