Best Way To Drill Rock Without Press?

Tiny_Tanganyikans

So it started with drilling lava rock but now I've been drilling A LOT of river rocks to make caves and cichlid stones for my aquariums. I'm using a carbine "button" drill bit and while it works it gets "dull" rather quickly. After a few stones I have to really put force behind it. I sadly don't have a drill press and I'm using a hand drill. These bits are rather expensive to keep going through them the way I am. Is there a better method or reliable drill bit that anyone may know about?

Thanks in advance.
 

RedLoredAmazon

I would suggest calling up a landscaping company that deals with hardscaping and see if they have any suggestions if nobody responds to your thread.
Out of curiosity, why are you drilling lava rock? Caves for fish? I'm still new so I haven't heard of this before.
 

Tiny_Tanganyikans

I would suggest calling up a landscaping company that deals with hardscaping and see if they have any suggestions if nobody responds to your thread.
Out of curiosity, why are you drilling lava rock? Caves for fish? I'm still new so I haven't heard of this before.
The lava rock was to make planters. I drilled a small space to insert plants. I currently have a bunch covered in baby tears/various mosses/petite anubias
 

BlackTeeShirt

I'm wondering if a diamond core bit would last longer. I've used one to drill through a large rock and it worked well, but they're not too cheap.
 

Tiny_Tanganyikans

Well I'm not worried about cheap. I mean the bits I'm using cost 47 $ a piece and I've already gone through 3 of them. I won't mind spending the money on something that will last significantly longer. I still have a lot more rocks to drill.
 

Big Red

Are you keeping rock wet while drillkng? If not the heat torques those bits until theyre dull. Run a hose over bit while drilling to keep it clean and cool. They look ast longer that way.
 

BlackTeeShirt

It's worth looking into. I only drilled one rock, but the core bit worked great. I borrowed it from a friend who uses them to drill granite counter tops for faucets.
 

Tiny_Tanganyikans

Are you keeping rock wet while drillkng? If not the heat torques those bits until theyre dull. Run a hose over bit while drilling to keep it clean and cool. They look ast longer that way.
Yes I first was kind of pouring water while drilling but without a press this was awkward to say the least, I ended up attaching a pump and some vinyl tubing to my work bench and this worked out a lot better.

It's worth looking into. I only drilled one rock, but the core bit worked great. I borrowed it from a friend who uses them to drill granite counter tops for faucets.
unfortunately there's no hardware stores near me, except a very small mom and pop that mainly sells the essentials, and the only one they had was too small for what I wanted. I guess I'll make the journey to home depot and see what I can find. apparently while researching them, there's some that are designed to be self sharpening and if not they're able to be sharpened. the bits i'm using have little nubs on them, once the nubs wear down they're garbage so hopefully this will do the trick. thanks! it'll be an excuse to get another steel shelf (more aquariums!) and I need another 50lbs of sand anyhow.
 

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