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Picture of Drinking Glasses from Wine Bottles
Making drinking glasses from wine bottles has been around for years, and while it is relatively easy to cut a bottle, making a nice useful drinking glass is a little more difficult.

Yeah, I can go to Target and buy a set of glasses, but it is pretty cool to be able to use/recycle bottles that in many cases go in the trash.

And of course, you can always take pride in the fact that you made them yourself!

WARNING: There is the possibility of injury from broken glass when performing the steps in this instructable. Proceed at your own risk!
 
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Step 1: Get Your Bottle

Picture of Get Your Bottle
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Although you can technically make a glass from any bottle, I prefer wine bottles because they are much thicker than your typical bottle. Beer bottles in particular are very thin and more likely to break and cut you.

You'll also notice that most wine bottles have a big "dimple" on the bottom called the "PUNT". It is OK on a bottle, but not so nice in a drinking glass. Some people like the punt and glasses made from these bottles are often referred to as "punt glasses".

I prefer the flat-bottomed bottles commonly used with certain types of white wines. If you only drink red, try Bordeaux bottles, they are often flat on the bottom.

Beware: the nicer the bottle, the worse the wine usually tastes!

Step 2: Cutting the Bottle (part 1)

Picture of Cutting the Bottle (part 1)
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OK, safety first:

Wear gloves and eye protection!

There are many tools and methods you can use to cut a bottle; the cutter I used is all metal and I like it better than some of the plastic-framed models sold at craft shops. However, any jig that allows you to make a consistent scoring line around the bottle should be good enough.

This tool uses the scoring method which "cuts" a line around the bottle. Glass of course has a crystal structure to it and can't really be cut at room temp but rather broken in a controlled manner.

Once you score the line at a predetermined size you then move on to the next step.
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HoboMyesterday

"Glass of course has a crystal structure to it"

No it doesn't. Glass is unique in that is is what is known as a "super cooled liquid". In science, the term glass is often defined in a broader sense, encompassing every solid that possesses a non-crystalline (i.e. amorphous) atomic-scale structure and that exhibits a glass transition when heated towards the liquid state.

chuckr447 years ago
Hi there, I tried it this week and got the label off by soaking in hot water with a little dish soap. I even simmered the bottle (after cutting) in a pan of water. But I still have a lot of glue on the bottle. Will acetone get the glue off? Or do I need something else. I guess they're making better label glue these days.
PatB4 chuckr441 month ago

METHANOL cuts through adhesives like nothing. add a CLEAN, NEW razor blade or some 4 ought 0000 fine steel wool.

i know that this is an ooooold post, but i wanted to respond. The very best thing for removing label glue residue is lighter fluid. NOT FIRE, just lighter fluid. it seems to be the perfect solvent for label adhesive. a little on a paper towel will often take it right off. a little more, and a green scour pad will take off the most stubborn sticker from a glass bottle.
Laral jarikcbol4 months ago

Lighter fluid is repackaged naphtha at a premium price. Look for VM&P Naphtha at Home Depot or Lowe's. Around $7.99 a quart.

jarikcbol Laral4 months ago

A quart of BBQ lighter fluid costs about 3-4$ at my local grocery store, so i'll keep using that. (the BBQ stuff has less odor than the lighter fluid for Zippo lighters) Thanks for the heads up though.

Laral jarikcbol4 months ago

That's interesting. I found Kingsford Odorless Charcoal Lighter Fluid 64 oz for $6.97 at the Home Despot. The MSDS says it's 100% Aliphatic petroleum solvent, which is what naphtha is. I didn't know they now made it odorless. I have a gallon can of Coleman Camp Fuel which is also odorless naphtha. It was cheap at Walmart but now they don't sell it any more. I think because it is used by meth labs like so many solvents.

I recommend zippo-type lighter fluid. It contains NAPTHA which is an awesome solvent for glues that can't be removed with soap and water. Definitely wash the glass thoroughly after using this, though.
Oh, and denatured alcohol works wonders here, too. Both of these options are much cheaper than products like Goo-Gone, but I think they work just as well.

Naphtha is better. Denatured alcohol is highly toxic because it contains methanol, wood aclohol, that can cause permanent blindness, even just inhaling the vapors. Read the MSDS!

I'll chip in in favor of the solvent made from orange peels. Just one tiny squirt of that stuff will strip most anything sticky off, even when alcohol fails. Never tried lighter fluid, but it would definitely be the stinkier option when you're indoors.
Goo Gone works. I've used it successfully several times.
Definitely going to second the notion of Goo Gone.
Chuck, I don't know if you have a dishwasher, but I put mine in the dishwasher and most of it comes off, then I take a scotchbrite pad and soapy water to get the remaining glue .. Hope this helps,,<3
there is this stuff called 'googone', which is great at removing all things sticky, it's cheap, in the grocery store, and it smells great!
hmmm, I just looked at the MSDS for GooGone, and it's a mixture of mostly naphtha and a little of that citrus solvent and one other ingredient. Reading the comments here I detect a trend.
Try using WD40. With a little bit of rubbing it takes the adhesive right off in no time.
I heard somewhere that Mayonnaise will remove the glue residue left after removing bumper stickers. Maybe that would work on bottles too.
Most labels will slide right off after soaking the bottles overnight in a water and ammonia solution.
nail polish remover or some form of alcohol
I make cheese trays. I remove labels from wine bottles with a kettle of boiling water. Pour it into the bottle and leave it for 10 minutes then use a razor blade and some labels come right off in tact. Then I soak the bottle in a little soapy water and when the residue is soft I get it off with lighter fluid and razor blade.
I wouldn't use a razor blade, too much chance of scratching. As largejunglecat suggested, NAPTHA works wonders. Pretty much all lighter fluid that goes into Zippo and similar liquid fuel lighters are NAPTHA. (Haven't found one yet). Best bet: Go with Ronsonol Lighter Fuel (yellow bottle).
mulder chuckr447 years ago
Baby oil is very good at getting sticker residue off of things....just put some on a cotton ball and rub the goo for a few seconds and it will come right off.
Goo-Gone is your friend. It never fails to remove adhesive from anything I need it off of, and has a clean citrus scent.
fstedie (author)  chuckr447 years ago
I used a razor blade scraper to take a lot of it off. some bottles come off clean, others take a little bit of work. you can also use Goof Off or something like that. Acetone might be overkil...

Sanding down the edge is definitely the most tedious part of of the process. I would use the Bottle Bit. The kickstarter campaign runs through January http://bit.ly/1yjJBc1

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skyboundsmb4 months ago

Hi, there! I'm new to this site and new to glass cutting. I've cut a few bottles and have sanded them. It takes the edge off but leaves to rim cloudy looking. How do I get it shiny again? Would you be able to advise me on this, please? I read somewhere that polish could be used, but I do not know where to get it. Thank you so much.

cbg38683 years ago
I am not crazy about the tools you uses to polish or grind the rim of your class. Fortunately, I have stained glass tools. I would use a stained glass grinder for the initial smoothing. There are various grinding wheels that provide the initial smoothing. Next, I would choose various level of wet or dry sanding paper to fully smooth the edge. My favorite winery, Iron Gate, in Mebane, NC offers one of its best wines in a blue bottle. Therefore I have no trouble getting quality wine in a blue bottle.
tubajoey1 cbg38686 months ago

I live literally 15 minutes from Iron Gate...I had no idea Mebane had other Instructable users.
Or that anyone on the internet would ever even mention the place. haha

fstedie (author)  cbg38683 years ago
I have moved on to using a stained glass grinder since I first published this instructable. However, not all of us have access to such tools. Whatever you use, just be careful!
BARKing1 year ago
I haven't tried to do that with a candle before, I will have to give it a go. I have used a heavy wire bent in a tight loop at the one end to make a hammer and curved so it will strike the glass at a 90 degree angle from the inside. On the wire is a upside down triangle that is a friction fit. This allows you to swing the wire at the same height all the way around at the exact level of the score. tap, tap, tap, tap….. pop.
nerd74731 year ago
epic
a much better way of breaking the glass in a "controled manner is to score a line around the bottle only once and then to slowly pour hot water then cold water then hot water then cold water and then pop viola its in 2 nice pieces..... way better then breaking and using a candle
Orngrimm3 years ago
In summary nothing new to me, BUT:
You had a very smart idea there with the protection with duct-tape!

If i saw that correctly, you used this Aluminum-type-duct-tape for this?

Also normally i dont use a candle to stress-break the glass at the cut. I simply hold them under the hot water from the faucet and "shock" it with cold wather from the faucet. Repeat once or twice and you have a very nice cut.
Hi! If you use the wire brush to leave a metallic sheen, is the glass dishwasher safe (or drinking-safe)? Or will that sheen eventually fade off with use/washing over time? Thanks, great instructable!
If the wire wheel is made of steel (even stainless steel), I'd be worried about it rusting over time, but it may wear off before that. If the wire wheel is Aluminum, it will also oxidize, and dull. Some people will argue that excessive amounts of Aluminum can have toxic effects, but since the average person is estimated to consume 3-10mg of Aluminum daily as it is, I doubt that even if you ate the rim it would be a problem (much less so than the lacerations such an act would cause...). Nonetheless, at least a heavier metal, like gold isn't being used, which has well known toxic effects. The metal is most likely deposited as the wires pass over the rough crystalline structure, and as the wires help break off minute, weak, and incomplete pieces of the matrix, thus smoothing it, larger pieces of the matrix will become impregnated with metal scraped and broken off of the wires, also effectively making the surface smoother, as long as the metal is retained. How you handle these glasses is up to you.
While gold can cause heavy metal toxicity, it's extremely rare. The human body isn't able to digest gold in pure form, and it typically passes through without harm. There are forms of gold that can be absorbed, typically used in folk medicine. Even in these forms, dosages have to massively exceed recommended levels before health problems arise.
jmarusoi5 years ago

Easier method using thermal shock, any flammable liquid would do, see this video:
www.break.com/index/how-to-cut-a-bottle-with-a-string.html
 

But does it work on wine bottle's???
fstedie (author)  bigmark3 years ago
The string method is very crude imo and will not work well on wine bottles.
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