Drilling glass

Discussion in 'Construction & Parts' started by Carlos, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. Carlos

    Carlos Contributing Member

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    ok so these new exo terra vivs that I got are completely sealed with a glass top. It makes the front glass door very wet and full of condensation. I guess the only way to clear this up would be to drill holes into the glass top. What size do you think would work? How many? Drilling glass scares me as I've never done it before. Any tips?
    I just don't want to shatter the glass as the top is siliconed down from both sides making it a pain the remove it if I shatter them.
    I have 6 18" cube vivs to do.
     
  2. erikm

    erikm Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah some ventilation would help for sure. Another option to help would to have internal air circulation fans in each viv. A fan can clear up your glass pretty well.

    That being said, I definitely prefer to have a bit of ventilation. Sorry I can't help with drilling glass, I get my glass cut/drilled by a local shop.
     
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  3. Carlos

    Carlos Contributing Member

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    I usually get glass cut/drilled at a shop too. But this time the glass is now part of the viv.
    I could live with it this way, I just think in the long run it might drive me crazy if I don't do it. But if I break the glass I'll be really mad at myself too. Lol.
     
  4. erikm

    erikm Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah you certainly don't want to break the glass!

    Completely closed vivs can get pretty stagnant without any air movement.
     
  5. TJ_Burton

    TJ_Burton Contributing Member

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    I've drilled glass many times. My tips are as follows:

    Use new, quality diamond hole-saw style bits. Cheap china bits on ebay will work, but only cut 2 or 3 holes easily, and after that they are already dull and take more effort/patience.

    Use plenty of water. I use a sprayer with the nozzle set to a stead stream and constantly wet the surface I am drilling to prevent heat buildup and to flush out the glass dust as it is produced.

    Use a guide if at all possible. There are a few styles out there, and they aren't terribly expensive, but they will keep you on target and in-line. Very useful for a first-timer who doesn't have the finesse down yet, or for anyone who wants to make life a bit easier.

    Don't push! The weight of your hand and the drill is enough to go through glass; you can apply a little pressure, but you really don't want to push on it.

    Tape off the opposite side of the glass that you are drilling. I use masking tape for this. Basically, it helps to prevent shell chipping on the exit side, and also prevents the glass circle you just cut from dropping down into the viv unexpectedly.

    Also, put a towel inside the viv to catch any water and glass dust that falls through the hole, makes for an easier cleanup, and if you do shatter the top, the glass falling inside the viv wouldn't damage the bottom panel.
     
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  6. Carlos

    Carlos Contributing Member

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    How many holes do you guys thinks I need and what size hole. The vivs are 18" cubes.
     
  7. erikm

    erikm Administrator Staff Member

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    Great advice TJ. Carlos, I personally use 2 - 1.5" circulator vents in each viv in the front centre.

    This allows for some air exchange while keeping humidity high. The internal fans also blow across the vents which helps air exchange.
     
  8. Carlos

    Carlos Contributing Member

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    How's the condensation on the glass when you don't use the fan. I'm hoping to get away from using a fan if I can.
     
  9. Carlos

    Carlos Contributing Member

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    By the way thanks guys for the advice.
    I usually just make my own screen frame about 2" wide the length of the viv. But I can't really do that this time around.
     
  10. erikm

    erikm Administrator Staff Member

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    I still have condensation on the glass, my vivs are in my basement office which is cooler than inside the vivs.

    The fans go on 4 times per day for 30 mins each time. It keeps everything really fresh, the plants love it. The fans dont face the glass though, so they don't really remove much condensation on the glass.
     
  11. Carlos

    Carlos Contributing Member

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    Well I've drilled two 1 1/2 holes in one of the vivs and the condensation is still about the same. I guess I'm not going to take any chances and drill the others. I'll wait a few days and see if there is any difference holes or no holes.
    I know a fan might help but I'm not sure I want to add 6 fans at the moment.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. erikm

    erikm Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah the 2 holes is not nearly as much ventilation as adding a full width strip of screen. I just wipe my front glass once a week and be done with it.
     
  13. Carlos

    Carlos Contributing Member

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    Yeah I'll see what I can do. Maybe I just live with it just the way it is. Jan seemed to be fine with it that way.
     
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  14. erikm

    erikm Administrator Staff Member

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    Yep there is certainly no single way to do this, whatever works for you.
     
  15. mystah

    mystah Legendary Member

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    could you cut the Silicone and pull the glass before drilling?

    What would be easier if you could do that is to cut the glass and use a small screened area for ventilation
     
  16. Carlos

    Carlos Contributing Member

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    It's pretty much near impossible to get the glass off.
    I've drilled two holes in one so far.
     
  17. Aurust

    Aurust Member

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    I'm looking to drill a drain hole in my viv but can't find any 1.5 inch glass hole saws. Any ideas on where to find one? The hardware stores I've looked at here have bits up to 1 inch but no larger.
     
  18. Carlos

    Carlos Contributing Member

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    I got mine at either Rona or lowes. Can't remember but it was one of the 2.
     
  19. Carlos

    Carlos Contributing Member

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    I think I've seen them at brofasco too
     
  20. mystah

    mystah Legendary Member

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    A glass shop will usually charge $12-15 per hole
     

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