I am so excited to share this neat little tool with you pearl lovers. I have a large collection of beautiful pearls, many of them with holes so small they fit only on fine beading wire.
Now I can enlarge the hole with this 1.90mm bit –– large enough to fit on wire up to 13 gauge (1.83mm). Pearls drilled with this bit fit on my 14-gauge silver wire beautifully. Instead of searching for large-hole pearls – which don't always come in the colors and shapes you want – work with the pearls you have and love.
This top-quality Japanese steel blade enlarges the holes without damaging the nacre. Load it in your flex shaft handpiece – it fits flex-shafts with key-type chuck (will not fit quick-change handpieces). It also can be used in a drill press.
This listing is for one double-ended 1.90mm pearl blade. Hard to find in this large size!
Similar to drilling holes in metal, start small. I first use a 1.30mm pearl blade to enlarge the tiny hole slightly, then I make a second pass using this thicker blade. The last photo show both blades, 1.30mm and 1.90mm side by side in my hand for comparison and scale.
The tempered steel blade will last a long time and can be sharpened on a whetstone. It is also double-ended, with identical blade tips on both ends, so you get two blades in one.
CAUTION: Always drill the pearl in a small dish of water to protect your lungs. You do not want to breathe dry dust as you drill! Drill slowly and every so often, pull the blade out of the hole to clear the waste material. The water collects the waste and cools the blade as well.
I hold the pearl in my fingertips in a small hard plastic (Melamine) bowl. A small piece of sponge in the bottom can be helpful for support. If you plan to do many pearls, you may want to invest in a special pearl vise to hold the pearl steady as you drill.