Took me 45 mins to drill one hole...

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JB33t

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At around noon on Monday I decided to start on my first hole of the tank. It would be my 4th hole i would ever had drilled. First hole that was drilled on my 5g (was refugium tank) got cracked so I just used that tank as practice for drilling now that it was cracked and it’s not thick glass at all but those holes took me about 3-4 mins each. So i did those on Sunday now it’s Monday and I take my tank outside and start drilling. Well 5 mins goes by, I knew it would take longer then the 5g tank so I said okay no problem.

keep in mind that after the first hole it cracked because my dad went too fast therefore I was avid about going slow.

so I had my hand on the drill trigger at around maybe 1/4th. Then goes 10 minutes and I’m like gosh dang this takes awhile, then we’ll 20 mins and then around 25 min mark the drill battery dies. I was maybe 1/2 way through and my hand is tired from holding down this trigger and the arch on my back too from the position I was.

so I leave it 1/2 drilled and come back to it this Saturday morning. Took about another 20 mins with a fresh battery went slightly faster this time. Finally the dang hole was drilled. I’m not sure if it was that the drill bit was super dull from having already drilled 3 other holes. I mean 3 holes and the drill bit is already done for that seems odd. It wasn’t a Chinese drill bit either.

well anyways I still need to drill 2 more holes. And I had an accident when I realized on Monday while I was drilling I was drilling the wrong size. I drilled the drain size hole for the return. Oopsy so I guess I have to just get the pipe down to a smaller size or can I just keep the return and drain the same?

another concern is if 2 holes will fit with the size of my overflow I guess I’ll have to see when I receive the bulkheads if there is space.

so when I go to drill the other 2 holes I don’t want to spend another 40 mins on each, do I just go faster or get another drill bit?

Then to get that duct tape off, should I just use some alcohol?

I think it’s time for a meditation after this.

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JB33t

JB33t

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There is my first thread on cracking the first tank...
 

Gtinnel

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I've only drilled one tank (two holes) so I'm new to drilling also, but when I drilled mine I had the drill speed as high as I could get it. I believe the key is no pressure on the drill and use plenty of water to keep the dust washed away.
I was using a cheap bit that I bought on Amazon with the intention of it only being a one time use thing, so if I were going to drill more holes I'd buy a new bit. I've read that they wear out quickly when I was researching for drilling my tank.
What drill guide is that? I used a piece of plywood with a hole in it for my guide.
 

LegendaryCG

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I drilled my frag tank from a 20G aqueon and a big chunk broke off where the hole was. Took my time and used water while drilling. Still ended up using that tank I just siliconed it well around the overflow box to make sure it doesn’t leak. Even if it does eventually it’s in an unfinished basement where it wouldn’t hurt anything. I’m convinced that glass quality plays a major factor in how well it drills.
 
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zalick

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Great job!

Dry fit the bulk heads. If needed you can probably trim the edges of them a "little".
 

ca1ore

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Bits dull quickly. Not sure it’s ever taken me 40 mins but 10 certainly. Once you get some penetration into the glass you can dispense with the guide. Lots of water.
 
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JB33t

JB33t

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Bits dull quickly. Not sure it’s ever taken me 40 mins but 10 certainly. Once you get some penetration into the glass you can dispense with the guide. Lots of water.
Yep I used lots of water, zero pressure I definitely went way too slow and with a dull bit.
 
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Joe31415

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I think it took me about 5 minutes when I did it. Like others said, faster speed, less pressure, lots of water. I was lucky with the water. I was about a foot from a floor drain on one side and my RODI stuff was about 10 feet in the other direction. I just took some RODI line from the freshwater side (the spigot it's attached to), ran it over to the tank, taped it next to the hole and let it run. Since I was so close to the floor drain, I really didn't have to worry about a mess and I could have the water running pretty fast. When I was done I used the line to rinse everything off, inside and out and 'hose' all the glass dust down the drain.

Having said that, I did sorta lose my nerve after that one. I really should have drilled a second one for the return, but I was worried about having two holes on one side.
Next time.
 

TLO45

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Here are my suggestions.
1. Always start with a new bit if you are new to drilling or you are working with a thin glass tank. I have drilled 10 gallon tanks in the past and the thinner the glass the slower one needs to go and the probability of cracking goes way up. A new bit can make success a much higher percentage.
2. Use a hole saw guide or template which according to the photo is being used.
3. I always use duct tape on the back of the hole so when the bit cuts through the circle doesn’t fall and it helps retain water in the bit groove to avoid major chipping.
4. Use plenty of water to cool bit.
5. very slight pressure if any on the drill. The thinner the glass the less pressure.
With a new bit and using the above techniques I have only cracked one tank in 20 years of drilling tanks and it was a 10 gallon with I believe 1/16” glass and was my very first attempt of drilling.
6. There is ALWAYS a chance of the glass cracking! Usually small in larger tanks but a chance! If you can’t risk it don’t! For brand new custom tanks I’ve had made I always have the manufacture drill! If they break it it’s on them. If you do your out. Just saying!
7. Triple check to make sure glass is NOT TEMPERED!! Glass will explode if tempered!
Honestly it’s not a tough process and works well with a sharp ( new bit) and goes pretty quickly. Holes I’ve drilled (for example ) in say 1/2” glass can be done in 5 minutes. Hope this helps! Good luck!
 

Smokeshow

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I drilled 4 holes in my 125 and 3 in my 75. After 2 hole the bit is pretty much toast. I drilled from the inside out with my garden hose running water into the tank as I drilled.
. I used 1/2 speed and only the weight of my drill. Used a corded drill so it wouldn't die half way through
 

Steph1

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I bought a diamond hole cutter about 3 years ago took forever the "drill bit' cost $20. I spoke to a friend of mine who is a toolmaker, he gave a wry smile and said to get the diamond density required I would need to spend some real money and suggested I buy a german product and stay away from cheap chinese stuff. a few months ago I bought the bit me recommended it cost me $54 drilled a hole in about 2 mins and at the end it looked as good as when I bought it, and am sure it will outlast me. I learned a lesson from that;)
 
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