Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Announcing Our New and Improved Website

We would like to thank everyone who has written us with feedback on how to improve our site to best fit your needs. We took your suggestions to heart and redesigned the Diamondburs.net website.

You'll notice a sleeker and more updated design, but the changes aren't just cosmetic. Here are some of the changes you will notice:

  • The navigation bar was reorganized so that you can find your items easier.
  • The more popular categories have moved to the top of the page.
  • "Search" also moved to the top of the page 
  •  We added a floating shopping cart in the upper right corner so that you can always see what's in your shopping cart, no matter what page you are on. 

Check out our redesigned website and let us know what you think!

To celebrate our website redesign, we are giving away a $150 Diamondburs.net gift certificate! To enter, become a fan of our Facebook page and like the post that mentions our gift certificate giveaway by November 30. Good luck!

Customer Spotlight - Teena Stewart

This month, we are pleased to feature the work of our customer, Teena Stewart. Teena finds a spiritual message in working with discarded, broken, and valueless things and reworking them into something beautiful just as the Master Artist can do with our lives. She is an accomplished artist and published author who holds a BA with a graphic design major and writing concentration. Distinguished artistic accomplishments include designing the 2010 star ornament for Safe Harbor Rescue Mission, selling her jewelry to celebrities and having her work featured on 9th & Elm.

Pictured here are some of her wine bottle bottom ornaments and a painted and etched glass ornament. These ornaments are drilled and created from recycled wine bottles.

Thanks for sharing your artwork with us, Teena! Click here to find out more about Teena and where you can find her creations.

If you have any original work, we’d love to feature it in our blog. Email us a short description of what you do, how you do it and a few pictures. As a reminder, we are only interested in original work.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Giving Back to Our Community - Atlanta Community Food Bank

In September, we participated in a local community food drive and were able to donate $76 worth of food to the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). Each year, ACFB distributes over 45 million pounds of donated food to more than 600 local nonprofit agencies in the north Georgia area. These agencies in turn distribute the food to families in the northern half of Georgia. We're happy to be able to help!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What's a Flexible Drilling Shaft?

In several of our drilling and project guides, we mention using a flexible drilling shaft or flexshaft.

One of the most common issues with drilling glass or tile is how fatiguing it can be. Your hands get tired. After 5-10 minutes of drilling, even a light rotary tool feels like it weighs a ton. Compounding the problem, you’re usually using only one hand to drill because your other hand is holding the glass, tile, wine bottle or sea glass.

Some people get around this issue by using a drill press. You can get a drill press at any hardware store or home center. A drill press is more expensive than a flex shaft and isn’t as portable. It’s a little harder to set up and take down on your workbench or kitchen table unless you’re setting it up and leaving it.

Some artists/jewelers/craftsman think that they have more control if they use a flexshaft instead of a drill press. Some feel the opposite way. It’s a matter of personal preference. There isn’t a right or wrong answer–just whatever works for you.

A flexible drilling shaft is an accessory that you screw onto a Dremel (or other) rotary tool. Other models of the flexible drilling shaft fit in the chuck of your regular hand drill.

Attaching a flexshaft to a Dremel tool is easy. You take the decorative black plastic ring nut, collet nut and collet off the rotary tool as if you were going to change collets. Next, you screw on the square drive collet nut and screw the flexshaft on the Dremel tool in place of the plastic ring nut. It's an easy process that takes about 30 seconds. If you’re using one in a regular drill it’s even easier–you insert the end of the flexible shaft in the chuck of the drill and tighten the chuck.

When you’re finished, you'll have a pen sized drilling tool for your hand and 30 inches of flexible shaft. The motor and battery, which are the heavy parts of the rotary tool, are resting comfortably on your workbench or kitchen table–not in your hand.

Your drill bits, grinding stones, polishing wheels and disks fit in a collet or adjustable chuck on the end of the flexible shaft, exactly the same way that they fit in your rotary tool.

We’ve used several brands of flexible shafts and reviewed a few of them on Amazon. The Dremel brand is a little more expensive, but more versatile. Most of the cheaper ones will only take a 1/8” collet and don’t have replacement collets. This limits your choice of drill bits. It also means that if you ever lose or wear out the collet, the entire drilling shaft is useless. The Dremel Flexshaft will accommodate several sizes of collets or their adjustable chuck and you can buy replacement collets. We personally believe that the Dremel brand is worth the additional $10-$15. You can get them from your local hardware store or at Dremel retailers online.

If you have a question or comment, we'd love to hear from you. Leave us a comment, below, or email us a note.

If you're interested in learning more about drilling, you can download a free copy of “How to Drill Glass, Tile and Stone.” Click here for your FREE copy.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

DIY Project Spotlight - Wine Bottle Lights

Some of the most popular questions from our customers are about drilling wine bottles to make a wine bottle light.

Can I drill a wine bottle? 
Can I make a wine bottle light?
Can I use my regular drill or Dremel tool?

Yes, yes and yes! We have a lot of creative customers – we're amazed at some of the projects that we see or hear about. Approaching the holiday season, a lot of our customers get into – craft mode. All of a sudden Christmas crafts and holiday decorations are on everyone’s mind. Wine bottle lights are one of the more popular projects. You’ve probably seen them: wine bottles with a strand of Christmas lights inside. The outside of the bottle can be decorated almost any way than you want; painted, decals, glitter, ribbons, beads, etc.

Can I drill a wine bottle?

Yes, you can. Drilling wine bottles to make a wine bottle light can seem a little intimidating for someone who’s never done it before. The idea of drilling a hole on that curved, smooth and slippery surface seems daunting. It’s not hard, it just takes a little practice. You’ll use a diamond core bit and your regular drill or Dremel tool.

Can I make a wine bottle light?

Yes, you can. Once the hole is drilled in the wine bottle, you simply push a strand of Christmas lights inside the bottle through the hole. For most light strands the plug will not fit through the hole. Thats good – you don’t want it to. The plug end will look like a “tail.” You’ll plug your new wine bottle light into a wall receptacle or extension cord. Lightly shake the bottle to distribute the lights inside a little more evenly. If you’re using LED lights you can use a strand of 25-50 lights. If you’re using regular incandescent lights you should use a shorter strand of only 15-25 lights. Incandescent lights are a lot hotter. You don’t want the wine bottle to become too hot to touch or to become a fire hazard. Use your imagination when decorating the outside of the bottle. We’ve seen bottle lights that were painted, decoupaged, decorated with a decal, covered in glue and glitter, covered in glue and Epsom salts, covered in glass beads, you name it. Some of our artistically talented customers hand paint the bottles. For the remainder (like us), using a decal or some other method works best.

Can I use my regular drill or Dremel tool? 

Yes, you can. The most popular drill bit for drilling the wine bottles is the 1/2" Diamond Core Bit. This is usually the smallest size that the lights will fit through. Consider using a slightly larger bit such as the "5/8”" or 3/4” diamond core bit. All three of these bits will fit in almost any drill or drill press. Using one of the larger bits is especially helpful if you’re making a lot of the bottle lights or if you ever need to remove the lights to replace a burned out bulb. If you’re using a Dremel tool for the drilling, you should use the 15/32” diamond core bit for Dremel tools. It’s the largest bit you can safely use in a Dremel tool. The lights will be a tight fit but they will go through the hole.

For a limited time, you can purchase our Wine Bottle Drilling Set. This new product is valued at $96, but is available for $47 until September 30. With this set, you can choose between five different drill bit combinations.

If you want more information about drilling the wine bottles, you can always download a copy of “How to Drill Glass”, "Click here for your FREE copy."

Customer Spotlight - Gertraud Fendler

This month, we feature the work of Gertraud Fendler, a semi-retired professional photographer who worked in New York City for 25 years before moving to Virginia. Gertraud would spend hours walking on the beaches and picking up sea glass - it was only three years ago that she decided to create pieces of jewelry with her beach treasures.

In this particular project, the sea glass are cornflower blue pieces of Milk of Magnesia bottles (you can see some writing on the front piece), which are drilled with our diamond bits and then wrapped with square sterling silver wire and embellished with freshwater pearls and polished glass beads.

Thank you for sharing some of your work with us, Gertraud!

If you have any original work, we’d love to feature it in our blog. Email us a short description of what you do, how you do it and a few pictures. As a reminder, we are only interested in original work.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Giving Back to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

In August, DiamondBurs.Net bought and donated $84 worth of children's books to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). These books will be given to children who are patients at CHOA. 

CHOA is a Not-For-Profit pediatric healthcare group in Atlanta, Georgia. They operate three pediatric hospitals in the Atlanta area. Additionally, they have 20 neighborhood locations, including five Urgent Care centers and the Marcus Autism Center.

We're proud to help bring a small bit of comfort to these children.