Instructables

How to use a wet tile saw to cut glass bottles

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Picture of How to use a wet tile saw to cut glass bottles
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Please pardon the less than stellar photos in this Instructable.
It was created years ago when I had nothing but an inexpensive
digital camera. I hope to update it soon with much better images.


After purchasing numerous gadgets and widgets to cut glass
over the years, I finally discovered the joys of using a wet tile saw.
They are inexpensive, easy to operate and in my opinion, fun to use.

If you are in need of a straight cut on a glass bottle, especially
a wine bottle, this is right up your alley!

No wires, no candles or flame, no torches or shattered glass after
all that work.

As my intention for the cut glass is for a later project, if you seek only
to cut the top from a wine bottle to use as a glass, you'll find step #3 to
be what you need. Be sure to file, torch or otherwise smooth down the
sharp edges before using it as a drinking vessel.

Be sure to check out Fstedie's instructable for making drinking glasses out of wine bottles, too!

 
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Step 1: The basics of a 7" wet tile saw...

Picture of The basics of a 7
While wine bottles can be used for various things, this
tutorial is basically aimed at cutting the tops off.

Hopefully, this Instructable will have you wishing and wanting a tile saw yourself.
Fear not, they are not as scary as you think, are very inexpensive, and may even be
in your garage already.

This tutorial is based on use of a 7" QEP wet tile saw. Many home improvement
stores offer wet tile saws; which are intended for use in cutting tiles for mosaic
and other projects such as backsplashes, counter tops, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.
It is an electrically operated saw which works with water.

While I have used a standard, inexpensive blade intended for tiles, there is a
blade available which is called a diamond blade. Let me reassure you that use of
the word 'blade' is not what it sounds like. In fact, it is nothing like an actual saw
blade with teeth or sharp edges, it is rough to the touch, though. Naturally one would
want to exercise caution with any power tool, so it is always a good idea to keep
your fingers away from the cutting wheel while in operation.

After familiarizing yourself with the initial operation of the saw itself, we'll
bring in the bottles, complete with pictures for each step.

For those who haven't any common sense, allow me to remind you of the
need to be of sound mind with all your senses in check before proceeding. In
other words, consumption of the bottle contents is fine, just not while doing this
project.

Put on some clothing you don't mind getting dirty and wet,
grab your safety glasses, ear plugs and let's have fun!


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sandcarver2 years ago
Hello everyone I just found this nice place and cut my first wine bottle a couple of days ago. I just ordered today a 10" continues rim diamond blade for my tile saw. I no that its going too be a lot better on the cuts than the old blade that was on it. I do a lot of sandcarving in glass and thought cutting the wine bottles for candle cover and so far there going good.
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Very nice! You should do an instructable on this.

That is awesome
Abeytj1 year ago
After several years trying various methods, I tried this today, great! I used a Circular saw for wood fitted with a tile cutting blade. The pictures are not clear whether, the bottle has to be cut through. My first attempt was to cut a deep groove around and then seperate the pieces by other means and the second was cutting through. This is better. Also the uneven edges can be groud with the side of the wheel. I used a wheel with 4 split edges and was worried whether it will shatter the bottle, no. Also the blade was not water cooled. Great post indeed
sunshiine2 years ago
I have wanted to make these for a long time. I will come back to this page when I am ready to give it a try. By the way I visited Wuv n Acres tonight. I heard that when you save the seeds from Hollyhocks if they were red, you may or may not get red the next year. Is this true? I will be visiting you page again hopefully in the spring if we are ready to plant. Thanks so much for sharing your hard work. I am looking forward to seeing more. Maybe soon? I assume you are less busy in the winter months. Have a perfect and beautiful fall Weekend. Sunshiine
amic4 years ago
Thanks for posting this! I never even thought about the wet saw and was not looking forward to using one of those bottle cutter kits! Do you have instructions on how to "fire polish" wine bottles that have been cut into drinking glasses? All of the instructions I find mention you can either grind the edges or fire polish, but they never tell give the fire polish process.
You need to heat the bottle to 1000 degrees [in your kiln] then heat the edge with a torch until it melts to a smooth surface. Dont let the bottle cool or it will crack. after you polish it, hold the kiln at 900 degrees for a few hours then turn the kiln down at 10* F per minute until the glass is at room temp [note glass NOT kiln temp] then voila!
sunshiine3 years ago
Very good! Thanks for sharing!
WUVIE (author)  sunshiine3 years ago
Thank you so much! I'd like to update the photos, though. They were taken with my old camera. Things have changed so much since then. :-)
Make candles within the nubs of the bottles and hang them from some thin copper wire, but make sure it doesn't melt!
rpvanpatt3 years ago
any update on the kiln part?
kz13 years ago
The punts would look good embeded in rock or adobe walls, planters, stepping stones, etc. Lots of uses for those little critters!
kz13 years ago
The bottle bums would make neat little bird feeders that could be set around or a hold drilled in the center and hug up near birds habitats or bird baths.
Drill a hole through the top, put a chain/string/twine etc through, hang several together and make some wind chimes.... however probably not a good idea to have up high winds, but might make a nice sound in the breeze. Or leave little more lip on and use them as bird feeders.
rpvanpatt3 years ago
Hey, I have been using the same saw as this actually for the same idea. But I am very interested in reading about the kiln soon. Thanks!
Nice instructable, thanks! I have been using a tile cutter and similar technique to trim up a white stone door handle (you can see here - bottom of the page) for the oak doors I've been making. Getting the surface rounded and natural stone looking was the tricky bit - I had to recruit the belt sander to help with that ;)
Somehow I can't seem to get the knack of this - your rings look fairly smooth on the edges, whereas mine are quite jagged and chipped. I did purchase a diamond blade meant for cutting porcelain tile, but it didn't make much difference over the original blade that came with the saw. I've keep the tray topped up with water and I've tried cutting fast, slow and in between...can you offer any suggestions?
Most likely, you need a glass cutting blade. Yes, there is such a thing.
You can buy them Here.
I used a tile saw to cut glass until its stock blade wore out, then I bought the blade linked above.
Since then, I wouldn't ever go back to any other type blade for glass work

Another thing that would help is, if the machine came with a miter gauge, use it to keep the bottle perpendicular to the blade. If that don't work or there's no miter gauge, improvise something that can slide on or alongside the fence.

Since it's difficult to keep the bottle straight when you get toward its top, try cutting the bottle top-first, especially if you're going to leave the bottom with an inch or more of the sides.
That is good advice, and a nice instructable, thanks. I am trying to source a glass cutting blade here in the UK and having poor luck. Can anyone help?
I am having the same exact problems. I'm trying to cut beer bottles and all i get are chipped edges. I have tried both blades(the one it came with and a diamond). I have noticed that when i cut through the label it gives a nicer edge. Next I'm going to try and put masking take all the way around the bottle and see if that helps. I haven't tried cutting wine bottles yet. Maybe they give a nicer edge because they are thicker?? I'm going to get a glass specific diamond blade(thanks for the tip splatman) and see if that helps any. I'll let you know what i find.......
WUVIE (author)  chester30005 years ago
Oh, and if you like wine bottles, try champagne bottles, but take it slow, they are very thick. :-) Karen
WUVIE (author)  darinthewoods6 years ago
Hello Darin, I am so sorry, I did not see this thread until months after you posted it. My apologies. If it is not too late, you might try turning the bottle slowly as you cut. I roll the bottle towards me as I push it into the blade. Not too slow, but definitely steady. Chester, with regard to the beer bottles, that is likely the problem. Beer bottles are a real booger. Thin glass and easily splintered. Once you cut wine bottles you'll find yourself bypassing the beer bottles. I take beer bottles from the local bar to the recycling center and while I'm there, grab a few wine bottles. Hope this helps. :-) Karen
pennoppom4 years ago
Wow... How silly do I feel. I've been collecting bottles for months and trying to muster the courage to try one of those bottle cutter kits, and never thought to use the tile saw that I already owned! Thanks for posting!!!
Hello. I would like to buy a tile cutter....Whats the name of the machine?. Can it be purchased in any hardware store....? Please come back to me on that. Regards Jon
you could make a lemon or orange juicer if you added ridges and a spout to the hubs and nubs
hbushell4 years ago
I am so eager to get some instructions on how to smooth the glass edges in a kiln. I am thinking of purchasing a kiln for this purpose, but need advice on what size kiln to consider. Also, If you put the sliced glass into a kiln, doesn't the bottom become flat even as the top smooths out? Do you then turn the slices over? What temperature would be best? I am happy to hear any helpful recommendations on the topic.
hbushell4 years ago
Thank you for these great instructions.  When will you be adding the instructions for melting the rings in an oven?  I am ready for those instructions also.  Thanks again.
ElmoRoyD4 years ago
It looks like a Sombrero.
neutron75 years ago
you know i just finished tiling a built in vanity i made, and was wondering if the tile saw could cut glass, it is a very similar material to ceramic, but i was just wondering about the safety of it. so i searched google and your post was the first one. I kind of laughed at the kiln at the end. i think a lot of people might have tile saws, kilns, maybe not so many.. :D
Valche6 years ago
Would it be possible to cut on an angle with this? Think like a huge hypodermic needle, I've got an idea for a vase.
That depends on the wet saw you get. Many of them have an angle-cutting attachment you can use to cut angles; however, you would have to modify your cutting technique. Instead of rotating the bottle while cutting, you would have to cut it while not rotating the bottle at all.
brookefox5 years ago
Re: edge finishing: What about a small butane penlight torch to smooth by melting the rough edges and skip grinding all but the roughest ones? They are available with piezo igniters for less than $10.
pegasus9175 years ago
I happened to have a tile saw I purchased from Harbor Freight to tile my family room and am an avid fan of Freixenet Champagne and didn't know what to do with the lovely bottles. Using the tile saw was great! Went thru the glass easy! Nice smooth cut. Used a grinding stone attachment on my drill and finished off with 800 grit. Used my Cricut and etched a flower and butterfly on the side and have a great vase! I have been saving all the corks and am making a cork board with them. Made a shallow box and hot glue them in rows. Thanks for the great tip to save the bottles!
altomic5 years ago
i've been using an angle grinder with a diamond blade for cutting sheet glass for windows. throws up a lot of chips but screw paying a glazier money for something I can do myself. I have nothing against glaziers, where would the world be with out them?
tamzip5 years ago
I thought the tutorial was great though I have not gotten my equipment yet. I am looking into a saw and am very interested in the comment that Karen Marie left at the end regarding that she soon would be adding instructions for melting the rings in a kiln. I am familiar with lampwork beading and have a "toolbox" kiln, but am interested in more information on annealing recycled bottles. Any help out there would be geatly appreciated!!!!! Tamzip 2/5/09
Thank you for this - truly it changes my plans for the glass I've collected to make something with! I've wanted to know how to melt glass, so I've pondered my options... One thing I am wondering, if I were to melt the glass, why cut the bottles first? Why not just break them into smaller (although non-uniform) parts? I never would have thought of cutting the glass as is, so melting may not be in my plans now anyway - so this info from you helps! Cutting into rings could be made into more uniformly broken parts for mosaic work, no melt needed for my needs. (Plus I didn't know how I'd manipulate it after I had a glob of hot glass anyway!) You probably saved me from destroying my heat source, my home, and my skin (I'm a clumsy one!) - THANK YOU!!! :)
Sgt.Waffles6 years ago
Now I know where to get glass nipple protecters. THANKS!
alexhalford6 years ago
brilliant
atom6 years ago
i agree with oculus 1857...this is an awesome instructable! i was going to get a glasscutting jig, then i read this. i went out and bought the exact same saw, and my first 3 tries went almost perfect. i used a Red Stripe, a Rogue, and a Lambic bottle. the beer bottles were thinner, chipped jst a bit, but the Lambic worked great. i used some dremel tips, and finished with 150 grit paper. i will try to post some pix of the results. thanks fr a great instructable!
oculus18576 years ago
This tutorial is GREAT!! I did this about 3 weeks ago and I went through about 20 wine bottles in a matter of minutes. Super fast, pretty safe, and lets me get on to other things. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to setup, write, take pictures and post this tutorial here.

Few comments about this project and what i have learned.

  • The edges, at least for me, of the wine bottle are a little rough. So if your going to grind the edges for drinking or trying to make them perfectly level then put that dremel tool in a vice clamp of some sort. Use the green grinding wheel and keep going until you have it where you want it.
*It's a bit messy so be sure to do the saw out side. Sweep the area of glass and small fragments as much as you can.

*Even if the ends are uneven once you grind, sand and polish the edges you can have a nice flower vase for that special someone.
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