(up-dated 1/ Jan./2019)

Larry has been experimenting with drilling flourite beads, lately.He has one of his experimental forms for each bead except the ones that broke in manufacture. Larry shaped the beads with modern tools but drilled them using Mississippian, Burlington chert, micro-drills, hafted into river cane handles. The form includes the minutes Larry worked, the total time it took to make the hole, and sometimes, the thickness of the material where the hole was drilled. Larry used to be able to drill for 5-10 minutes at a time but, now, drills in two-minute increments. The forms also include when the drills were re-harpened, reversed, or replaced. They also record when the bead was turned over to drill from the opposite side.


Bead #1 broke 3 times during manufacture. The form is from the 3rd hole which was successful. Below are the broken pieces. Bead #1 took 26 minutes and 36 seconds to drill. It broke twice before the final bead hole suceeded. Below are the drill used, The first break-out, a close-up, the second break. The second attempt was trying to drill a hole perpendicular, to the first.



Bead #2 was nearly triangular when it was started so it became a triangular bead, It took 26 minutes and 35 seconds to drill. The bead thickness at the drilling point, is 4.2 mm.

The new bit             The used bit.



Bead #3 was a naturally occuring crystal of flourite, so, no shaping was necessary. It took 24 minutes, 2 seconds to drill



Bead #4 took 55 minutes, 17 seconds to drill.

              (w/used bits)


Bead #5 took 55 minutes, 46 seconds to drill. The thickness at the drilled hole is 10.3 mm.

 (bit, before)           (bit, after)

BEAD #6 (split)

Bead #6 split after 26 minutes of drilling.



BEAD #7 (broken)

Bead #7's hole broke out after 57 minutes,36 seconds.



Bead #8 took 27 minutes, 31 seconds to drill and was 7.1 mm. thick, where it was drilled.

      (the bits, after use)   

BEAD #9 (broken)

Bead #9 broke after 25 minutes, 30 seconds of drilling.


  (Early drilling)   (bead w/drill after break)    (close-up)

BEAD # 10

Bead #10 took 27 minutes, 13 seconds to drill and was 7.9 mm. thick.

  (2 used bits)      

BEAD #11

Bead #11 took 1 hour, 9 minutes, 35 seconds to drill.

 (2 used bits)