Modifying plastic lid to accommodate a breathable silicone stopper

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Earthson

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Hello. I'm looking to get away from the glass carboys I have, and move over to fermenting in a 7 gal plastic bucket (Like Clawhammer supply does). I see lots of mod videos/instructions online for adding a grommet to the lid for a bubbler airlock. I don't have any of those anymore. I made the switch to breathable silicone stoppers a long time ago, and don't ever want to go back. So my question is whether or not I can just drill a hole in the lid, sand it down, and insert a breathable silicone stopper. Will it be airtight? Or am I dreaming?
 

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seilenos

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Yes, you can either buy a lid with no hole or one with a small hole and drill the right sized hole in the lid.

I know I’ve seen a lid being sold with a #7 hole, but a quick Google search for silicone stoppers leads me to believe you need a #10. Measure twice, drill once.

If you are replacing an existing hole, drill through a piece of wood first and use it as a guide. Honestly, you can do that even if you are drilling a solid lid, too, as it will keep the bit from running on you.
 

hotbeer

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It'll be airtight enough.

I've used spade bits to cut holes in plastic buckets and lids with good success. Though every once in a great while the plastic gets a tear or crack in it.

Hole saws do a better more predictable job. Some types of plastic you can go a fast rpm, others prefer a slow rpm.

With either, if you back it up with a piece of wood while drilling, usually you get a cleaner cut.

I'd avoid twist drill bits, unless they are for small holes say maybe 3/8" or less. Or you have some extra lids to practice with.

Grommets can be found all over if you look and google with the right terms. But a regular rubber or silicone stopper should be snug enough in the lid if you size the hole correctly for the stopper.
 
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