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[APD] Re: Drilling tanks

I don't think anyone has mentioned steel glass drilling bits, so I 
thought I'd just toss it out there so folks will know they don't 
*have* to drop the big bucks on diamond bits.  Steel bits are about 
25-30% the cost of diamond ones, and steel lasts longer.  The caveat 
to steel bits is that it takes *much* longer to drill the hole -- 
those who cannot handle tedious tasks need not apply.  You also have 
to use a carbide compound, which adds to the initial cost a little.  
For cooling, it was recommended to me to use a 1:1 mix of water and 
antifreeze.  Building a ring dam out of clay as Scott mentioned (or 
buy a plastic one) is a good idea and will make keeping the bit lubed 
up and cool much easier.

As for the dangers of drilling glass, I think anyone wanting to DIY 
should be prepared to deal with the very real possibility of a broken 
panel.  But if care is taken, it is quite possible to do safely and 
without dire consequence down the road.  If you have any doubts, 
though, let a pro do it.  After all, the objective is to drill the 
tank, not "drill" yourself. :)

Also, don't skimp on the bulkhead fittings!  Get good ones and keep 
extra gaskets on hand 'cause you never know. 

BTW, if anyone is interested, I got my bits and other related stuff 
at Aquatic Eco-Systems:

Chuck Huffine
Knoxville, Tennessee

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