This instructable is easily adapted to assembly-line processes... Once you have all the jjgs built and materials together, you can whip out bottle after bottle. Total time per bottle is about 10 minutes.
Step 1: Equipment and Materials List
- Craftsman drill press or equivalent (you can do this project with a hand-held drill, but you'll have less control)
- Safety glasses
- Bottle and stopper jigs (See below for materials; instructions included)
- 1/2-inch diamond hole saw
- 5/16-inch drill bit
- 7/16-inch Forstner bit or standard drill bit the same size (the Forstner bit will work best, because it drills a flat-bottomed hole)
- A condiment bottle or other type of squeeze bottle
- A box knife or other sharp cutting tool
- Wine or liquor bottle, with cork or cap
- 12-inch section of wire coat hanger
- A 12-inch piece of 2x8 for the jig base
- 2 12-inch pieces of parting stop or similar material
- 6 1 1/2" wood screws
- 20-bulb string of white or multicolored Christmas lights
- #00 rubber stopper
- Modeling clay
- Goo-Gone brand adhesive removal product
Step 2: Choose Your Wine
Try to choose a bottle with a clean, undamaged label. Colorful labels will give a quasi stained-glass look. Rinse out the bottle and either allow it to dry or dry it out with paper towels. Make sure the exterior of the bottle is clean and free of price stickers or other extraneous labels. Use Goo-Gone or other adhesive removal products to clean up the outside of the bottle.
Step 3: Build the Jig
Lay the 2x8 on a flat surface. Place a 12-inch piece of parting stop on the 2x8, roughly one quarter of the way from the edge. Screw the parting stop to the 2x8 using three of the wood screws. Place a bottle on the 2x8 against the first piece of parting stop, and place the other piece of parting stop on the opposite side of the bottle. Hold it in place, remove the bottle, then move the loose piece of parting stop slightly closer to the piece of parting stop already attached to the jig base. The goal is to hold the bottle slightly above the jig base, and prevent the bottle from rolling during the drilling process. Fasten the second piece of parting stop to the jig base with the remaining wood screws.
Somewhere in the center of the jig base, between the pieces of parting stop, drill a hole about 1.25 inches deep using the Forstner bit. Test the depth by inserting the #00 stopper; you want the hole to be deep enough to ensure the stopper is firmly seated, but still easily removed.
Step 4: Make the Fish Wire
Step 5: Drilling the Stopper
Insert a stopper into the hole in the jig. Do not attempt this without the jig; holding the stopper with your hand will result in injuries!
Chuck the 5/16" drill bit into the drill press. Center the bit on the stopper, turn on the drill press, and drill through the stopper. You want a hole completely through the stopper. Most likely, you'll have to unscrew the stopper off of the drill bit.
Remove the stopper from the jig, and using the box knife or razor blade slice from the top to the bottom of the stopper with the point of the knife just inside the hole in the stopper. Later, you'll fit the stopper over the cord of the light string to act as a grommet.
A great tip from users 79spitfire and prof_jellis: Putting the rubber stopper in the freezer overnight will make it easier to drill; drill slowly so the bit doesn't get clogged with melted rubber. www.instructables.com/id/a-little-brown-egg-in-Maine%3a-terra-cotta-smoker/step4/Top-it-off/
Step 6: Make a Lubricant Reservoir
Step 7: Decide Where to Drill
Step 8: Prepare to Drill
Place the jig on the drill press table, and place the bottle on the jig. Move the bottle until the diamond hole saw is centered over the ring of modeling clay, where you plan to drill your hole.
Step 9: Final Preparations
Don your gloves and safety glasses. Glass is a hard, brittle solid and whenever you drill it you run the risk of shattering the bottle and injuring yourself. From this step on, you could injure yourself or those around you so work slowly and with care, and always wear proper personal protective gear.
Read the previous paragraph again :-)
Step 10: Drill the Hole
At some point (in my experience, about 20 to 30 seconds is all it takes), the lubricant will cascade into the bottle, which will indicate that you have drilled through the bottle. Continue applying downward pressure until the hole saw is completely through the bottle wall. Slowly reverse the hole saw out of the bottle, and turn off the press.
Step 11: Check Your Work
Rinse the bottle with water and allow the bottle to dry again.
Step 12: Add the Lights
Insert the first bulb on the string into the hole in the base of your bottle. Continue to feed the lights and cord through the hole, one at a time. On the second and subsequent lights fold the bulb against the cord and gently push through the hole. Take care not to nick the cord.
Once you've gotten four or five bulbs in the bottle, use the 12-inch piece of coat hanger to fish the first bulb on the string out of the bottle. Then, continue feeding bulbs into the base, pulling the light string out of the top of the bottle. This makes it easier to feed the string into the bottle.