Instructables send our hackerspace (The Rabbit Hole) a whole bunch of Dremel tools and challenged us to do something creative with them.
I decided to make lamps out of liquor bottles. I happen to have a drinking problem (opportunity) ... so liquor empty liquor bottles are abundant where I come from. Make treasure out of trash and you will be rich!
I used the Dremel tool to cut off the bottom of the liquor bottles and put light hardware inside of the bottle.
This instructable involves working with glass, electricity and is very dangerous so I would recommend taking every safety precaution there is. Wear eye protection and thick gloves if you intend on trying this project. It is always dangerous to cut glass.
Step 1: Procure Liquor Bottles
This is the fun part. Buy some liquor. Now the bottles need to be emptied. Get busy and drink all the booze!
I would also recommend rinsing out the bottles and waiting until you are completely sober to continue with this project.
Step 2: Wrap the Bottom of the Bottle With Tape
Wrap the bottom of the bottle with masking tape. The masking tape helps reduce the glass chipping and allows us put a cutting line on the bottle.
Trace a line on the tape to cut use when cutting. The line has to be above the bottom of the glass bottle. Some bottles are thicker than others!
The way I drew an even line was to put the pen on a book or a block of wood to give it the proper height. Hold the pen stationary on the book. Place the bottle next to the pen and rotate the bottle. If you have a steady hand the mark will be at the same level when you turn the bottle a full turn.
Step 3: Set Up the Dremel to Cut a Straight Line
I used zip ties to strap the Dremel to a 1x4 piece of lumber. But you can attach the Dremel to any wood you have laying around.
Line up the board so you can put the bottom of the bottle against the wood. This will help you cut a straight line because the board prevents the Dremel from moving too far in either direction.
I cut the first bottle with the Dremel clamped to the table. Move the bottle in toward the spinning blade and rotate the bottle slowly to cut around the circumference of the bottle. This method was very slow and did not allow me to make adjustments when the blade would cut unevenly.
The second method I used was to keep the Dremel zip tied to the board for depth control but using the board and Dremel free hand. This cutting method worked much better.
Watch the video (jump to 3:09) here for more details on how I cut the bottles:
Step 4: Sand Off the Rough Edges
My bottles were very rough when they were cut.
I used the Dremel sanding wheel to smooth out the glass so the sharp glass would not cut my hands when putting the light fixtures inside the bottles.
This operation created a lot of glass bits, be sure to wear eye protection and clean up with a vacuum after you are done.
Step 5: Assembly the Lamp Parts
I used two different light fixtures for this project.
The first light fixture was for the wine bottle. I purchased an inexpensive Chinese lantern kit from the hardware store. This kit had a long white cord with a switch already installed in the power cord. Since the light would not fit through the neck of the bottle I disassembled the lamp section with a screw driver and unscrewed the cord from the lamp. After the cord was detached, I could push the power cord through the wine bottle neck and reassemble the lamp parts.
The second light fixture was built from lamp parts. You can find lamp parts like hollow threaded rod, washers and nuts in the lamp part section of a hardware store. I also purchased a gold lamp cord without a switch because I was going to use this lamp for myself and did not need a switch for this application.
The idea here is to put the cord through the threaded rod and add a nut and washer so the threaded rod does not pull through the neck of the bottle. Buy the lamp part that screws on to the threaded rod at the bottom and secure it with another nut. I used rubber stoppers with holes cut out to center the rod in the neck of the bottle as shown in the picture.
Step 6: Screw in a Light Bulb and Enjoy the Lamp!
Now that the bottle is cut out and the lamp parts are securely inside the bottle, screw in a light bulb and plug in the cord to test the light.
Beware of using high watt traditional light bulbs. They can get hot! I used a fluorescent light blub with a low wattage number. The glass bottle stay cool but still look great.
Thanks to Dremel and Instructables for making this instructable possible!