Introduction: DIY: Glass Bottle Cutter

Picture of DIY: Glass Bottle Cutter

Bottle cutting is a great way to recycle bottles. You can make custom presents like vases, drinking glasses, candle holders and many other things.

Let's have a look at a simple way to make a bottle cutter.

Step 1:

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I varnished a piece of wood I had lying around.

Step 2:

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I cut off 2 pieces from a plastic pipe.

I drilled 2 small and 2 big holes in the each pipe.

(Big hole opposite the small one)

I sanded the ends as they were rough-ish.

Step 3:

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I drilled 2 holes in a glass cutter and sawed off the handle.

Step 4:

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I found a piece of steel (It's from ball bearing drawer runners)

It already had a hole, so I drilled another one.

Then I enlarged top's of the holes with a bigger drill bit.

Step 5:

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I screwed the pipes to the wood and attached the glass cutter.

Distance from pipe to pipe will depend. I was measuring it with a wine bottle.

You will need to attach the glass cutter perfectly. It's best to use a test bottle to find the best spot.

When scoring the bottle, you should get a nice line. If there is no line, that means your glass cutter is not touching the bottle or you're not putting the pressure on it.

Speaking about the pressure, you should not apply too much of it.

If you score the bottle and find a lot of glass shavings, you should lover the glass cutter or change its position.

Step 6:

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I attached the piece of steel.

Step 7:

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I wanted to add an extra feature to this bottle cutter - a ruler.

I cut/bent a steel ruler to the same size as the steel piece.

As one end of the ruler was not pretty, I bent it.

Step 8:

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I glued it on top of the steel and put some weights on it.

Epoxy glue was perfect for the job.

Step 9:

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I used "L" shape bracket to make a slider.

I put some neodymium magnets on the bracket and used felt to cover it.

If you don't have a felt, you can use furniture sliders.

If you don't use felt or furniture sliders, your ruler's numbers will most likely fade away.

Step 10:

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That's it!

Now we have a bottle cutter with a magnetic slider.

Ruler is handy to cut the same size rings.

Step 11:

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Bottle can be put on the cutter both ways. With the neck facing the slider or other way round.

Score the line and use your preferred technique to split the bottle in half.

I used candle and ice method.

Heat the line on a candle and cool it with ice.

Repeat the procedure until bottle splits in 2 pieces.

Make sure the slider does not move when scoring the bottle.I first tried to use only a ruler without the steel piece.

Magnets did not hold as strong, so the slider moved a little bit.

Have fun bottle cutting!



JohneyL2 (author)2017-02-22

The glass bottles are used for storing every type of
drinking stuff just because of glass bottle’s quality is to keep fresh the all
liquid form thinks which is putting on it. Glass bottle will be the good choice
for you when you are gifting the some liquid stuff to your friend this glass
bottle keep fresh the quality and taste of your drink which you are going to be
gift to another one.

Sri Yantra

OmarM135 (author)2016-09-12

Excelente, Yo corto las botellas con un método parecido, pero a mano alzada, pero la máquina cortadora que aparece aquí me parece muy buena, así no tengo que utilizar ni cintas ni marcadores y el corte con esta máquina es preciso. OMAR

Jkivance (author)2016-08-08

That is a nice bottle cutter you got there. great idea!

Lovot (author)2016-06-15

How I "cut" glass bottles: figure out how much oil is required to fill the bottle to the cut line, heat the oil in a container that can take the heat, and can easily pour liquids into the bottle, once the oil is at ~350F (or just below the flash point of the oil) place the bottle on a level surface with a catch pan underneath and pour the oil into into the bottle. The high rate of expansion of soda lime glass and it's poor conductivity make it so the bottom half of the bottle and top half separate with a pop. This does not shatter the bottle because the lower half is at a uniform temperature because of the oil, the top half is at room temperature, so the only place there is significant thermal stress is a circle directly above the oil fill line. if this does not work, try refrigerating or freezing the bottle before pouring the hot oil inside. If the bottle and container the oil was heated in were clean, the oil should still be usable for other things. Use high grit sand paper to git rid of unwanted sharp edges.

I found this out when I tried filtering hot oil into a jar, it needed to be hot in order to go through the filter in a timely manner.

Lovot (author)Lovot2016-06-15

this does not require a glass cutter of any type, but using one could result in cleaner cuts.

TomW42 (author)Lovot2016-06-15

Considering how often I cut glass bottles (never have in 76 years) your system seems better to me.

Lovot (author)TomW422016-06-15

It's a big step up from the method i had to use previously, which involved a diamond cutting disk, which had a tendency to break the bottle, it took longer, and the cuts were messier.

agedsage (author)2016-06-14

No, there will be no short. To get a short, you have to have two different polarities involved. There is only one polarity in the system.

JoeG17 (author)agedsage2016-06-15

What are you talking about? Must have two different polarities??? Regardless of polarities (in AC there are no polarities just live and neutral) to have a current flow you must have TWO wires live and neutral. If you connect these two together you create a SHORT! So to clarify things when making this loop round the bottle a SMALL gap must be left between the the two ends of the loop. If no gap is left and the ends are joined a short is created and the current WONT go thru' the loop but where the ends join. Current ALWAYS flows thru' the least resistive path in our case on the point of contact and NOT thru' the loop.

This holds true for any circuit AC or DC battery or not.

agedsage (author)JoeG172016-06-15

Very clearly, I am talking about DC, as this is what automobile batteries provide. Flow is from Positive (+) pole to the Negative (-); at least according to both the chemistry and physics courses I have had. Thus, there are two (2) poles! Kapisch? If this is not so, then why are the battery terminals (=2 poles) labeled (+) and (-)? I agree flow is along the path of least resistance.

k8e (author)2015-06-22

The easiest way to 'drill' a hole just might be - make a small well in some clay, put in some 100 grit silica and some linseed oil - use a wooden dowel of the size you want

and turn it slowly until it goes through the glass. Orrr - maybe make that little well of 'fire clay' with the well the -exact- size of hole you want. Melt a little lead, enough. Pour it into that little 'well' and see it 'melt' right through the glass. Put some water or oil inside the bottle / jar to 'catch' the molten lead after it gets through the glass. And how about showing the cutting of a 'Pace' hot sauce jar - now THAT makes a great drinking glass (cut right at the center of the top 'swell'). :)

antioch (author)k8e2015-10-06

Do you know why the method with molten lead works? Have you tried it yourself?

What puzzles me is that lead melts at about 300°C while glass melts at about 600°C.

jimmie.c.boswell (author)antioch2016-06-14

the lead is corroding the lime or other glass, making lead silicate which melts at a lower temperature, than either the lead and the glass. like melting tin and lead, where the melting point is lower than both the tin and lead.

but i am not so sure, the hot lead would not cause the lime or other glass to shatter unless it was borosilicate glass.

JoeG17 (author)jimmie.c.boswell2016-06-15

Utter nonsense! It won't work heed my word.

jimmie.c.boswell (author)JoeG172016-06-15

you! just did not really listen did you? i only, explained the process of making lead silicate.

i expressed no indication, of how well this particular process would work. for it to work, the lead has to remain in a liquid state. anytime i have poured hot lead, onto anything it quickly solidifies. and accidently onto glass, it explodes violently. unless the glass, is the same temperature as the molten lead.

pouring hot lead onto any glass other than quartz or borosilicate, is most likely going to shatter the glass. and throwing hot lead, and glass shards.

but it is a scientific fact, that molten lead will dissolve glass and form a lower melting point lead silicate. it takes less energy, to make lead silicate glass.

this is why it was so popular in the medieval ages. even adding soda, calcium, or potassium lime lowers the melting point.

the melting point, of silicon dioxide is just over 1600*C. even adding soda lime, lowers the melting point to just above 900*C.

and most uncolored glass today, is soda glass. adding to much soda, makes glass that dissolves in water aka water glass.

happyluckyidiot (author)2015-06-16

What do you find is the best way to deal with the sharp edges once the bottle is cut?

JoeG17 (author)happyluckyidiot2016-06-15

Use a fine sandpaper. Mind your fingers!

I like to use silicon carbide. You can get it from eBay.


Here you can see it in action.

Mex5150 (author)ShakeTheFuture2015-06-17

Do you have any tips for drilling to make the ashtrey?

ShakeTheFuture (author)Mex51502015-06-19

bpark1000 said it perfectly.

You don't want to put too much pressure when drilling. When you will start to reach the end, bottle will start to shake (at least with the drill bits I use).

Then you should be extra careful not to put too much pressure. Usually I don't go to fast when drilling, but at the end (If bottle starts to shake), I go faster.

I usually start with the smaller drill bit and then change it to bigger.

I have not tried tube drill bits - I guess they are much better.

bpark1000 (author)Mex51502015-06-18

The easiest way to drill glass is with diamond tube drills. You work slowly with the drill being flooded, and let it abrade its way through (that is shown in the video). You can also use a copper pipe and abrasive grit, but it is a trial of patience.

Mex5150 (author)bpark10002015-06-18

OK, I'll give it a go, thanks ;^>

i've found that 120 grit wet/dry works great. a narrow and long smooth stone would work as a more permanent, and free, solution. all you need is something to abrade the edge a bit and break the sharpness of it.

agedsage (author)2016-06-14

A nichrome, or SS, piece of wire, an auto battery charger and a pitcher of ice water is all that is needed to make such a cut. Make a single turn of the wire around the bottle at the desired point. Measure location of wire from a common point (up from bottom, etc.) on the bottle to make sure you will get a concentric cut. Attack the battery charger clips to the ends of the wire, and turn the charger ON. In very short order, the wire should begin to glow red (red hot). Give it 10-15 seconds to heat the glass through and through. Pour the ice water over the red hot wire. You should get a very nice clean break.

If you put a single turn of NiCr wire around the bottle won't it short where the wire meets up? Does the heat conduct well enough that it doesn't matter? I'm interested to try this out as I already have a foam cutting table set up with NiCr wire, battery, charger, etc.

There is no 'short' as the current is all in the one wire. The resistance of the wire causes it to get red hot.This is how glass pipes for glass plumbing systems was cut back when. It worked perfectly The principle is exactly the same as for the filament in an incandescent light bulb. The styrofoam 'hot wire' cutter works on exactly the same principle. And, NO, there are no sparks.

Sorry agedsage, I'm just not communicating this very well - I'll take it that it works just fine. I was thinking that by wrapping the wire around in a circle presumably nice and tight with no gap, there'd be a point where the wire touches itself at the beginning/end of the wrap. I wondered if the current wouldn't bother flowing much through the loop if it could just bypass it and pass right on through the rest of the wire skipping the bit that forms the loop. (Also I only had the battery b/c we kept getting power outages and the foam cutter was set up on a construction site where we had to be able to keep cutting; there is a pot to adjust temp too - that's all probably overkill for cutting glass)

There is no battery involved in the system. Just the charge, a power source, and the wire.

Actually thats exactely what he proposes: a short. The battery jumper wire is thicker and has less resistance so most of the heat is produced at the NiCr wire P=R•I^2.
It sounds a bit dangerous and there is definitly a risk of sparks, but it should work. Also the battery itself may heat up and lead batteries can produce the explosive hydrogen gas. Best do it outside.

Thanks Magnus, I get the principle - it's the same as on my foam cutter, I was wondering about the loop of NiCr wire around the bottle where the NiCr wire crosses the NiCr wire at the top of the loop.

Or at the left on this crude text illustration where the bottle is in the 0: >0

LolasMuse (author)2016-06-14

I am just now reading.this Instructable, and find it very useful and easy to understand.

My 2¢ on drilling through glass would be to use a diamond bit or a special glass drill bit. Lightly mark your bottle with a wax pencil or crayon where you would like to drill your hole (Mark lightly; enough to see the mark but not add an additional slip factor). You don't have to do this, but I find that it helps me. Submerge the bottle in a container of cool to room temperature water, allowing the water to flood the inside of the bottle. With the marked area your bottle facing up and still submerged under about 1/2" of water, carefully drill your hole through the glass.

By drilling the hole with the bottle submerged in the water, the glass stays cool and is much much less likely to crack or shatter when being drilled. It also keeps glass dust from becoming airborne, saving your skin, eyes, mouth, mucus membranes, lungs, etc. from suffering the pain and health risks from contact and ingestion of this dangerous byproduct..

Abe Sam (author)2016-06-14

Many good ideas for creating a tool which is practical.

AdmiralMakron (author)2016-06-14

when did you figure out that you can cut bottles?

It is very cool!

Tamatoa82 (author)2016-06-14

I got some good ideas from your instructable that I want to incorporate into my bottle-cutter base if you don't mind.
The rule is a good idea, and the magnetic slider a clever upgrade. Thanks for sharing.

toxicaxel made it! (author)2015-10-24

works perfectly

fjs made it! (author)2015-10-06

Thank your very much! I tried another designs but this is much simpler and works very well.

ShakeTheFuture (author)fjs2015-10-06


I am glad it worked!

Keri Plezia (author)2015-10-02

Thank you for posting this... I think I am going to make this. Looks nicer than the ones to buy at the Stained Glass shops. Again thank you and I will let you know how mine turns out. ;o)

MahmoudTolba (author)2015-07-01

Nice idea :)

damyar (author)2015-06-18

That is grate

DavidW50 (author)2015-06-18

Looks good , will be making this one

Mex5150 (author)2015-06-17

Why are the pipes offset?

ShakeTheFuture (author)Mex51502015-06-17

For one end of the bottle to touch the cutter.

I tried to put the pipe closer to the cutter, but it did not give as good results.

I am sure there is a better way to do it. I was using a wine bottle to adjust the pipes and the cutter.

One pipe could have been trimmed much shorter, but I left it long - just in case.

I have not cut too many bottles yet (with this cutter), so time will show if any adjustments are needed.

Benstar (author)2015-06-17

Or you can just use the cracking off technique, which is brilliant and simple. Requires a spinning surface (turntable, lazy susan, pottery wheel, etc.) a torch and a thing that can scratch glass just a bit.

ShakeTheFuture (author)Benstar2015-06-17

I have tried cracking off technique. In my opinion it works best with a thin glass.

With very thick glass bottles, it was a challenge to get a perfect cut.

Maybe I have not mastered it yet.

It's a cool technique, but in my opinion not the easiest.

Bottle cutter that heats the bottle with a nichrome wire should give much better results than the blow torch.

jan.benade (author)2015-06-17

Well done! I think you've just solved a problem I've been battling with trying to split glass-bottles effectively. I'm going to use your idea with a couple of modifications! Great idea!


Thank You!

NonofYabiz (author)2015-06-16

Thank you! :)

acoleman3 (author)2015-06-16

that is an absolutely brilliant solution. sure, there are easier ways like the accelerant soaked string and cold water trick, but this is consistently reliable and a lot less likely to cause further complications. nice job!

About This Instructable




Bio: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks
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