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"Drilling" holes into clay pots?



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calinromania

Oradea, Romania
Posts: 1549
Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:42 am   Post subject: "Drilling" holes into clay pots?


Question:
How can I "drill" holes in two terracotta pots?
I have two pots, not big, but kinda slim and tall. And The clay is "good quality" ... not crumbling. Very hard.
And... no holes. SO I can't really have anything in them, cause there's no drainage. I'd like to grow something in them.
I am afraid to crack them, so I am not sure what the best approach is!
ANY suggestion?




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Sjoerd

West - Friesland
Posts: 9409
Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:18 am   


Hi Calin

I have done it with an ordinary hand drill with a bit that is meant for cement.
They have points like this:

http://www.bosch-do-it.co.uk/diy/diyknowledge/lexicon/masonry-drill-bit.shtml?alpha=77

It is really the only way that I know to do it.

If you can get hold of this sort of drill bit...just remember not to press down too hard when drilling. Just take it slow and easy and you'll get there.

Hope you have good luck, man.

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Coppice
SE-OH USAian
Posts: 348
Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:31 am   


Buy a set of masonry bits. Start out with a smaller size (It'll drill easier) do a second round with larger bits.

I like using a power drill and going at 'it' from both sides, an extension may also help.

More than a couple of older bonsai pots I have seen, had intentionaly larger holes cut into bottoms.

Really rugged stoneware eats masonry bits, and spits the fragments out and laughs. Sad

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KK Ng

Malacca, Malaysia.
Posts: 2600
Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:40 pm   


I had drilled holes in flower pot before using drill bits same as those mentioned by Sojerd which is masonry bits as mentioned by Coppice. To use this kind of drill bits you would need a hammer drill. Since your pots must be precious to you I would suggest that you use diamond drill bits - http://www.diamonddrillandtool.com/ - it is much safer and easier to use. However if you do decide to make use of the masonry drill bits be very careful and gentle. Good luck!

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Jerry Sullivan


Regular Plants Contributor

Chelmsford MA
Posts: 5343
Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:04 pm   


These are drills i have used for ceramic pots I don't see why they would not work on terracotta.

Jerry



Drill bits ( photo / image / picture from Jerry Sullivan's Garden )

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cherylad


Regular Plants Contributor

S. Liberty County - Texas (8B)
Posts: 11014
Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:14 pm   


Most important, after the right drill bit, is too take your time. I learned the hard way trying to get it done quickly and the pot cracked. Luckily it was just a cheap pot. Good luck!

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calinromania

Oradea, Romania
Posts: 1549
Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:55 am   


Thanks guys!
I will surely ask someone pro to do it.
Smile

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fish_4_all
Zone 8-9 Washington
Posts: 627
Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:23 pm   


Just wantedto add that a Dremel may work really well for drilling holes. The high speed and using a grinding bit can make a hole fast and easily. Just be very careful because the pots will eat the bits and if they get too wore down they can shatter and throw shards a long way. I have drilled a lot of Ceramics and clay pots with them without breaking any of the pots. Bits broke but not the pots.

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calinromania

Oradea, Romania
Posts: 1549
Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:43 am   


WOW. COOL. Well, my dad is the handyman. I will ask him to help. I also got about 20-30 small-small pots, like the cactus/succulent type, and i was really happy. For as short while!
A lady I do some swaps here in my city asked me if i wanted them cause she was just gonna give them away and it sounded really a great deal. (I gave her some plants from the garden).
But when I looked at them, they were perfect size (I mean small), clay, but NO HOLES...
SO I'd better get busy! Very Happy

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AAnightowl

Missouri
Posts: 1300
Posted: Wed May 04, 2011 12:28 pm   


Doesnt terracotta drain itself naturally, so no holes ought to be needed? I would test it by putting water in it [outdoors] and seeing if it already drains or not. Unglazed pottery usually does.

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waretrop

north eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 4432
Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:57 am   Post subject: "Drilling" holes into clay pots?


Calin, I have drilled holes in all kind of things. Some tarra cotta pots have a glaze on them that is hard as a rock and impenetrable. Most are ok if you use a cement bit or glass bit or masonery bit. When you start dip the bit in some cooking oil and that will help keep things cool. I re dip often. Something to remember, you always take that chance of breaking the pot if you push on the drill too hard, but what is too hard. Experience teaches you that. 2 pots is not enough experience.

Barb in Pa and new here. LOL

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calinromania

Oradea, Romania
Posts: 1549
Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:54 am   


Hey Barb. Thanks for the cooking oil tip!

And welcome Smile

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waretrop

north eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 4432
Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:37 am   Post subject: "Drilling" holes into clay pots?


It's been a while since you started this. Did you succeed in drilling holes in the 2 pots? I did about 50 many years ago. Some had this shiny hard finish that couldn't be penetrated but most went great. I probably had the wrong bit for those with that hard finish.

When I first started I cracked some without oil and with too much pressure. That's where you get that experience.

I also drilled holes at the bottom inch of a side of about 100 fish tanks. There is where you need the oil. I only cracked about 2 of them and each hole took about 12 minutes. It was nerve wracking.

A pro would have knocked them out in no time but my way was cheaper. LOL

Barb

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Ever green
Cincinnati
Posts: 8
Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:31 am   


Did you have any luck with the cement bits? I imagine, with the glaze on most pots, a diamond or glass bit would be the way to go. Let us know how it worked out!

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calinromania

Oradea, Romania
Posts: 1549
Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:44 am   


I found a drill here at the markets, and after one hole done, it just refused to work. AT ALL!
Then got a similar one here at some store, and it drilled in the pot like it was sponge or something. I was surprised!
Now the pot is perfect...but I won't be planting anything in it till spring. It's flat and large, so it'd require space...which is very hard to come by now with all the pots inside for the winter Sad

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