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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just ordered a 10mm glass hole saw from red tiger. It was pricey, but it should hold up for a long while. So my next question is: who uses a portable drill guide to drill 10mm holes in 1/4" glass? I'm wondering if I can get away with doing it by steady hand and patience. I don't want to spend an extra $40 for nothing, but on the other hand I don't want to crack $40 worth of glass. Thanks for the help.

~Joe
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
drill press or drill guide is a necessity. even if you have the leo davinci steady hand, you still have a good chance of breaking the glass without a guide.

You might swing by the hardware store and ask for glass scraps they are going to throw out to practice on. who knows, maybe you have superhuman concentration skills! :wink:
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have found ones that have a smaller chuck that fits most drill models. Ill find it and post the link.

~Joe
 

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This is an image from Quality Exotics http://www.qualityexotics.com web site. These work very well and eliminate the need to drill glass.

The lid is made of 2 seperate pieces of glass which are attached to piece of black poly...something or other in the middle. They are attached using a hinge like one for a glass canopy from a fish tank. This middle portion can be easily drilled. On either side of the misting nozzle, ventilation louvers are installed. 2 sources I have found for the louvers are:

MAURICE FRANKLIN LOUVER COMPANY: http://www.mflouver.com/aluminum.htm

Midget Louvers: http://midgetlouver.com/
 

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I have drilled three holes in two tanks the past couple of weeks without the aid of a drill press and they all came out great. I would like to get a press as it would be easier, but the hand drilling was not bad at all. If you do not use a press i would just say take it slow and easy and you should be fine.

Thats just my two cents. I'm sure a press is safer and easier to use, not to mention cutting down on the margin of error, but it's not required.

Also, if you are in the market for a press, Harbor Freight has them for $20, check them out here: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=41166
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Drill press guide

On Ben Green's site he shows a Craftsman drill press guide.I have one too and it helped me out alot on my tank drillingthe part number if you have a Sears close to you is: 967173.What he told me to do is remove the springs so it is basically just the weight of the drill that is pushing against the glass.It also has a depth guide on it so you can set it and know how deep you have drilled.I broke a crappy 10g the first time I drilled but have drilled 6 holes in 3- 20 high verts without any problems. I also drilled my 29g with success.I think you have to be very careful when drilling thinner glass so be careful if you are doing 10's.I'm no expert on this at all but if someone has questions they can e-mail me or pm me.Oh, you don't need running water either.I used a squirt bottle and it is enough to lubricate the bit.I just thought I'd throw that in :? I know, it is kinda scary but take your time and it will work out great.
Mark W.
 

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Even with a press it is tough. I bought a 10gal just to test it on, and the first hole I shattered the side. I then was able to drill 3 holes in the other side without breaking it, but it is just not easy. I did use a small guide like the one also ready shown here, and it does help a ton. The thing that got me is that it takes forever. I have not had the need to drill any of my tanks yet, and unless you really need it I would say to pass.

My advice if you do drill, is take it very very slow, and DO NOT PUSH at all. Also do not run the drill fast.

hicksonj said:
I just ordered a 10mm glass hole saw from red tiger. It was pricey, but it should hold up for a long while. So my next question is: who uses a portable drill guide to drill 10mm holes in 1/4" glass? I'm wondering if I can get away with doing it by steady hand and patience. I don't want to spend an extra $40 for nothing, but on the other hand I don't want to crack $40 worth of glass. Thanks for the help.

~Joe
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What speeds does everyone run their drill at? I have heard people say go a$$ slow and other tell me to run it wide open. Has anyone ever popped a tank because they were running too fast or too slow? My dewalt goes up to 2500 rpms. I think I would have glass everywhere if I ran wide open :)
 

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Well, I have heard that the faster you run it the shorter the life of the bit. When i have drilled glass, i tend to run it a little faster (not 2500 RPM mind you, more like 500 RPM) in the beginning, but i go butt-slow (100 RPM or so) near the end of the hole. It has been my experience that any cracking comes when your punching through the other side of the glass.

Hope that helps.
 

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most drill bits recomend speeds <350 rpms, but its very hard to find a good drill press that goes that slow, unless you use a hand drill, my drill presses slowest setting is 500 rpm, it works fine but is very loud when cutting and you have to lube it with tons of water, also pressure is your enemy, esp when getting to the breakthrough point, i tend to get lots of chipping on the reverse side of the hole...
 

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I've had no problems drilling for misting heads with a hand drill and guide, but I've been trying to drill the bottoms of vertical tens for a drain bulkhead which requires a 1+1/8" hole out of four tanks, I've only had one turn out useable, with the others cracking as the drill starts breaking through to the other side. I've tried going slow, I've tried going faster, both with little pressure, I've tried taking the drill out and puting clean water in the groove, nothing seems to work.
At this rate it would have been cheaper to get a more advanced timer for my mist system.(the vert. ten I currently have set up is set for 1 min, once a day, the minimum time I can put on the timer, and I still have to drain it once or more a week.
Any more tips?
 

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how thin is the glass you are drilling through, thicker is easier...
10 gallon tanks usually have super thin 1/8 inch glass...
are you supporting the opposite side with even pressure?

have you ever though of replacing the glass with a piece of
plexiglass? this would make a stronger bottom, and be easy to drill,
just a thought
 

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cutting a clean hole...

about the cracking when you start to drill out he otherside. i'm sure i read in a euro/dutch site that this person puts another piece of glass under what he is drilling. so you are drilling into a second piece when you drill thru the first.
i think i remember people saying to do this with plywood and acrylic if you want a clean hole.
walt
 

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The problem with using a drill press is that you can't drill the hole exactly where you want it. The location depends on the "throat width" of the press and location of the press arm amoung other things. Drilling is a breeze but often you have to make some concessions on hole placement. Drill speed should be set to very low rpms and you should use water to prolong the life of the bit.
 

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yes i agree its tough to use a drill press sometimes, as long as the hole i'm drilling is not farther then five inches on center them i'm good to go,
otherwise i drive down to my brothers shop where i use and industrial one...
 
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