Drilling Tanks

'vspec'

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jul 15, 2010
283
0
0
Melbourne
MyJohnson;4147542; said:
I need to drill my acrylic tank.

It's massive and it's already sitting on a stand.

What type of drill bit should I use?

Can I drill upside down or do I have to get into the tank to drill it from top down?

Any other tips for a noob?
Ive never drilled a hole for a bulkhead per say through acrylic bud, our culture is glass so very little exposure. Ive drilled with normal bits & jigged pieces of acrylic though. I found high range teeth numbering blades provides a superior finish. aka little to no heat seams. So due to my limited exposure, i'll leave your question to the experts.

To answer your other Q, You can drill anywhere you can fit & your comfortable, however in my opinion, always try to let gravity work for you. The weight of the drill is sometimes all the downward pressure thats needed to carve your hole. However once again, acrylic your asking, so as above.

As for glass, I'll drill from the top if possible, if not the side. Ive never drilled from beneath.

If you look at the below pic.You can see I made a flat sided timber bat for lack of a better word, & covered that in a rubber matting for placement on glass. 10min slap job thats come in super handy. I only bother taping the other side of the intended hole in a strip of racing tape & have a towel under that just in case. KISS method for me. Works every time.



Depending on chosen bulkhead sizing and actual placements in relation to access , its easy drilling on the fly with a hole saw the dimensions i need into the bat as my drill guide. Making it essentially a portable held jig per say (considering no arbour to keep you on track at the beginning).
I take this away once my groove is established, and presto on with the show. More often than not i'll even give the misses a water spray bottle & tell her to make herself useful with a few squeezes frequently while i pump the drill piece & talk sh^t for the next few minutes. :popcorn:
 

proxenus

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jun 27, 2010
8
0
1
Colorado
I followed the instructions here and drilled my 90G with no problems, using the putty method. I got my bulkheads and bits from glass-holes like everyone here said, but I found that my bits went dull after 6-7 holes. I was pretty slow and careful so I think there are actually 2 kinds of the diamond bits, ones made for just a couple holes and then others made for long term use.
 

Fish Tank Travis

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Feb 28, 2016
3,262
2,111
154
31
Dayton, OH
Real Name
Travis
Gender
Male
Occupation
Engineering
Is using a jig required? Thx
If you've never done it before, I would say a jig is required. Some pros can do it without one, but there's a special technique involved in doing so.

Here is a picture of the jig that I got with my drilling kit from Custom Aquariums:

IMG_1187.JPG

I just let water trickle from the hose through the open slot on top the whole time I was drilling.
 
  • Like
Reactions: eddiegunks

duanes

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jun 7, 2007
13,536
9,325
2,880
Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
Real Name
Duane
Gender
Male
Occupation
retired microbiologist/musician
If you have a drill press, you may get away without a jig (template)
If using a hand drill, (which I do) the drill will jerk and fly all over without the stationary template to hold it steady.
And as stated, hold enough water where you want it.
And once it is made, it can be used on your next 20 tanks, even when the diamond flakes off the drill bit, and it needs to be replaced.
 
  • Like
Reactions: eddiegunks

duanes

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jun 7, 2007
13,536
9,325
2,880
Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
Real Name
Duane
Gender
Male
Occupation
retired microbiologist/musician
You need a diamond coated drill bit for glass.
I ordered mine grom Jehmco.
And the Jehmco web site has a drill bit chart for the size bulkhead you intend to install.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store