Picture of Laser Engraved Recycled Wine Bottle Glasses
I made these Pittsburgh themed drinking glasses out of recycled wine bottles. 

I made it at TechShop.

These were etched on the Trotec Speedy 300 laser engraver.

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Step 1: Supplies Needed

Picture of Supplies Needed
1. Safety Glasses

2. A silicon oven mitt

3. Empty wine bottles

4. A 5 gallon bucket

5. A copper scouring pad

6. A glass bottle scoring jig. I used Ephram's Bottle Cutter Kit that I purchased from Amazon. I've also seen a lot of homemade jigs on Instructables as well.

7. A stock pot. Here is the one I used.

8. A small towel

9. Ice cubes

10. Sandpaper. I used 60 grit, 80 grit, 120 grit, 180 grit, and 320 grit. 

11. A TechShop membership (for access to a laser engraver with a rotary tool).

Step 2: Removing the labels from the wine bottles

Picture of Removing the labels from the wine bottles
I've tried various approaches for removing the labels from wine bottles and this one produces the best results with the minimum amount of effort.

1. Cut the plastic bit off of the neck of the bottle. 

2. Soak the bottles in a 5 gallon bucket filled with hot tap water. Let it soak for at least 20 minutes, the longer it soaks the easier it comes off.

3. Using the copper scouring pad, scrub the labels off. The copper is too soft to scratch the glass. Make sure to get the adhesive off as well as the label.
itobor25251 year ago
Great idea, kudos. I sure hope the Rooneys don't see the 'stillers' logo!
Nice image of the Cathedral.
fstedie1 year ago
I posted the first tutorial for wine bottle glasses:

In it I use an etching cream for the designs so you can definitely get some good results without the laser.

I have also tried cutting with a laser and you have to realize that the laser can't cut the glass, only score.  Even if you tried to use it to make your cutting score line, it is very rough since the laser creates thousands of micro fractures along the laser path.  Using your traditional glass cutter will yield a better score/cut.

After cutting over 100 bottles, I have found that the best way to separate the bottles is to use a hot/cold water bath.  Dip the bottles in near-boiling water for a few seconds and place immediately in ice water. Repeat until the bottle separates.
AuralVirus1 year ago
Good stuff.

How tough are they in comparison to a similar size (glass thickness etc) "off the shelf" drinking glass?
MichaelDFarmer (author)  AuralVirus1 year ago
It depends on the wine bottle you use. I made a few (not shown in the tutorial) that were at least as think as regular drinking glasses. These were made using Charles Shaw (3 Buck Chuck) bottles which are significantly thinner than regular drinking glasses. That said, they are pretty durable. They all seem to be dishwasher safe, although I can't guarantee that all will be.
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MichaelDFarmer (author)  legionmanchild1 year ago
Thanks for the heads up!
I would add one thing to the end of the instructable though, after the laser etching. As it's not actual etching, in the sense that it eats away material, you will end up with very fine glass dust, and sometimes depending on the glass really small glass splinters. These easily make it into your skin if you're not careful, or god forbid into your system when using the glasses. To prevent that it helps a lot to take a stiff brush to clean off the etched surface under running water to get rid of all the loose glass.

Nice instructable though, gotta love them lasers!
nice !

thanks for posting.
rimar20001 year ago
Could you use the laser to mark the initial cutting line? Forgive my ignorance.
MichaelDFarmer (author)  rimar20001 year ago
That's a good question. I haven't tried using the laser to score the bottle but it seems plausible. I'm going to try it eventually; when I do, I'll let you know.
Yes, please PM me.

Anyway, I have not laser, so I could not use that possibility.
JMRaphael1 year ago
Could you elaborate on the laser cutting process for those of us who don't live near a TechShop?
These are beautiful!

And, even without a laser cutter, you can make some really cool coloured glasses!