Instructables

Practical (Cheap) Bottle Cutting

This shows a cheep and effective way to cut glass bottles for your own needs, such as drinking glasses, shot glasses, vases, pencil holders, and anything else you can think of. No cracks or sharp edges. This may not be an ideal technique if you want to produce a lot of bottles, but a cheap way to cut without cracks in your bottle.
 
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Step 1: Tools and supplies

You will need:
Standard size hacksaw (A coping saw may work fine as well)
Carbide saw blade (Glass is harder than steel, so a regular blade won't work)
Leather work gloves
Safety goggles
source of water
At least three different pieces of sand paper of various grit (I used 220, 100, and 60)
Roll of masking tape
Marker
Glass bottle
A base to set your bottle on while you saw. I used a 9X9 Casserole dish turned upside-down.

Optional tools:
Carbide bit
Home Made Jig

***ATTENTION***
While I would like for everyone to use my instructable, you may skip it if you can get your hands on a Tile saw such as this one:

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_33353_33353

Still be safe, wear protective gear, and use step four to help smooth out the edges.

mcolon33 months ago
If you let the bottles sit in hot water for about 15 minutes, the labels and the glue come off pretty easy. I've done this with my wine/ beer bottles. Works every time. I usually fill them with hot water and submerge them in the sink with hot water from the sink.
haventmadeabombyet (author)  mcolon33 months ago
Thanks! I'll try that.
paintphone4 years ago
You can also use Goo Gone  or
CitraSolve found in the organic cleaning products at most grocery stores
haventmadeabombyet (author)  paintphone4 years ago
As I wrote in the instructable:
"I haven't had any luck with "Goo Gone." I've gotten the most success from applying rubbing alcohol and scrubbing with a steal wire brush"

Maybe I got a bad bottle, but it seamed like a waste of money to me.
Try silicone lubricant--like the kind you use for automotive work. You can buy it for a couple of bucks for a large can at your automotive supply store. It doesn't smell great, but it's the best damned adhesive remover I've ever used.
But seriously, thanks for checking out my instructable and taking the time to make a comment.
kudos, great instructable
uldics4 years ago
When I was a kid, I saw my grandfather cutting a glass bottle shorter by another method. He took a simple (1mm maybe) copper wire and wound around at the place to cut and made it tight by winding together. Then he warmed the bottle up on gas oven. Exactly how, not sure. Then he hit the bottle and it would crack in two parts at the wire. I'm either not sure if it was one hard hit or a series of light hits along the wire.
haventmadeabombyet (author)  uldics3 years ago
Do you know what he hit with? Mallet, hammer?
haventmadeabombyet (author)  uldics4 years ago
That is a neat idea. Well, I tried some similar techniques; they all involved pouring water on it, or dropping it in water, but I always got a crack down the side. I think I'll give it a try. Thanks, and props to your grandpa!
Good instructable...I actually just did this with my kids w/beer bottles for Xmas gifts.  As far as cutting the glass, I used my husband's angle grinder that uses compressed air.  Then I used a wire brush on the bottle to smooth it out. 
Then I used my dremel w/the sanding drum.  As far as getting the labels off, my kids peeled them off and then if you smear peanut butter on them and wash them the remaidner of the label comes off.
justdesol4 years ago
 I used Eucalyptus Oil to remove the glue/adhesive, its an old Aussie trick. My Mum would use it to remove bandaids.
gamnoparts4 years ago
Nice instructable. Good idea w/ X-mas coming up. . .   Best part is probably emptying the bottles. ;)


as far as getting the glue off of the labels, try ronsonol.  The lighter fluid used in zippo lighters (yellow bottle).  Works GREAT!
 it worked amazingly for me
sreenvas4 years ago
I wish inform my way of cutting the glass bottle. First I wil make a marking with marking pen upto the level I want  to cut. Next I fill the bottle with the water upto that marking. Then i take a twine string (cottten thread used by the book binders) tightly arround the marking several turns -like we wound the coils and soak it with kerosine or petrol or with denatured spirit . Then ignite the thred. The bottle will get cut neately with smooth edges.
yusaku4 years ago
 Naptha(zippo fluid) is one of the best adhesive removers in my experience. I learned this from a pawn shop owner.  Its a slow solvent but keep applying fluid and rubbing with whatever. Also scotchbrite pads are good for scrubbing such things.
Mike McGill4 years ago
I have never tried this, but I have seen a few times in old magazines the following way of cutting a bottle.  Fill the bottle to the level at which you wish the cut to occur with mineral oil.  Heat a poker to red heat and then plunge the poker into the mineral oil.  This should llllllllhave the effect of crackng the bottle cleanly at the required point.  If anyone tries this I would be interested to know if it works.  Just like to say that Instructables are great!!
 I never tried cutting bottles this way.  I use my glass cutter and some hot water to cut mine and I got some great results. 
I did notice a few chipped edges on the Grey Goose bottle at the top, do these pose any problems? 
Thanks for sharing! 
Glass cutter and Hot water? What kind of cutter, and how do you use the hot water? Before I started using a hack saw, I tried scoring, heating, and dropping in cold water, but always got a crack.
 I use a Toyo class cutter, but you probably don't want to go to that kind of expense (I do glass work so I really have to have a good cutter). I have used a standard glass cutter like you can find at the hardware store (you might have seen the red one's that have a long handle and a ball ping on the opposite end of the scoring blade).  If you roll the bottle (assuming it is a round one) instead of trying to score around the bottle, it works better.  You will need enough hot water to submerge the bottle into it, or pouring the hot water into the bottle will work also. Wait a few second for the glass to get hot and start to expand, submerge it into icy cold water after that and the subsequent contraction of the glass will fracture and run the score line.  If you need to you can use the "ping" end of the scoring blade to give it a couple of taps to loosen it the rest of the way up.  I use this method to remove the bottom from bottles a lot of the time (and I think I saw someone do that to remove the bottom and "cheat" building a ship in a bottle.... guess if it works, it works LOL!. 
The Grey Goose glass is the result of the minimum amount of sanding necessary to remove any and all sharp edges. Nowadays, I use a dremel to bevel the edges. Harbor Freight has an awesome one for only $20.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=40457

Only, I've had a little trouble with the drum sanding heads, and ended up buying a new one, plus sanding drums.
gamnoparts4 years ago
One other thought...

regarding cutting glass.  Instead of cutting all the way through, could you "score" all the way around, & then snap the top half off?  Might be worth a crack. . .
 Hi gamnoparts, 
I use my glass cutter to score the bottles (I left a comment above), but it is very difficult to get a clean "snap" with a bottle.  It is much easier to immerse the bottle in some very hot water, then shock it into some cold, and just let nature take it's course. :)
Jent134 years ago
have you ever tried soaking some string in rubbing alchol or finger nail polish remover with acetone in it, light it on fire, then putting it on fire, and putting it in cold water? 
haventmadeabombyet (author)  Jent134 years ago
I tried that, but could never make it work. There was always a crack down the side. However, setting alcohol drenched string on fire was way more fun than using a hacksaw.
When I was wine making I used to soak the bottles in hot water. Then I would peel off what I could. Then soak again and use a steel wool to remove the glue and label. It does not scratch the glass. Use the finest steel wool you can find. I would also remove the label before cutting the glass. I am going to try this for a dekatron spinner I made.
foobear4 years ago
I've had good luck with something called "Unstik" (bienfang) adhesive remover. It works better than anything else for getting rid of label glue. You can get it at art supply stores.
Well, you really don't want to breathe it, but no, glass dust is not like poison.
V-Man7374 years ago
YEAH! Who needs a fancy-shmancy bottle-cutting machine! Great Instructable.