Picture of Recycle old bottles to various useful things
This instructable is about a rather old project of mine. But as it seems, it didn't get too popular since then. I hope it changes after the submission of this instructable.
So what is it about? 
The main idea describes how to clearly cut off the bottom from any glass bottles and then reuse it for something beautiful like a lantern, a flower pot, a vase or something totally different.

So for the first part you need: 

a big bowl with cold water (may add ice, but without it works too)
40cm of a woolen thread for each bottle (any color, cotton works too, but no synthetics!)
a few empty clean and dry glass bottles (I prefer 0.7l wine bottles)
a few drops of petrol (the one that comes for your lighter works great)
a lighter or some matches
a glass cutter

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Step 1: Carve the bottle

Picture of carve the bottle
Take the glass cutter and one of the bottles.
Well glass cutter is a bit of a strong word for this device, as it only carves in a small notch. With flat glass this is enough to perfom a smooth break along this notch, when the glass is bent. Unfortunately not so with round bottles, but one step after the other. First we need to carve the notch at the same height all around the bottle some few centimeters from the bottom of the bottle.
Go and find some timber or a book to adjust the height of the cutting edge roundabout 3cm above the table. Hold the glass cutter straight down and move the bottle on the table to get ONE clear notch. Don't try to go over and over again, this will only worsen the problem. First try with a few spare bottles before you take your best one. You need quite a bit of a strength to get this notch straight.
You could also clamp the cutter to some timber or build a v-shaped device to cut it.

Vermin3 years ago
Yeah, for a cleaner cut use a lot less heat. Skip to around the 5-6 minute mark in this video:
Solko Vermin3 years ago
nice tut!
andyk75 (author)  Vermin3 years ago

the use of hot and cold water is an interesting option for those who don't want to handle open fire.
And by the way, the cut looks better than mine too. I guess I will try this one first.
The green power science method works very well, I've tried it.
cv12843 years ago
Have you ever tried just hot water and a running cold tap at this stage?

Once you have a notch around the bottle, boil a kettle (do it over the sink) run the cold tap, then slowly pour the hot water over the notch all the way around then put the bottle under the cold tap, then some more hot water, cold water etc.. you will hear it then they 2 parts of bottle will just fall apart.
sthomas83 years ago
i was thinking you could also seal the neck of the bottle and graduate it and use it as a rain gauge in the garden but what a great technique for with so many cool applications!!
montri3 years ago
Nice work
Oh, I do like those wall sconce candle holders! Nice work! :)
Love the blue one, very medieval...nice work!
oppie3 years ago
I've got to try it this way, sounds more simple that what I've done in the past. Have used a hot wire (NiCr resistance wire connected to a variable low voltage power source) in the groove to induce the thermal stress. Also used mechanical tapping inside the bottle along the score line. Used a large nut brazed to a length of heavy coat hanger wire. This fit in through the neck and can be positioned fairly easily. Just rather labor intensive.
andyk75 (author)  oppie3 years ago
Just yesterday I tried the method with the hot water and it worked very well!

After carving the initial line with the glasscutter, heat the line with boiling water in a very thin 'jet' (right word?). Then after 30s quickly cool it down with cold water. Repeat the last step until the crack goes through and through! I never have seen such a well break line.
oppie3 years ago
Adding a few touches with adhesive backed copper foil are nice. This is particularly nice to cover the cut edges or to add a pattern on the sides. The foil is available through any stained glass supplier. (I use it for electrical shielding in my job and keep the scraps for re-use). Apply the foil and then go over it with a soldering iron and 60/40 flux core solder. Work quickly as you will either loosen the adhesive bond or cause enough heating of the glass to crack it.
oppie3 years ago
Wear safety glasses for any glass work!
I generally use only the edge of a piece of scrap glass to scrape the sharp edges. Works remarkably well since it's as hard as the surface you're smoothing. Not as likeley to cut your finger as with sandpaper that will tear through. Rotary tools, while fast do generate local heating which is just as likely to cause more cracking. For any serious glass cutting with an abrasive wheel, it should be water cooled - which isn't practical with hobby tools.
cestes13 years ago
Another creative use: If you score the bottle closer to the neck you can use the upper half as a chandelier shade (thread an electrical cord with a lamp on the end through the neck) and you can use the bottom half as a tumbler, pencil cup, flower pot, what have you.

Nice i'ble, clearly lays out the steps you need to part a glass bottle. Hope it gets better traction than the last one.

chuckr443 years ago
I love this candle thing. Though I still need practice cutting old bottles. Also, what you call "wool thread" is called "twine" here in the US. I believe it is made from a natural plant fiber.
l8nite3 years ago
this is going in my favorites for future project ideas !
GitarGr83 years ago
Thanks for the 'ible, very cool ideas on what to do with the bottles. I recently saw another technique on Makezine for cutting bottles, requires a cutting jig (about $40 on eBay) but the edges come out super clean.
andyk75 (author)  GitarGr83 years ago
Hi, this other technique seems to be promising! I guess I will try it next time. Especially the part with polish the edge is very good!
Thanks for the tip!