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Old 03-31-2009, 01:25 PM   #1
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Drilling glass

Anyone know anything about drilling glass? I have a 30g (glass) i am trying to drill. I would like 2 returns and 1 intake I know i need a diamond drill bit but i think i need some tips or tricks before i tackle this project. I thought about going with an over flow but i have had them before and found that their very loud, and was thinking drilling may help reduce that noise.


Also does anyone know the max flow rate through a 3/4 inch bulkhead?

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Old 03-31-2009, 09:01 PM   #2
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I too want to drill my tank. If anyone has any input I'd like to know too.
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:30 PM   #3
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You can look on You Tube there are a Bunch of Video on how to Drill a Glass Whole into your Tank

YouTube - Drilling a Glass Fish Tank
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:03 PM   #4
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I will continue this post in different form, i have other fish related questions.
thanks for that movie.
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:33 PM   #5
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I've drilled a number of tanks at this point. If I could offer any advice it would be to take your time, do not try to push the bit through the glass, and use more water than you think you need.

Before I drilled my first tank, I took the glass out of an old picture frame and drilled a hole in it for practice. Much better to waste a piece of glass than a whole tank.

Good luck!
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:52 PM   #6
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Make sure the glass ins NOT tempered ... Tempered glass has a tendency to shatter when drilled.

You can also use a Dremel with a diamond bit. This is the instruction:
Tank Drilling with a Dremel - The Reef Tank

I did that with my old tank with glass between 1/4 to 3/8" thick, using lots of water as lubricant/coolant. I went high speed on the Dremel, but very little pressure & worked very slowly. No disaster on my tank. However, the technique is not recommended for thick glass. <I take that to mean over 1/4".>
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:39 PM   #7
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go slow, lots of water.

I found on thinner tanks, taking a piece of plywood and clamping it behind the drilling site helps keep the glass from flexing.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:49 PM   #8
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There is a better video on http://www.reefbuilder.tv/ , Unfortunately the links on his site dont seem to be working right now. I have a link to the actual site on another computer I can post when I get to it.

He puts support behind under the glass for both support and to not get glass fragments all over, goes very slow, and he also builds a putty wall around the hole to have a pool of water instead of spraying a hose.

He has a much better technique, the technique in that video above is a bit sloppy.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:45 PM   #9
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That last one is a little neater, but it does not remove enough of the glass dust that is created by the drilling process. If you must drill inside it is a nice way to go. Using a steady stream of water will help keep the hole you are making clean and make your hole saw last longer too.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilanh View Post
go slow, lots of water.

I found on thinner tanks, taking a piece of plywood and clamping it behind the drilling site helps keep the glass from flexing.
thats what I meant when I said support...holds the glass from flexing and helps with some of the glass fragments.

You can also use a wet vac to clean some of the fragments also.
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