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How thin a glass wall can you drill?


Matt K

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So, I know drilling a thicker piece of glas is eaasier to not screw up, but how thin a sheet would you be comfortable cutting at home?

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Remember that drilling is only the 1st part.

 

The 2nd part is making sure that you don't crack it by over tightening the bulkheads.

 

And the 3rd part is making sure the plumbing doesn't crack it by pulling or putting torsion on it.

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ok, so the drilling is doable, and not overtightening the bulkhead is doable. Not stressing the finished bulkhead, do you suppose a short piece of flexible hose between the bulkhead and any hard plumbing might help aleviate any torsion?

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It would certainly help.

 

Another thing that you may have seen is people who have done completely soft-plumbed setups on smaller tanks (thinner glass). It doesn't look nearly as nice as the hard plumbed, but they may have better security against cracks.

 

Another method that some people have employed is this: before you drill, silicone a piece of glass where you are going to drill so you have a 2x thickness where the bulkhead will attach (the bigger the better). This will help to spread out any point stresses that are applied by the bulkhead. Just make sure that it doesn't look like crap once the tank is on display.

 

I plan to drill a 10g as part of a 2x10g setup that I want to do. My plan is to buy a piece of 1/4" glass and replace the entire rear wall of 1/8" glass. That way, I won't have to worry about eventual failure.

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distantfire

Another thing you can use is a sheet of 1/4" plexi glass or arcylic. Just cut the plexi or arcylic sheet the same size as the back of your tank. Drill your bulkhead holes in it first and use it for template on the back of the tank. Your bulkhead's will hold the sheet in place for you after you snug them down. The sheet help's keep bulkhead stress off the back glass. And you can make the sheet even more secure. By applying a thin layer of clear silicone around the outside edge's when your finished.

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I drilled and cracked 3 Petsmart (whatever their brand is) 2.5g tanks, glass being a tad thinner than 1/8" (prob 3/32" or so). I'd do anythinmg 1/8" or thicker. I've also used 1/4" plexi to strengthen as well.

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distantfire

I never had a problem drilling AGA 2.5's. I don't build dam's out of putty ether. I use duct tape around the area I want to drill. And to keep the bit wet I use a spray bottle. AGA 10's, 5.5's, & 2.5's for me are easy to do with a dremel because the glass is thin. The bottom of the AGA 20H was harder to dremel thru. Because the glass was thicker it took more time. The thinest I drilled is picture frame glass for a external overflow box. Toolcraft sell's 20 piece diamond bit set's for 5 dollar's at Menard's. They work fine in my dremel and last a long time to.

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