Simple Adjustable Glass Bottle Cutter





Introduction: Simple Adjustable Glass Bottle Cutter

About: A creative engineer, who builds because I cant bring myself to have someone else do things I can. I had a great maker childhood, one crazy uncle who built his house from materials he got off his land and was...

It doesn't matter if the bottle is half full or half empty. With this bottle cutter you can make half a bottle thats all full, and half thats all empty..... everyone's happy

There was a nice instructable on how to make a glass bottle cutter that was made at tech shop ( It was simple and easy to make, however it only allowed for one size cut unless you re-made the entire rig. Another that was adjustable but used wheels and was a bit complicated ( Since I wanted the bottoms cut off for a light project, and my daughter wanted a bottle glass to hold her paint brushes and had most of the materials laying around, I came up with this.

Made from simple materials and straight cuts, its easy to make and inexpensive.

Here is a link to the denatured alcohol lamp. I am planning on using this to heat the bottles after I score them.

Step 1: Material and Cuts

Materials you will need.
1 - 8" X 20" Piece of ply wood or particle board
1 - 2" X 4"
1 - 3/4" X 3" X 6" piece of hard wood
1 - 4 ft piece of 1 1/2" PVC pipe
1 - Kobalt glass cutter
3" deck screws
1 1/2' screws
1 quick grip clamp
3/4" spade bit

Cut the 2/4 into 2 - 17" pieces, 2 - 8" pieces, and 1 - 5 1/2" pices
Cut the PVC into 2 - 20" pieces
With the spade bit drill a 3/4" hole in the center of the ply wood.

Step 2: Assemble the Frame

Screw threw the 8" pieces into the 17" on both sides. (First picture)
Center the 5 1/2" piece between the 17" rails. (Second picture)
Place the ply wood with the hole in the center on the frame and mark the hole with a sharpie. (Third picture)

Step 3: Drill and Install the Cutter

First you will need to cut the plastic cover off the glass cutter. A small saw or dremmel works good for this. (first picture)
Next drill a hole at a ~30 deg angle just off center of the circle marked on the center board of the frame. The hole should be slightly smaller than the metal glass cutter shaft. You want a press fit.

Step 4: Install the Cutter and the Top

Use a scrap of wood to place against the cutter and hammer it into the frame, place the plywood top over the cutter pushing the cutter through the hole. Be careful not to hit the cutter wheel when driving the cutter in.

Step 5: Install the PVC Pipe

Drill a hole through one thickness of PVC on each end large enough to fit a screw driver in. Use a smaller bit to continue the hole. The smaller hole should be just larger than the screws you are planning on using to hold the pipe in place.

Place the first pipe against the cutter head. Space the second using a bottle. You want the bottle to just sit on the cutter and lean against the second pipe.
Drive the screws and fasten the top down with additional screws.

Step 6: Cut a Bottle

Place a bottle on the cutter positioned where you want the cut. Butt the board against the bottom of the bottle and clamp it in place. Apply slight downward pressure against the cutter and rotate the bottle. You should get a perfect score. You will then need to tap the bottle from the inside along the score line to get a good break. I still haven't quite got the hang of it.....

Good luck. Keep an eye out for my bottle light project...



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    15 Discussions


    1 year ago

    So far this is the simplest design I have found that looks like it would work.

    Have you tried this method for "breaking" the cut:

    "Use a scrap of wood to place against the cutter and hammer it into the frame, place the plywood top over the cutter pushing the cutter through the hole. Be careful not to hit the cutter wheel when driving the cutter in."

    Can you elaborate? Where do you place the scrap against the cutter? How do you hammer it in without touching the cutter wheel? Seems impossible with my cutter to not hit the wheels.
    A rubber mallet or putting something soft on the wheels to dampen the impact would work but I'm curious how you managed without that.

    4 replies

    The wheels are mounted the body of the cutter. You have to position the scrap of wood to only rest on that part of the cutter. The other option Is to remove the plate that holds the cutters in. Lots of small pieces but it can be done. After I beat mine up I had to take it apart and re position the wheels.

    One other note, a stained glass guy in our area told me that the angle on the wheel is set for soft glass, and apparently bottles are hard glass. Bottom line it will work but would work better with a different hard glass wheel (you can change out just the wheel). I was going to search it as he didn't have any wheels and his replacement cutter heads were 25$.
    He also said only push lightly when scoring,if you see chips on the score line you pudshed too hard.

    Oooh, right, now I remember having heard about the "chipping" part once, along with "just score one time, not multiple turns". My cheesebrain! Didn't know of the angle though, that's great info.
    Either way, put it into your ible to make it even more awesome!

    fill the scored bottle with almost boiling water then slowly pour cold water onto the score line you will find it cracks quite nicely along the score line

    Just yesterday the hubby and I were talking about buying a wine bottle cutter. We already have most of the supplies on hand. Can't wait to give this a go. Thanks for sharing!!

    Nice cutter.

    I saw a YouTube vid' where someone was scoring like this and then breaking the bottle by stressing the glass over a candle and applying ice. That might be easier than tapping from the inside.


    The hot and cold method is ok but I have been trying to cut bottles for a long time. I have the tapper that you have and have a lot videos on how to cut an break and tried them all. Please take my advice on this I have perfected in my opinion the best way. In fact I will be posting an instruct-able shortly. But the best way I have that works 100 percent is to score the bottle "ONCE". Mutliple times around do nothing but chip the glass. Light a candle next to the sink and turn the bottle round and round at a medium pace for about 10 seconds. You want it more than warm but not too hot. then turn on the cold water and run it over the glass. You should see a cut all the way through. You may have to repeat once more but trust me it works. and is so perfect it comes apart and can be lined perfectly.
    It took me three tries to perfect this and was very simple and WORKED.

    1 reply

    I am planning on trying this. You are the second person to tell me The candle teick. A guy I work with used to cut bottles years ago and used a candle in the same way. He would heat the bottle and use a bent rod to tap the inside at the cut line. I have bent a threaded rod and placed an couple of nuts on it to try. Write up the instructable and I will add a link to it on this one.

    Just a small tip. If you want a nice clean break. Put it in hot water then quickly put into ice water. It will give a nice clean break along the score line.

    Have you tried alternating hot and cold water along the score line to force the break instead of tapping it from the inside?

    1 reply

    Not yet, I did see that on another instructable. I'll give it a try next time I use the cutter.