Building an 8 inch cube (56k) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Building an 8 inch cube (56k)

Hi guys

I started building an 8" nano cube today, I thought I'd share my progress.

Some people might not know how to cut glass this way, so I'll go into a bit of detail. Sorry if I'm boring some of you

The materials:


Interesting thing to note here: That Home Depot replacement glass is by no means perfect. The edges are not perfectly straight, and the corners are a bit off of 90*. Oh well, can't win em all, right? If I were aiming for ADA quality with this, I'd go to a glass shop for my glass for sure.

Step 1:


The glass cutting kit I got at Home Depot for like $12 included the cutter, cutting oil, and a grease pencil. I used the pencil to draw my line where I want my cut to be.

Step 2:


I found it pretty helpful to tape down whatever I'm using as a straight edge for cutting (I wouldn't try to freehand it)....things tend to slip and slide pretty easy on glass....

Step 3:


Use the cutter to score a line in the glass where you want your cut to be. This takes some practice to get the right pressure and technique, so I'd recommend having some scrap glass around to practice with (not to mention, you need to break the cutter in before you make any real cuts). Then to finish your cut, just grab the glass in both hands on either side of the score (wearing gloves of course) and bend upwards and away from you. The glass will snap pretty easily and you should be left with a clean cut. It won't look nearly as good as a glass shop cut, but hey, you did it yourself for a hell of a lot cheaper...not to mention it'll be covered in silicone anyway

Step 4:


Do this for the other 4 sides. Don't forget to make two of the sides smaller than the rest....I realized that just before I cut piece #4

Step 5: Mock up


All taped up and everything fits. I was no more than about 1/32" off on all the pieces...not too bad for a first timer. Some of the corners are not perfect, because the glass wasn't perfect Oh well, I think It'll work out ok.

That's all I have so far. I need to find something to smooth the edges of the glass, clean up the panes, mask, and silicone.

Just thought I'd share.

Jason
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 01:44 AM
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Hey, don't think this is boring. It isn't. Lots of us probably dream about doing this and seeing how someone else is doing it just encourages us to try it. For smoothing the edges you can get a silicon carbide stone, used to sharpen knives, and run it along the edges. It is harder than the glass so it cuts well.
Are you sure the thin glass you are using is thick enough to withstand the water? I have no feel for that at all.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Hey, don't think this is boring. It isn't. Lots of us probably dream about doing this and seeing how someone else is doing it just encourages us to try it. For smoothing the edges you can get a silicon carbide stone, used to sharpen knives, and run it along the edges. It is harder than the glass so it cuts well.
Are you sure the thin glass you are using is thick enough to withstand the water? I have no feel for that at all.
I sure as hell hope the glass is thick enough. I mean, it's only 8x8x8. I guess we'll find out, eh? And it seems to have worked for the "My ugly homemade nano" guy, and that was a bigger tank, so I think so

Jason
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 11:21 AM
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Now corect me if I'm wrong, But, the bottom piece would have to be roughly 1/4" smaller than the outside square size, right?(ie: if the square is 8" O.D. then the bottom piece would have to be 7-3/4") I mean if the panes are 1/8 " thick that is... I have alot of this (1/8") glass, & some thicker (1/4") glass laying around... I have been throwing the Idea of making a Turtle tank with it & just haven't done it yet, I won't need all 4 sides to be glass either seeing 1/2 of it will be land anyway... I have been thinking of using Plywood, Epoxy, & Glass to make it.

Edit: OK, I just re-read the post... It's 3/32 thick Glass... So, it would have to be roughly 3/16" smaller... sorry for the confusion! Just thought that by the looks of it it was 1/8"... My Bad!

BTW, I didn't say it. But, Great Post! I'm glad you wrote this up with detail for some who have Never done this before!

Steve X.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Some people might not know how to cut glass this way, so I'll go into a bit of detail. Sorry if I'm boring some of you
Nonsense! A well documented, well written DIY post is never boring!

Sláinte!
Cindy



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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquamanx View Post
Now corect me if I'm wrong, But, the bottom piece would have to be roughly 1/4" smaller than the outside square size, right?(ie: if the square is 8" O.D. then the bottom piece would have to be 7-3/4") I mean if the panes are 1/8 " thick that is... I have alot of this (1/8") glass, & some thicker (1/4") glass laying around... I have been throwing the Idea of making a Turtle tank with it & just haven't done it yet, I won't need all 4 sides to be glass either seeing 1/2 of it will be land anyway... I have been thinking of using Plywood, Epoxy, & Glass to make it.

Edit: OK, I just re-read the post... It's 3/32 thick Glass... So, it would have to be roughly 3/16" smaller... sorry for the confusion! Just thought that by the looks of it it was 1/8"... My Bad!

BTW, I didn't say it. But, Great Post! I'm glad you wrote this up with detail for some who have Never done this before!

Steve X.
The sizing depends on how you make it. I'm putting the sides on top of the bottom piece, so only 2 pieces need to be smaller (2 x 3/32 = 6/32" or 3/16" total). From what I remember reading a long time ago, this is the best way to do it. Maybe someone else can chime in on this one...I think the way you are suggesting is a "floating bottom" or something, and isn't as strong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseHawke
Nonsense! A well documented, well written DIY post is never boring!
Well I'm glad you guys are enjoying it.

I got a cheap sharpening stone last night, so I'll be grinding the edges when I get home from work today. Not sure if I'll get around to any silicone work tonight or not...

Jason
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 07:27 PM
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I think this is great not a bit boring. I just wish I could sum up the courage to use the glass cutter without breaking the glass.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 07:38 PM
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I think this is great not a bit boring. I just wish I could sum up the courage to use the glass cutter without breaking the glass.
I have had the courage many times, but rarely the skill to not break the glass. If I did this I think I would have the glass supplier do the cutting. That might not work because when I was getting glass pieces cut for cabinet doors, they were never better than +/- 1/16 " in tolerance.

Hoppy
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by actioncia View Post
I think this is great not a bit boring. I just wish I could sum up the courage to use the glass cutter without breaking the glass.
That is the whole point of a cutter..

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 07:48 PM
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Good job - ill never got the hang of the classcutter, even though im supposed to have my hands put on properly... I usually bribes people with beer, but now the beerless days is over, thanks to you.

From 2.1gal Nano to 14gal:


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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-17-2006, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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I think it's all about the pressure with those things really. Too little, the glass doesn't break right. Too much, it still doesn't break right, and you damage the cutter.

Practice, practice, practice. I think I scored about 30something lines on scrap glass, and made a few good breaks before I tempted it on the glass for the tank.

Only messed up one tank piece....but hardly noticeable, since it'll be at the back on the bottom

Jason
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-17-2006, 01:24 AM
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Great post. I liked how you took pictures at lots of stages...makes it easier for people to understand!
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-17-2006, 01:47 AM
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A T-Square is a great tool for nice square cuts (and many other things as well).
Shocked that you didn't use one!

Anyway, good luck with this!


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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-17-2006, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jhoetzl View Post
A T-Square is a great tool for nice square cuts (and many other things as well).
Shocked that you didn't use one!

Anyway, good luck with this!
I would have if I had one I have a triangle square somewhere in my storage unit, but it wouldn't have been big enough to help anyway.

Next time I'll get a T-square though, and use oversized glass, so I can get a perfectly square piece....I was surprised at how not square these pieces of glass were...then I thought about it, and I'm not really all that surprised - it was less than $2 a sheet for this size glass

For all: I guess I should note that this scoring/breaking method works for glass thicker than 3/32" as well. I made some cuts in a 3/8" piece of glass, and they turned out really well...was a little bit nerve-racking though with the amount of pressure required to snap that piece

I guess I should add, you should wear some type of gloves (preferably leather...I only had silicone BBQ gloves though) and eye protection (wrap around sunglasses for me). Then make sure to bend away from you, you're all set. By this I mean, you want to bend upwards, but try to angle the glass away from you when you do it.

Maybe I should record a quick little video of cutting a piece of glass tomorrow? Might show some people how simple it actually is to do. I actually would have never even thought of cutting my own glass if it weren't for Zulu's thread Where he breifly described how he cut his glass.....

Would that be something you guys would be interested in seeing? Just a quick 30-60sec video showing a score and a snap? If so, I might have to try to get a video tomorrow...hopefully it's not too big without using some extra compression software - I think the videos off of my camera are fairly large...

Jason
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-17-2006, 03:01 PM
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I think so. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth about a million!

Sláinte!
Cindy



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