Picture of Want to cut wine bottles?  Build this jig!
I wanted to recycle some old wine bottles into glasses and chandeliers.  I have seen a lot of online tips about how to buy a jig to make the cut,  sand the glass with a dremel, etc.  But why buy a $20-30 jig that you can make yourself?  Here are directions for an easy, solid jig using a cheap stained glass cutter and a few other supplies from your local hardware store.

Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need
I purchased everything at Lowe's

1. A glass cutter (commonly used for stained glass). I already had one but you can get it for $4 
2. 1/4" x 6" x 3'  pine board $3 each (buy two) or one 4' length if you can find it
3. 5/16" glvanized wire rope clip $0.88 each (buy two) 
4. Wood glue (I like Titebond II, $3 for 4 oz)
5. optional 5/16" washers $0.08 each

Total cost: about $12 if you already own the glue
Total time: 1 hour of Making time + 2 hours waiting for glue to dry.

Tools: I don't have a garage in San Francisco, so I made this at the Techshop (SF) where I used a bandsaw, clamps and belt sander (optional).

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After cutting your bottle, use the Bottle Bit to sand it down. The kickstarter campaign is live now at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/582093084/the-bottle-bit

acoens made it!1 year ago

This works really well! Thanks for sharing :-)

tekaka3 years ago
last year i made this for a friend. works well, if not aplied with too much preasure. Yours seems more stable, thanks,
bottlecutter 1.jpg


txmediator @ yahoo.com

I like your design, tekaka! I always seem to have trouble getting a consistant score. with this design I could put a specific weight on the handle and get the same pressure every time.
great project!
malbotia3 years ago
I love this ible. I am going to attempt a modified version of this that allows adjustment so the bottles can be cut at different lengths. I am going to use the wood piece with the V cut and glass cutter and also the back V cut piece and the solid piece it is glued to. Instead of gluing solid pieces for the sides I am gonna try to use 4 long bolts secured with nuts going through each corner of the front and back planks so that the back plank can be slid closer to the cutter by adjusting the nuts and sliding it forward then tightening the nuts again. I will post an update with results once I am finished. My only concern is that the bolts will not hold the ends straight and may allow the jig to slant.

Sort of like this:
999592 malbotia2 years ago
You can keep this design but add one board on either side screwed only to the back board that extends just slightly beyond the furthest point you plan to extend it, as well as a small board placed between the two sides about midway down on the bottom.
Alekij malbotia3 years ago
Great idea! That's exactly what I thought: "What about different bottle-sizes?"
That's a great idea but I feel like it probably will slant a bit, even if you do utilize the jam-nut idea from Sch8611. I built a jig very similar to this one and used old feed rods from printer toner cartridges (they're good steel and should be stockpiled by anybody who makes stuff like this...) as traverse rods for the cutter. A small jig like the one used in this 'ible rides along the rods and clamps in place wherever I want the cut to go, making the adjustment of the whole assembly unnecessary. Also, I used a pair of old skateboard trucks bolted face-to-face to hold the wine bottle so it would spin nice and smooth. It works wonderfully.
Try using 12 nuts, 3 on each bolt. Then, you can use one to tighten to the bolt head end to keep it from being loose and the other 2 on either side of the other board to do the same. If you're worried about the nuts moving you could wrap rubber bands or tape just below/ above them to stop the extra movement. I haven't tried it, but in theory it should work.
grammers (author)  malbotia3 years ago
How did it work?
glopines2 years ago
Gracias, gracias, gracias, no te imaginas lo que llevaba intentando hacer una maquinilla de corte con calor y electricidad, pero esto me parece mucho mas practico, económico y facil
jpaddle22 years ago
Great idea , n make sure to were safe glovesd
jasonsj2 years ago
just an UPGRADE... make a smaller V cut on the uncut board just to make the neck of the bottle fit, so you can also place the bottle upside down on the cutter. you can also add some lock so you can stuck the neck in the smaller V cut in order to avoid any sliding of the bottle from the cutting axis. hopeI can make a similar to yours with this upgrades and post a picture of it. GREAT PROYECT!!!
cjs12982 years ago
I think a good idea would to add a bottom and have U-bolts to ground the bottles into place.
Phoghat2 years ago
I thank you and the 2 dozen blue wine bottles in my workroom thank you. Not to mention my wife.
grammers (author)  Phoghat2 years ago
You are very welcome!
Wilmette2 years ago
This is yours too?
I want to make it; but, in fact, there are too many nice glasses so readily and cheaply available in thrift stores that I cannot justify the project.
One suggestion is that you advertise how you use corner clamps. Until I started using them, I despaired of simple joints. Bandsaws and jigsaws are wonderful, but the new oscillating tools make these projects possible without a shop.
droid19363 years ago
Thanks, without you instructable I could never make my lamp
grammers (author)  droid19362 years ago
Looks great!! Thanks for sharing your picture.
profpat3 years ago
great jig,

i usually tie a wire around the bottle and heat the wire with a candle or torch, then place the heated wire and bottle under the tap with water running. it makes a crack on the bottle where the wire touches..

but this one is easier!
I've seen where someone used a nichrome wire and heated it electrically to cut a lot of bottles. seems like a sweet idea to me.
grammers (author)  profpat3 years ago
How does the cut look? Your way sounds really simple.
could not complete the task in one try.. sometime i have to heat the wire again, also some times the cut is not perpendicular... :-(
grammers (author)  profpat3 years ago
So far, with this jig, the most important thing seems to be making a perfect score-line. If I am slow and careful it lines up perfectly and I get a very good cut. Sometimes there is a slight notch (as in the cup picture I posted) but that is easily smoothed out. If I am too fast, sometimes I get a bad score and big notches. But, luckily, there are nearly unlimited bottles to use in my recycling.
acpoknight3 years ago
Great 'ible. I built this jig last weekend for a friend. Took one of the commenters idea and used my drill press to line up 4 holes and then cut threaded rods to insert in the holes. Put stop nuts on the one side, and then 3 wing nuts on each rod to hold the two pieces of wood tight. I did not glue the 4 side to the other three (the one with the cutter attached). It slides nicely and allows full adjustment of the height of the cut. thanks for the ideas everyone, it really works well, and all in at lowes for the material was about $26. I'll post pics if i can ever get it back from my friend.
rwomble3 years ago
Used this to make my own. Great instructable. Mine was a bit more crude but got the job done nicely. We've been using these instructions to break the glass after the score. We're getting about 50% rather than the 95% this guy quotes, but we're learning.


Awesome work!
Just made the jig recently and used the video link above as my method to cut the glass once I score it! A+! It's easy and quick - now to sanding.
Have You tried this with square bottles?
grammers (author)  ArtisanEclectic3 years ago
I have not tried it with square bottles. At first when I read your question I thought of course that wouldn't work. But now I'm thinking it depends on the size of the square.
brandon833 years ago
a great idea to use both ends of the bottle would be to make one of these. the only trick would be that the spout of the bottle needs to sit just on top of the bump on the underside, to keep it stable.

this one is market as a 'Grow Bottle' and they do sell recharge kits that include clay pebbles and a felt wick, as well as some seeds.
grammers (author)  brandon833 years ago
Thanks Brandon, I am going to make some of these.
agis683 years ago
Excellent simplicity and poductive idea....thnx....from me 5/5....do you remember the cutter model...or can someone recomend me (from ebay) one best value/reliability glass cutter?
grammers (author)  agis683 years ago
My cutter was from a stained glass class. It is a "Fletcher Gold Tip Ball-End Wheel Cutter", one of the most basic cutters. Available online for $4 or at most stained glass stores. Lowe's carries one that looks just like it, also $4 but I haven't tried that particular model (made by "Warner").
agis68 grammers3 years ago
ok thanks allready ordered.....i had one but broke and i make stain glass vitreux
agis68 agis683 years ago
my sample works in staned glass
Your stained glass work is amazing!! I also work with stained glass and always enjoy seeing the work of other artists.

I use to do this for living during my second degree in electronics. From these iwas good to pay my room, food, and study books....I had production 1-2 artifacts per month....and i had a studio at the end just for this!!!!!!


One day i will make a complete instructable about this
grammers (author)  agis683 years ago
I love it!
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