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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
X45
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Tank drilling question?

I'm looking to re-drill a tank. Its 16mm glass and is currently drilled but I want to drill larger holes. Has anyone ever done this? Can it be done? Only one of the holes that I want to drill already has a hole there. I need bigger bulkhead fittings to get the flow I need.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by X45 View Post
I'm looking to re-drill a tank. Its 16mm glass and is currently drilled but I want to drill larger holes. Has anyone ever done this? Can it be done? Only one of the holes that I want to drill already has a hole there. I need bigger bulkhead fittings to get the flow I need.
I don't see why you couldn't. 16mm glass is pretty thick and the thicker it is the easier it is to drill. Have you ever drilled a tank before? It's not hard to do. If you have something you can practice on that would help. All the diamond glass hole saws I use don't have a pilot bit so it wouldn't really matter if there was a hole in the glass or not, just make sure you get your bigger hole lined up right.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tatersalad View Post
I don't see why you couldn't. 16mm glass is pretty thick and the thicker it is the easier it is to drill. Have you ever drilled a tank before? It's not hard to do. If you have something you can practice on that would help. All the diamond glass hole saws I use don't have a pilot bit so it wouldn't really matter if there was a hole in the glass or not, just make sure you get your bigger hole lined up right.
I've drilled lots of tile, never glass. I'm assuming its very similar, just harder material. Any recommendations on brand and source for the hole saw.

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225G build in the works.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 03:09 PM
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Just food for thought - when you set up your hole saw, it would likely work best to mount 2 holes saws on the same arbor. One hole saw fits your existing hole and acts as a guide. The second hole saw is the size that you want. Bigger hole saw goes on fist, then the smaller hole saw.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 03:26 PM
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I've drilled lots of tile, never glass. I'm assuming its very similar, just harder material. Any recommendations on brand and source for the hole saw.
I drilled my 30 with a very cheap bit from amazon, worked fine. I was very glad I kicked in a few extra bucks for a drill guide: the bit really wants to slip all over the place when it first hits the glass.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 12:21 PM
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I've drilled lots of tile, never glass. I'm assuming its very similar, just harder material. Any recommendations on brand and source for the hole saw.
I just used one I got off of Amazon. It is a very similar feel to drilling tile so you should be ok. A drill guide is nice to have if you want to spend the money. With a little practice you can drill just fine without one. Start the bit at an angle with some pretty good speed then slowly bring the bit back to level/square to the work piece. And keep the water going on the bit. If you can drill outside and use a water hose that would be best. If not, grab some plumbers putty and make a little dam to hold water around the spot you want to drill. Just like with drilling/cutting tile, the bit needs water to stay cool and to help get the little tiny shavings of glass out of the area you are drilling. I'm sure you've already done this but there are quite a few good videos on youtube about drilling aquariums.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 04:29 PM
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For a drill guide you could also drill a hole into a piece of wood and use that as your guide. I do that when I am enlarging holes in wood.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 06:14 PM
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enlarging a hole is a lot different than creating a hole and probably a whole lot riskier. If it were me, I'd sandwich two new pieces of glass around the hole and start drilling through all three layers. Otherwise I'd be trying to figure out if it might be easiest to just seal up the first hole and start fresh with a single hole of whatever size you need; or contemplate whether or not 2 smaller holes would do what I wanted the one large one to do.

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