Starting to drill tank (literally)

clevername

New member
Well, i just bought a new tank and i need to drill it. Took the tank out side did all the prep-work and started the drill.....apparently you people make it seem so simple (drilling a tank that is).

So the question, how do i start the bit, i have a cordless 18V drill, but no drill press. Is there any trick in getting the bit started with out buying a press.

Also what are you guys using to adjust the water level in the tank. More importantly how are you guys getting the overflow to skim the surface.

Thanks all, if it wasn't for people like you I would not be enjoying this hobby half as much!
 

kau_cinta_ku

New member
start drilling at a slight angle and once it has started then start to straighten the bit.

i just bout an internal overflow box from reefmania to fit over the hole so that alows me to skim the surface. they can make it anyway you want.

what size tank you drilling?
 

hllywd

Premier World Traveler
Works best to use some kind of guide. I use the inside corner of an aluminum framing square. Use something to space the square up 1/4" or so or the abrasive part of the hole saw will rub on the square. Optionally if you have a regular hole saw that's 1/4" larger than your diamond one, cut a hole in a piece of wood and use it as the guide.

Surface skimming is affected by a combination of linear skimmer area and flow rate. Generally what I've observed in my tanks is that if the water inside my overflow is lower than my tank water I get good surface skimming. If I allow the filter sponges in my overflows to get clogged and the skimmer box level rises close to the tank water level surface skimming stops. HTH

Tank water level is controlled by the height of your Durso or other standpipe device.

Tim
 

clevername

New member
Thanks so much all, you guys are GREAT! Excellent tips.

Heres an update, i received the wrong size drill bit for my bulkhead.
:rolleyes:

Anyway, this is for my 55 i got. My current 55 is getting old and it has many scratches on the inside. (Thanks to the wife doing me a favor and cleaning my tank with steel wool).:lol: A friend offered his tank for free, so i couldn't turn it down. Now that the tanks empty and easy to work with, i figure its time to do away with that pesky HOB overflow.

Just out of curiosity, what kinda flow could i get with 1inch... i have everything planed for 1.5inch tho.
 

1-9-06

New member
i drill all my tanks with a $15 dremel bit w/ a diamond tip. i scribe the glass with the bulkhead and spray with a water bottle as i slowly work the dremel into and around the glass. it's a bit of time but it's worth the wait. a 10 or 15 dollar bit drills any size any depth and with the same accuracy. i'm using my 2nd bit now and i've been drilling for about 2 or 3 hours on it. the only reason i'm on my 2nd bit is because i lost the 1st one. I've never heard of anyone else using this method but i've never broke a tank. i've not drilled over 1/2" yet but i'd bet it's all alike!
 

hllywd

Premier World Traveler
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10422593#post10422593 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by 1-9-06
i drill all my tanks with a $15 dremel bit w/ a diamond tip. i scribe the glass with the bulkhead and spray with a water bottle as i slowly work the dremel into and around the glass. it's a bit of time but it's worth the wait. a 10 or 15 dollar bit drills any size any depth and with the same accuracy. i'm using my 2nd bit now and i've been drilling for about 2 or 3 hours on it. the only reason i'm on my 2nd bit is because i lost the 1st one. I've never heard of anyone else using this method but i've never broke a tank. i've not drilled over 1/2" yet but i'd bet it's all alike!

You can certainly use a diamond dremel bit but it takes much longer especially as the glass gets thicker and if you're spending $15 on bits it's way more expensive too...:eek1:

I use this for $7.00 it has 15 or 20 holes on it and still has some more wear left in it...
http://richontools.com/catalog/i174.html

Tim:cool:
 

Azazael13

New member
allow me to hijack this real quick.

How do you tell if glass is tempered? I have a 35 Hex that I can now drill, but am not sure if the glass is tempered. If it is NOT tempered and I mess it up, can I just get a new piece of glass and re silicone it in place (I have to re silicone it anyway).

/end Hijack

PICTURES PLEASE :)
 

hllywd

Premier World Traveler
Two polarized camera filters or polarized sunglasses can even work. Take the tank out in the sun and hold 1 filter on each side of the glass you want to test, rotate them until most of the light is blocked by the filters. It works good to use the sky as a background when you do this because it is uniform and bright. Move the filters across the glass simultaneously looking for light and dark areas or a pattern in the glass. The light and dark areas indicate the glass is tempered if there are none then it's most likely not tempered. You can try this on the side windows of your car first so you know what to look for, they are tempered.

Tim
 

clevername

New member
Little update guys, Iv contacted the ebayer and he was EXTREMELY nice and let me keep the smaller bit (1.75 inch) and is shipping me the correct 2 3/8 inch bit for free.

So in about 3 days ill have pics for you all and a summary of how it went. I think im going to drill out some wood first and if i find that difficult ill use the ol'square method.

i Guess i should video tape the drilling because IF it turns out to be tempered then you guys are in for a cinematic epic treat!

As for the skimming. I bought a 90 degree elbow that im going to notch out, im still wondering how i can adjust the wear flow other then adding an extension to the elbow. My goal its to measure the height of the elbow and match it with the desired water level, and then mark where to drill.

Please keep up the comments/help/criticisms
You personally need to comment....i know you want to.
 

JCTewks

In Memoriam
Make sure you don't use your new diamond bit on a piece of wood, you'll just burn through it and ruin the bit.
 

iansfishy

New member
i hear alot of people using water as they are drilling. i just drilled a tank and thought about something. cold water with warm glass is bad. i made a ring around the hole i was drilling with window sealant. (the black putty stuff) so it made a reservoir, and filled it with turpintine to do the lube and cooling. i never had drilling so easy. sounds crazy but turpintine doesnt heat up and is an excellent lubricant. it made drilling really easy.
 

clevername

New member
OK back to the update guys. First off, everyones help made this a breeze. Couldn't have gone better!

I ended up using the square as a guide (raising the square with a block of wood) and a running hose. Its 3/8 glass so it was fairly hard to mess up. I just took my time.

So since i was in the mood i had a ten gallon tank i was going to use for a sump, and i thought it would be better with a bulkhead in it. Long story short, i cracked the glass. I was using about 80rpm and going as slow as could be but it wasn't enough. In the end the hole wasnt exactly straight so when the bit was going through it dug into the glass and ended up cracking it.

I DO of course have pictures and will post in a bit.

Would i drill my next tank...OF COURSE; if was a breeze!!!

THANKS EVERYONE, i really mean it.
 
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