Drilling holes in aquariums or just a glass section.

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Drilling holes in aquariums or just a glass section.

Post  liquidg on 15th June 2013, 12:04 am

A very common need for hobbyists is to get holes drilled for returns or usually exits from the aquarium, so they are left trying to find out how could I do it or who can I get to do it? You can do it your self, very easily!

The diamond drill bits can be purchased from places like bunnings and the most important thing to remember with using what equates as a hole saw on cutting glass, is to never let the drill bit or the glass where you are drilling get hot or the area dry during the process once the grove is started!

This is easily over come when there is no water in your aquarium by using a spray bottle filled with tap water and a tea spoon of dishwashing detergent. When there is water in the aquarium and it has been running for a short time or a long time, you just take the water level down as far down as you can, half way or more is good and fill the spray bottle with your aquarium water. The residue from this way of cutting that goes into your aquarium is harmless

Once ready you mark the spot with a permanent felt pen marker with a large cross that will be far bigger then the drill bit size so you have a reference at all times where the lines would junction, even when that junction of the lines is obscured by the drilling.

It will take a little while of holding the drill very carefully touching the glass softly while it develops a grove to the shape of the bits end. Holding the drill on a slight angle for this is good to begin with to get part of the circular grove going.

Once this slight grove is holding your bit in place and not wobbling all over the glass, apply the spray constantly now, as it is very important to keep the bit and the glass cool!

If the glass becomes hot it will most likely break and after a few times of this, the bit will be ruined as well! If it is kept cool, it will work out nicely.

As the drill bit is about to go through the hole, make sure you have firm hands on that drill to not let it go through to quickly.

If you can get help, get some one to spray the bit and the area of the hole as you go.

Once it is through, pull it in and out of the hole to finish it off, not letting the bit actually come out of the hole or go totally through. This is only a 15 millimetre movement more or less.

There will be glass sections come of during this process that is visible on your glass near the hole, but these are not an issue and will not encourage your glass to break, scoring-scratching helps glass break, not these!

Now get a 6 to 10 inch long section of timber dowel or something like a bit of conduit rod, say half the inside size of the hole that you have cut and wrap some fine sand paper around this rod and place in the hole and sand with it in a turning motion.

Do not do this up and down; spin it only and tip it gently to get a slight bevelled edge top and bottom to the hole, either place this rod in the drill or by hand! This does not have to be done, its just better that way and the bevelled edge you make is to small to be seen, its just to help keep the glass strong.

This is really only to smooth off the inside edges of your drilled hole.

Now the hole is finished and you need to clean the hole if you used the tap water and detergent thoroughly. This is with a wet rag and then dry rag and then mentholated spirits then wipe with a bit if tissue or paper towel and it ready to use in what ever way you wish, now that the glass will except a glue as well because of the cleaned glass surface.

Select the size drill bit you desire.


Spray the area and begin drilling.

 


The bit is ready to go through, so be careful now.



Hole finished.



The following pic is how I use piping for hole exits as such. You get conduit slightly larger in external diameter to the hole and heat the conduit with a heat gun and force it into the hole.

Apply a small funnel or drink bottle and on the inside part of the heated conduit and it will cool with a flared end and these actions will make it impossible for the conduit to come out. Run a folded edge of the sand paper on the conduit to rough it up near where it goes through the glass and comes out of the glass to allow the glue to attach even better. Wipe some epoxy resin like araldite around the inside or out side and acidic cure silicon on the opposite side of the glass and it is sealed, permanently!

Or of course use a bulk head the right size for the hole and seal it with silicon as well.


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liquidg

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