Oregon has a number of wonderful microbrewery beers for sale in the supermarkets, some with very cool designs on them. These designs are printed on, or etched into the glass rather than simply having a sticker, and I thought this property could be exploited to display how great the bottles are.
So, this instructable (my first ever) is about cutting and drilling glass bottles, wiring a fluorescent bulb into them and sealing them back up again to have a standalone light.
There are circular LED coasters designed for lighting up a bottle- but I really wanted to turn these into something a bit more solid and incorporated than simply sticking some bulky plasticky thing with LEDs onto the base.
Glass cutters can be found quite cheaply online, as can ceramic drill bits - there are no other specialist items needed for this
Note: despite what some tutorials say, glass cutting in this fashion will work with almost all glass bottles - however, glass cutting can be very tricky at first.
As will be explained later, practice on some unimportant bottles is definitely a good idea if you don't want to ruin that cool bottle you might have in mind for this!
(cutting the bottle)
Ceramic/tile drill bits
Cordless power drill
Kettle (you will need some boiling water)
Bucket (or large saucepan etc)
(wiring the light)
Dual core wire
Standard florescent bayonet fitting bulb
Step 1: preparation
There are so many different methods people claim to be the best way to cut glass. Having never done it before, I trawled through online tutorials when i first got the idea for these lights.
Finally, I found this tutorial which I think is by far the best - and the method i used in the end for all the bottles. I recommend watching it.
so, we are 1) Scoring the glass 2 )carefully treating that score line with hot and then cold water to create a split - cutting is a poor term for this process - at no point are we really cutting any glass
Note: Before cutting glass a few things should be considered - the thickness and shape of the glass is very important. Wine bottles are usually the perfect thickness for this method (and definitely the best to practice on). When pouring boiling water over the score line - the split tends to follow that line, which is what your aiming for. Beer bottles are significantly thinner than wine bottles, and like bottles that aren't perfectly cylindrical, this can result in the split you create moving away from the score line, and this is the issue that results in at best an uneven cut, and worst case a shattered bottle (see picture of my first failure).
The secret to overcoming this is being slow and careful when using the hot water, as well as making a totally even line, all of which will be mentioned in detail again.