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Pottery, Clay and Ceramics: Drilling drainage holes

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Forum: Pottery, Clay and CeramicsReplies: 9, Views: 63
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velveteena
Seattle, WA

May 1, 2012
12:57 PM

Post #9105882

I have drilled lots of drain holes in pots, mostly successfully. The hard ceramic ones are not so easy, though, even with a bit labeled for use on glass and tile. Don't want to invest too heavily in new tools. I have just an ordinary electric drill. Which bit will work on my lovely new Chinese pots? Special techniques to avoid cracks? I know about water to cool things down, as well as taking breaks for the sake of the drill itself. Do you place tape around the intended holes? Does it matter which kind?
Plants4myPots
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 1, 2012
4:05 PM

Post #9106133

You're probably familiar with these bits, since you say you've drilled before...
http://image.made-in-china.com/2f0j00MvFafuRCgYbB/Glass-Tile-Drill-Bit-TWD00023-.jpg

They work the best, and work in most any decent drill. The best recommendation I have to avoid cracks or chipping your rims is to fold a big old towel and put that on the ground, and invert your pot on it. That will help avoid accidentally damaging the pot during drilling. The hard ceramic ones are just that, hard ceramic. They're glazed and fired to higher temperatures than terracotta, which makes them harder to drill through, but it's the same process that you have to use...

Tape isn't going to do anything to prevent cracking. Well, maybe on drywall in your house when you hang a picture, but not when drilling through ceramic. If the clay is gonna crack, it's gonna crack. Also, the heat that the drill and ceramic generates can crack the pot, but, the water isn't JUST to keep the clay and the drill cool. It acts as a lubricant, and helps prevent the cracks as well by lubricating the drill bit and the ceramic.

Hope your pots come out well!
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

May 1, 2012
4:58 PM

Post #9106208

Yep----all of the above!!
denimangle
Oakwood (Butler,TX), TX
(Zone 8b)

May 6, 2012
7:31 PM

Post #9113294

use water . take some silacone and make a dam around where you want to drill add water drill keep adding water as needed
velveteena
Seattle, WA

June 12, 2012
9:04 PM

Post #9163019

I appreciate all your input---wonder if I have the patience to take this on. I have in the past planted things that LIKE to sit in undrained water. One was some kind of really cute curly reed. Another was some kind of floaty stuff from a neat water garden place near Costco in Seattle. If anyone wants to go there, it's on Brandon Street off 4th Ave S. HUGE collection of koi---all sorts and sizes and prices. Also water plants.Think I'll go there again myself. Meanwhile, any suggestions for such plants? I can't do an entire ecosystem with frogs and fish, just plants. Sun or shade? Winter survivable? So far I have just been collecting rain water for my other pots, but they are better than that...
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

June 13, 2012
9:43 AM

Post #9163550

Depending on the size of the pot: lotus, horsetail, papyrus, Louisiana iris, azolla, water lettuce, water hyacinth, miniature water lilies. Ummm...there's a beautiful little plant that has a white fragrant flower---snowflake something? Too hot here for me to keep it alive, but it might do really well there. Add a few mosquito fish and a couple of goldfish, and voila, you you have yourself a mini-water garden!
velveteena
Seattle, WA

July 1, 2012
2:51 PM

Post #9188970

Hey, Pigeon! I wonder how my four cats would get along with the fish, not to mention the darned raccoons! But the plants would be wonderful, I'm sure. Did not know it got that hot in Gilroy---too far inland get be cooled by the ocean?
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

July 3, 2012
5:41 PM

Post #9191927

Flashing Christmas lights (the random kind) will foil the raccoons. Their eyes are so sensitive to light that they can't adjust. I learned this quite by accident, and they still avoid our pond, even though the lights actually have been gone for years...LOL!

When there's a high pressure ridge that keeps the Pacific fog from coming in, it can routinely get to 105 and we've seen as hot as 112 here. But when the offshores (or onshores, I can never remember which) push the fog over the Santa Cruz mountains, sometimes it doesn't burn off till noon. Then it only gets to 85 or so, and the mornings are wonderful for working in the garden! When I wake up in the summer and see blue sky, it's not a pretty sight.
velveteena
Seattle, WA

August 23, 2012
8:38 PM

Post #9251822

Hey, pigeon. We just got over our heat wave here, and I'm starting to come back to life. How great to learn about the flashing lights! I bought some pretty tacky solar lights after the Fourth that alternate between red and blue. Maybe that would work. Today I bought a fragrant white water plant that the lady called called Hawthorne.The Latin name started with an A and was quite long. I do have a water plant book around here somewhere...this one is supposed to be a winter bloomer, so I'll return to Oasis for a lily in the Spring.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

August 24, 2012
8:07 AM

Post #9252123

Yes, water hawthorne is the one I was thinking of, and it's wonderful! It's like a winter-blooming lily, and the flowers are really fragrant.
I'm not sure those LED solar lights change color fast enough to irritate the racoons----mine, at least, sort of "flow" from one color to another. But give them a try with some feeder goldfish, and see what happens. Let us know if they work!

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