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DIY Sump: Drip Tray



We get our new house in a month! Which means I need to get my butt moving on my sump so things are ready to go when we move. :D Luckily Petco came through finally with their dollar per gallon sale and I've got the tank for it now. But at the moment I'm working on some of the inner pieces.

Today I made a drip tray for my sump. I chose as a base this very fine acrylic picture frame I bought at Michaels for a few dollars:


The frame measures 11 by 14 inches, so it just fits within the plastic frame opening on the sump-tank (which is about 11 inches, though the tank itself is 12 inches wide). I think it's a very good size for this application. The first thing I did with it was mark with a sharpie in a one-inch grid on it. I made the grid kind of skewed diagonally because I like how it looks. I can't think of a real reason to do it that way, really. I marked a no-hole area in the middle because the bio-balls this tray will drip onto will be in two media baskets, and I don't want water just running down the sides of the baskets where they sit together in the middle. That seems not quite ideal.


I already had a one-inch grid in my house in the form of a dry erase board we use to play Dungeons and Dragons, so I just stuck my picture frame on top of that and traced the grid. This drip tray has some geek cred. :) Here is how it looked after I made all the dots:


After I did that, I mounted it to a piece of plywood for stability while drilling. Acrylic is notoriously hard to drill/cut, and I wanted to stack the deck as far in my favor as I could.


For the actual drilling I used this lovely Dremel drill press I purchased. For my husband. Yeah, it totally was for him and not for me to steal for my own DIY projects. Why would you think that?


Anyway, I like the Dremel because you can set the speed of it (I went very slow to minimize stress on the acrylic) and the drill press part made it awesomely easy to make perpendicular holes, and to do so in a gradual, slow, even way.

Success! My first hole! No cracking!


I managed to get through all the holes without cracking the acrylic once. Well, on account of the drill. I cracked the acrylic a bit when I screwed down the clamp a bit too tight. Oh well. I ended up drilling only every other hole, because it looked like a lot of holes to me. I can always drill more, but it's difficult to drill fewer. There is a little spot where I derped out a bit and forgot what I was doing, so there are a few extra holes. Again... oh well.


So that's finished! I am super happy I managed to do it without totally ruining the picture frame. It's a weight off my mind and one step closer to having a finished sump.

In other news, my light fixture came! Long light fixture is long. I am really looking forward to using this.



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  • Regular Member

I'm so jealous. I want! I want!Everything is coming along nicely! :D

LOL Alex. I would be happy to make you a drip tray of your very own after my tank is all set up, if you want one so very badly. :D

wow!Is your husband as handy as you? You must make quite the pair!

We're both pretty DIY-ish, but in somewhat different ways. My DIY things tend to be more crafty and creative, I guess. He really likes fiddling with electronics. His last big DIY project was installing LEDs and new vent fans in the hood of his Biocube marine tank.

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