The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - 50G with 30G sump - month 10 update
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post #36 of (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Oshawa
Posts: 750
Just pics for now, text in the morning. Long day...

Update: Ok, text added.

Note how I have marked the holes (dry-erase marker) on the cutting face AND the inside. This was definitely handy.

What did I learn here? Use the plumber's putty for just one hole at a time. Why? Protip: if your reservoir is around three hole points, and you turn one of them into an actual will drain. No kidding.

Next time I would:
  • Make dams around all three to begin with, would limit the mess (and there was a big mess of water/glass dust).
  • Put the tape on BEFORE I start drilling - for all the holes.
  • Tape some sort of cup/container underneath the hole to limit the splashing/mess.
  • Use blue tape to mark out the holes on the drilling surface - the dry-erase marker wiped off like a dry-erase marker.

Levelling the work surface for an even cut:
It wasn't perfect, but ended up being good enough.

Drill press set for ~900RPM
The belt ended up slipping off mid-way through the first cut - pulleys were too out of line - so I settled for the next pulley up on the drill side.

You can calculate this by taking the motor pulley diameter divided by the spindle pulley diameter, times the motor speed.

1725RPM * (2/4) = ~860RPM (early morning maths...)

I think the second option got me somewhere around 1100RPM, still within spec for drilling glass.

Drilling as easy as 1-2-3!
Ok, this is a lie. Hole#1 took about 1 hour, mainly because I was terrified of breaking the glass. Hole#2 took about 45 minutes, because after 30 mins of little progress I got impatient. Hole#3 took about 45 minutes because that's about as fast as I would cut. The two smaller holes each took about 30-40 minutes.

Very little chip-out on the 1" holes, and moderate chip-out on the 1.25" holes (one had a 0.25" shallow chip), despite the tape. Pretty sure a quality bit would make a difference here. The lesson is: $10 worth of drill bits will do the job, but will take FOREVER and not give you a perfect hole.

I learned how to properly read my drill press depth measurement during this process - it is marked with 1/64 graduations, not 1/16.

If they look out of line, it's just an optical illusion. You can trust me on that.

Drill bit after a few holes:

Final product:
Well, I'd have to say this was a success. The tank is in one piece, cuts are acceptable (covered by bulkheads), and even though the alignment wasn't perfect, things are in spec.

If anyone is attempting to do this with a hand fun. Maybe smaller holes would not be so bad, or better bits would make a big difference.

Anyway, we can get back to the sump fixin' now. More to come. (oh, and I need to order another 1" bulkhead...oops)

Last edited by crazymittens; 08-20-2012 at 11:39 AM. Reason: text added
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