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Clear spraybar

Paul Willi

Member
Joined
5 Nov 2019
Messages
78
Location
Maidstone
Hi,
Hoping to buy or make 800mm long 16/12 clear spraybar. Have found acrylic tube which is available in 1 piece, just wondering if drilling holes may crack the acrylic. Anyone know of a supplier of clear spraybars or has drilled acrylic tube without damaging it. How easy is it to drill holes in a straight line on a tube ?
Cheers 🍻
 

Tom Raffield

Member
Joined
18 Apr 2017
Messages
168
Location
Coulsdon, UK
I haven't used clear plastic but have a custom built black spray bar which is a 100cm long and divided with a T join halfway along.
I used tape to make a straight line and then marked the points for the holes (a metre stick would have done the job too I imagine!) Once drilled I used a laser marker to check if they were straight. There was a small margin of error but I don't think they need to be exactly straight. My spray bar works fine.

For reference my equipment came from Aquarium Plumbing. I'm not sure if they supply clear though.
 

noodlesuk

Member
Joined
21 Jul 2020
Messages
243
Location
Oxfordshire
As mentioned, put tape on the tube, a length of masking tape. Then place the tube on a flat table and run a pencil, along the table, against the tube. This should give you a nice straight line. You may have to put the pencil on a scrap block of wood or a magazine to get it to touch the centre of the tube, depending on tube diameter.

Acrylic can snag the drill bit, pulling the tube up as you drill it and can cause burs or cracks. This usually occurs as the tip exits the material, so likely to happen as the drill tip goes into the bore of the tube. Make sure you clamp the tube securely, before you drill it. You can buy drill bits for acrylic with special cutting geometry. But for small holes, a nice sharp HSS should be fine, dip it in some water first, also helps. Or connect it to you filter to get some water flow through it as you drill :p
 

Basviola

Member
Joined
3 Apr 2019
Messages
121
Location
Denmark
Have not done this, but mabe if you have a rod of wood laying you can slide inside the tube could help?

Would be glad if you would post pictures as you process as I am thinking about creating one my self.
 

ian_m

Global Moderator
Staff member
Joined
25 Jan 2012
Messages
5,205
Location
Eastleigh
One issue with a clear spray bar, as I found out when I messed around with prototyping clear PVC spray bars, is that they are near the top of the tank, near the lights and almost instantly suffer from unsightly green algae growing on both inside and outside. This is probably way spray bars are made of black plastic ?
 

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