Adjustable Glass Bottle Cutter





Introduction: Adjustable Glass Bottle Cutter

About: I'm 16 in Waco, Texas. I love being outside and building things, I can build anything with just a few ideas and tools.

I have wanting to make a bottle cutter for a while now, just because I really like the idea of making glasses from bottles. I found a lot of designs online, but one thing they all had in common, is that none of them are adjustable. Now I want to be able to cut different types and sizes of bottles, so I came up with this design that can be adjusted for different bottles. Cutting glass bottles can be really fun, and drinking out of a glass you made is also satisfying. Plus you get to repurpose an ordinary glass bottle into something new and useful.

Step 1: Materials

For this project I used:

- 1x4 Scraps
- Glass Cutter
- Polyurethane
- 1/4"x2" Bolts
- Wing Nuts
- Epoxy
- Wood Glue
- Screws
- Glass Bottles

Step 2: Cutting and Sanding

After I decided how I was going to build it, I cut out the pieces and sanded them.

Step 3: Attach Corners

I joined up the corners by adding some wood glue, then driving in some screws.

Step 4: Cutting Holes and Slots

I began by drilling the two holes the size of the bolts on the sliding block. Then I put the block in place at each of the furthest ends and used the same drill bit through the original holes to make marks. I then drilled the rest of the holes through and drew lines connecting them for the slots. I used the jigsaw to cut out the slots along the lines.

Step 5: Glass Cutter

Since I would only be needing part of the glass cutter, I used the Dremel to cut off the part I would need. I cleaned that up with a file and sanding block, so it looked better. Then I lined it up on the side of the board with a bottle, so I could find out where it should go.

Step 6: Finishing

I finished it with some more sanding, I used some files to sand in the slots. I glued the bolts into the holes in the sliding block with epoxy. Finally, I tested the sliding block with the wing nuts, and screwed on the glass cutter. Also this glass cutter can be adjusted too, by screwing it into a different spot.

Step 7: First Try

At this point, I decided to give the cutter a try. First I adjusted the sliding wall to where I wanted the cut, and scored the cut on the glass. Next I heated up some water just to boiling, and slowly poured it over the score for about 30 seconds. Next, I quickly switched to cold water over the score for about the same time. Lastly, I slightly twisted the bottle, and it popped apart. I smoothed the cut up using some sandpaper and Dremel.

Step 8: Polyurethane

Now that I have finished and tested it I decided to give it a polyurethane finish. This is actually the first time I have used polyurethane, so I wanted something to give it a try on. When it was dry, I put all the parts back on and I was done. I also added a set of rubber feet on the bottom for traction and stability.

Step 9: Finished

Cutting bottles actually turned out even more fun and easy than I thought it would be. It's and interesting process, and very satisfying when the bottle pops in half in your hands. So far I have only broken a few bottles in the process, and I am looking forward to cutting many more bottles in the future.

By the way something I noticed, almost all the colored bottles(green, brown) I have tried to cut have broken, opposed to all of my clear bottles have been a success. Maybe the colored ones are made cheaper, or the clear ones are thicker glass, I don't know. Hope you enjoyed and have fun cutting bottles!


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2 Questions

What is circle for?

what are the dimensions for cutting out these parts?


Beer bottles and some soda bottles are thinner and will break easier. I have had great success using a 25 watt soldering iron to heat the glass on these thinner bottles. Dont use the tip of the soldering iron, use the side just above the handle and slide it along the score. Alternate heat and cold water just like you do regularly. You will usually end up with a nice clean break that needs little sanding.

1 reply

Thanks for the tip; will give it a try. Agreed beer bottles seem way thin and for me mostly broke "wrong". Champagne bottles worked great though!!

cool. but is it safe to drink from? does anybody have soms tips on how tot pollish the edge?

8 replies

Yes, safe to drink from. Use a fine grit wet / dry sand paper to smooth the sharp edges. I have also had some decent luck putting the sandpaper in a sander. This works well for the outer edge, but the inner edge I have always had to do by hand.

I would also like to see an Instructable on how to fire polish the edge. The Dremel and sandpaper don't really smooth the edges enough to make me want to lift it to my lips.

Fire polishing the edge would most likely destroy any king of graphic or label on the bottle. The melting point of glass is between 3000 and 3500 degrees.

I do fused glass, and the melting point of glass is around 1325 degrees F. I just googled it and got: Glass can only be molded at very high temperatures. It completely melts/liquifies at approximately 1400 °C to 1600 °C depending on the composition of glass. Glass is made from a variety of substances, depending on the intent of use. Mostly sand, lime and soda are what most glasses are made of.

YES! I would too.

I use an acetylene torch to polish the edges, a small flame with a reducing flame: a long gather. I learned this off the internet. The gentleman who showed it used a recod player. I use an old mixer with a wooden disc attached to a cut off beater and some springy wires to hold the bottle. Run it fairly slow and gradually heat with the torch or it will break. It's a fast way to polish the edges. If you grind, remember, glass dust causes silicosis. I have a friend who got it from working in a steel mill. It is a truly terrible disease and irreversible, so wear a good respirator for particulates and remember the glass dust stays in the air for a long time. Do not grind or sand glass with others present, pets either. Same precautions as potters have to use mixing dry clay.

A safe way to sand the edge is using wet-dry sandpaper, and use plenty of water. That way the particles will not become airborne, and your lungs will be OK.

You can just sand it. Keep using finer and finer grits until it feels smooth. I made a glass slide for my guitar from a bottle neck and as I kept using finer paper it almost became as smooth and clear as the untouched glass. You don't have to go that far though, just until it feels comfortable.

I think the hot/cold water method is probably the best way to go. I especially like this guy's way:

G2 bottle cutter actually working

The glass separates under water so it is safer than if it is exposed to the air.

He does get a 'wave' in one part of the rim but that is probably due to not following through at the end or to going over a score line, which you never want to do. One continuous motion, no overlap.

I had bought a cheap bottle cutter online, not realizing it had a metal knocker to break the glass from the inside after scoring it. It was definitely not the way I wanted to go, and the lip ended up being so jagged I didn't even bother trying to sand it. That was back in December (I'm sure I'd STILL be sanding it today if I had decided to give it a try). I found these instructions and my husband built it for me. Works like a charm! We didn't even use a top of the line glass cutter that a lot of people recommended and it still works great. Just scored the bottle once around the circumference, then alternated boiling water with cold water out of the faucet and the bottle just breaks right off. Just a little PSA though: I was stupid and left a bottle cap on one of the bottles when running under the hot and cold water. The bottle practically exploded. Thankfully I did not end up with glass sticking out of me, and no one else was in the kitchen with me at the time. But the bottle did break pretty forcefully into a lot of small, jagged pieces. Some went down the side of the sink with the disposal and I had to stick my hand down there to get all the pieces. Gross. So...don't leave caps on. I will post some pics of the cutter and the bottles in a little bit.

1 reply

Yes, I would throw away the knocker. I have the original Fleming bottle cutter and it has one of these and it is useless. But you could easily use the hot/cold water technique with any bottle cutter.

Elegant and very simple design.

Thank you for this! I have researched A LOT of diy cutters and this is the only one I would make because of it's ease, and cheap materials. I am creating a glass wall with cement and you need to make glass 'bricks' out of two end pieces so this's perfect, thanks! oh I am using the tops for a rain chain

1 reply

I would love to see you project progress and or even just the finished project, do you have it posted anywhere? the wall and rain chain sounds lovely... I have ugly black tubes coming off mobile home gutters and would love a pretty way to get the water where it needs to go, mostly rain barrels ;)

a nice and easy way to get the bottle to crack on the score is to fill the bottle with oil and, heat a rod to red hot and dip into the oil, the glass should crack almost instantly.

Yea you can kind of tell when it's about to break apart.

The easier way of separating the bottle is to use a lighter on the scored line and then dunking it in iced water. pop! youre good to go!