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Cutting a whole glass tank.....


redfishsc

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Note: THIS IS NOT SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE TO TRY; YOU SHOULD HAVE AMPLE EXPERIENCE WITH POWER TOOLS AND WEAR SAFETY GLASSES, EAR PLUGS, AND A DUST MASK. YOU ARE WORKING WITH WATER AND ELECTRICITY AT THE SAME TIME (a wet saw).

 

CUT GLASS IS ALWAYS SHARP. USE CAUTION; THESE SAWS WORK AT 10,000RPM OR HIGHER AND CAN "KICK BACK" IF YOU ARE CARELESS.

 

Beware the glass dusts and any slivers of glass that break free- do not shop vac them up, but simply wash them away with water. Never allow yourself to breath glass dust.

 

Now, that being said. This was a "70g" column. It is now a 23" cube (~45-50g in reality).

 

1/2" thick glass.

 

 

All I needed was a water hose hookup, the saw in the link below, and a thin straight edge to guide the saw (1/4" strip of wood).

 

 

Any handheld wet tile saw will work. If your tank is small enough to handle, a bench type wet saw will work much better.

 

I only had just a bit more than 1/2" of blade exposed--- any more blade would increase the risk of a kickback dramatically.

 

The only tricky part is just prior to the LAST cut--- you have to be careful not to allow the tank's weight to break that last pane of glass as you roll it over--- hold both ends of the tank equally and have a HELPER if the tank is large (ie, bigger than a 30g tank).

 

 

Expect to have some minor chipping, and expect to have to clean up all the edges with some 400-600 grit silicone carbide paper on a belt sander.

 

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Saw I used. Came with diamond blade; a higher quality name brand blade may give better results (less chipping) but this one cut fairly cleanly.

 

http://www.contractorsdirect.com/FHS-4-Fel...Dry-Tile-Cutter

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Haha nice! I did a similar thing with a wet tile saw (table saw style, not hand held though).

 

I'm glad you put in the safety part... This will produce a lot of small pieces of glass everywhere. When I did it I even had some small pieces get caught in my arm hair/head hair. This sucked because I didn't realize it and got several cuts. So add a hat and long-sleeves to the safety section!

 

Good luck to whoever decides to try this. It can probably end up saving you a lot of $$ if there's a particular dimension you're looking for.

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gulfsurfer101

Nice write up, I have a spare oceanic 30g cube sitting in my backyard I have always wanted to do this on since I never liked how tall it was. I'd like it much better if was only 14 or 16 inches tall. I thought about getting it done proffesionally before but never even looked in to the cost.

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I did cut each one in one pass.

 

It's possible that multiple shallower cuts could reduce the chipping. This is the first time I've cut glass.

 

I know when cutting wood, like plywood, multiple passes of any sort always mean MORE chipout/flaking since the blade is making repeated contact with the edges of the material, and the inevitable blade vibration combined with repeated passes can lead to increased chipping.

 

 

Glass may work totally different though, it's hard to say without asking an expert.

 

This tank was a fairly cheap used tank, so I was willing to experiment with it.

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Thanks for the great write up.

It should be added that glass dust is very dangerous to inhale, which is one reason that cutters like this use water to keep the dust out of the air. So don't let the water dry, and then use a broom or shopvac to clean up the dust. Instead, wash it all down a drain before it dries, or sweep/mop it wet, and pour it down a drain, or into a hole.

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