"Drilling" holes into clay pots?

Discussion in 'Houseplants' started by calinromania, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. calinromania

    calinromania Young Pine

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    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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  2. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Strong Ash

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    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/diykno ... l?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.
     
  3. Coppice

    Coppice In Flower

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    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. :(
     
  4. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    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!
     
  5. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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

    Jerry


    [​IMG]
    Drill bits ( photo / image / picture from Jerry Sullivan's Garden )
     
  6. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    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!
     
  7. calinromania

    calinromania Young Pine

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    Thanks guys!
    I will surely ask someone pro to do it.
    :)
     
  8. fish_4_all

    fish_4_all In Flower

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    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.
     
  9. calinromania

    calinromania Young Pine

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    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! :D
     
  10. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    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.
     
  11. waretrop

    waretrop Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    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
     
  12. calinromania

    calinromania Young Pine

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    Hey Barb. Thanks for the cooking oil tip!

    And welcome :)
     
  13. waretrop

    waretrop Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    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
     
  14. Ever green

    Ever green New Seed

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    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!
     
  15. calinromania

    calinromania Young Pine

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    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 :(
     

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