What kind of drillbit do I need to drill acrylic?

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by Matt Rogers, Jul 26, 2005.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Funny I always had drilled glass before with diamond bits...

    what can I use to drill acrylic?
    Can I get away with one made for wood?
    Or is there a finer one for acrylic?
    How far from the edge is typical?
    What is the size hole for a standard standpipe and bulkhead?

    (sorry for all the questions, other than buying a wet/dry, I haven't done much research)

    The project:
    75 show tank (5' x 18" x 18")
    Going to install a wet/dry with a overflow standpipe for my big freaking turtle.

    Should be fun!

    matt
     
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  3. Birdlady

    Birdlady Finback Whale

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    Boy, that turtle sure does rate! ;D
     
  4. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I used a wood hole saw bit (for making holes for door knobs) when I drilled my sump. If you have to by one I would enquire at HD about it. Usually they have a generic bit that will cut plastic. Get lots of ultra fine sand paper. Once the hole is cut the edges are really sharp you will want to sand them a bit. The closer to the edge the greater the risk of cracking the acrylic. I used masking tape over the cut area to eliminate chips. I would get you plumbing parts first to ensure you know what size you need to cut. Bulkheads come in 1/2" and the was to 3"
    Also brace the wall before you cut. So if you put the sump on it's side put wood blocks to support the wall you will be drilling in to. this way you can apply pressure and not worry you will crack the wall.

     
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  5. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Thanks Jason. Good to know about sanding. That makes sense. Are you saying the hole is 3"? (missing words in your post ;) )

    Yes he does! ;D And to think he was free before the 75 gallon tank, stand and wet/dry! :tongue4: :rolleyes3
     
  6. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry it was to read bulkheads can measure from 1/2" to 3". What you need will depend on how much flow you require.

    J :)
    That's for the Turtle...... WOW this ain't no silly turtle pond LOL
     
  7. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    This turtle REQUIRES a wet/dry. They are like Oscar fish - they get big and eat and crap a lot.

    Thanks for your help!

    I think I will gut the overflow box that the filter came with and use that bulkhead and measure the hole in the box.
     
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  9. Area 51 Exotics

    Area 51 Exotics 3reef Sponsor

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    Matt a regular wood hole saw will work, the thing that you have to watch out for is the acrylic heating up in the hole and jacking the drill bit on you. What you can do to help with this is grind down 1 out of every 4 teeth on the hole saw. This will help kick the shavings out of the hole while you are cutting. Make sure you go on a low speed so you don't heat up the acrylic.
     
  10. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Wow.. that's interesting Vamp. Thanks for the tip. SOunds like you have messed around with this stuff before. Good to know.
     
  11. Gresham

    Gresham Great Blue Whale

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    A wood bit is fine, buit not preferred. Like Vamp said, there's heat issues with them. You could go his route, or even water cool it, but I prefer using my router and templates.

    As for acrylic bits, they have a 60 degree taper and a flat head IIRC.

    I have any hole saw size you need Matt, as well as any hole template size for my router. Gimme a buzz, I'd do it for yah ;)

    Like Jason said as well, always use a sacrificial board on the other side of any acrylic your going to be drilling.
     
  12. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Cool. Will do G.. thanks.