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Picture of bottle cutting machine

This is my first instructable.  Let's see if I am any good at this. The project is basicly a fairly simple machine  intended to be used in cutting glass bottles to make :drinking glasses, rings, ashtrays and stuff i have not thought of yet.


 

 
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Step 1: Materials and tools

In order to do this project you will need the following (most of which can be found in the trash)

MATERIALS
1 beat up old bike with a single piece crank
1 old tire
5 bolts, carriage bolts or similar.  These should be approxamatly as long as the radius of your crank
5 wingnuts sized and threaded to fit your bolts
10 washers sized to fit your bolts
5 compression springs large enough to fit around your bolts and as close to the bolt length as you can get them.
plywood
grease ( I like white lithium but your mileage may vary)
wood screws
2x4
pvc cement  or rubber cement

TOOLS

angle grinder
cutoff wheel
wire wheel
welder (optional)
wrenches and or rib joint pliers
dremel tool
screwdriver
vise (a pipe vise is also helpful)
saw
level
knife
utility knife or box cutter

razor knife

Step 2: Strip the bike down

Picture of Strip the bike down
Strip the bike until you are left with just the frame and the crank assembly.  Since I have been picking parts off this bike for a while now, this was mostly done.  Set the other parts aside,bike parts are great for all sorts of nonsense.








Step 3: Remove the crank assembly

Picture of Remove  the crank assembly
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To remove the crank assembly you will need to remove the pedal from the side without the sproket. this pedal will be reverse threaded so it will have to be turned clockwise to remove it.
then remoce the nut with rib joint pliers (or a really big wrench if you have it). now you will need to loosen the bearing cone with a screwdriver until it can be turned by hand.  Now thread the cone off of the crank arm by hand.  The bearings from this side of the crank assembly should slide off fairly easily at this point.  Next remove the whole assembly, being careful to keep the other bearings.

If the bearin gs look like they were attacked by a martian rust monster, you will want to replace them.  Finaly remove the other pedal.

Step 4: Cutting the frame down

Picture of cutting the frame down
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 Now we are marking the frame to cut it with the angle grinder. Leave the bottom bracket housing and the rear section of the frame intact.  cut the seat tube so that it is even with the top of the rear trialngle. anything else can go.


most bikes will not need it but for this one I needed to use the dremel to remove the surface rust from the bearing cups.  This will make it rotate much more smoothly. 

Step 5: Cutting on the crank assembly

Picture of cutting on the crank assembly
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Use the angle grinder with cut off wheel to remove the crank arm from the sproket side of the crank assembly.
This particular bike has some plastic attached to the assembly. it has to go as well.
Once the crank arm and any plastic nonsense has been cut away, take the angle grinder with the wire wheel attachment and remove any paint, corosion or other gunk coaring the sproket.

Step 6: Cleaning the bearings and such

Picture of Cleaning the bearings and such
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I use a degreaser for this job.   You can either soak the parts in degreaser or if they are fairly clean you canjust  give them a quick dunk.   Either way when the parts come out of the degreaser you will want to rinse them off  with water and dry them with a towel.  be careful to dry them well to prevent rust.

If the cone and washer look like this you will want to take the dremel and a grinding bit to them and gently clean the rust away.

Step 7: Building the base

Picture of Building the base
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I had an old shelf sitting around from a cabinet that we got rid of so i got to skip the first half of this step.
If you are not so lucky you will need to cut a rectangle from a sheet (or some scrap) of plywood. This should be at least as long as the remaining portion of bike frame and as wide as you would like. (wider is going to be heavier and more stable but it is not terribly important)

Measure the distance betewwe the dropouts in the bike frame.  cut a piece of 2x4 to this length. It is actualy better to cut this piece too big by 1/8 inch.  The frame will flex a little and this makes for a tighter fit.  Make sure this piece fits.

Measure the width of your base, cut three pieces of 2x4 to this length.

Center the bike frame on the plywood cut for the base. Mark the distance from both ends.
Mark a hole where the flat metal  piece has a hole .  mark this spot.

Predrill holes  on the lines you drew.
screw the base together.





Step 8: Preparing pieces for the claw

measure and mark the steel for cutting. (I measured  to 5 inches)

Using the angle grinder, cut your steel to length.
Measure your steel and mark them each  with a line where you intend to bend them.
Place the flat steel in a vise one at a time, and bend them to 90 degrees on the lines you drew.  For best results heat the pieces with a torch  before bending. you will need to beat on them a bit to make this work.

check the angle of the pieces with a speed square.
If you need to adjust a bend, place the piece back in the vice. hammer to bend farther. If you bent the steel too far use your rib joint pliers to bend it back


mark each piece where you will drill holes for the bolts.
place pieces one by one back in vice and drill holes.

Step 9: More pieces for the claw

Picture of More pieces for the claw
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Grab  that old tire
You will want to remove the metal bead from where the tire contacts the rim. This process is the same as the method for removing the sidewall from the tread.

Stab through the sidewall with your knife.

Cut the sidewall off the tire

Cut a strip off of the sidewall with your razor.
Cut this strip in half along the short axis. the razor is the best tool for this.

You will have noticed by now that the sidewall is tapered, drill a hole in the thicker of the twi pieces of tire you have just cut.

Repeat this until you have 5 sets of tire pieces
Put a washer on each of your bolts.
Slide the thick piece of tire onto the bolt.
Repeat this for the other 4 bolts.
Wash these.
use pvc or rubber cement to glue the thin rubber pieces over the bolt heads onto the thicker pieces.
Clamp and let these sit for 8-10 hours.

Step 10: The welding bit

Picture of The welding bit
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Put the crank assembly (prepped in step 5) into a vise.   Position so that the sproket is up and level. use clamps of magnets to position the brackets you made in step 8. For simplicity sake i followed the sproket.  when you are sure the parts are positioned as you want them weld them in place.
If you do not have acess to a welder you could use a few bolts in each piece to hold them to the gear.

Step 11: Attaching the frame to the base

With the bottom (now top) bracket facing up, slide shimmy and/or pound the bike frame over the 2x4 piece cut to fit the drop outs It should be in contact with the plywood on both sides of the 2x4.  Screw the frame in place thru the drop outs.

The frame i used has a flat piece of steel near the  point where the top bars connect to the seat tube. If your bike does not have this feature you can ues brackets or u bolts to connect the frame to the plywood.

your frame is now connected to the base.

Step 12: Put the bottom (now top) bracket back together

Picture of Put the bottom (now top) bracket back together
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regrease your bearings , don't be shy it's hard to over do it. The crank assembly will go together the same as it came apart . first one race of bearings, then the crank, then the other bearings cone, washer and then  the nut. be sure to put the tab of the washer in the tab that runs across the threads.
It is also important to tighted the assembly enough that is does not wobble but not so much that it becomes hard to turn.
Reattach the pedal to the remaining crank arm. Remember that this is reverse threaded.

Step 13: Extending the claw into the realm of the useful

Picture of Extending the claw into the realm of the useful
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With the  head  of the bolt down slide a washer over the threads until it rests on the tire pieces.  Slide a spring over the bolt so that it rests on top of the washer. Slide the bolt into the steel piece you welded to the crank in step 10.  Secure with a wing nut. (not me please I have stuff to do)
Repeat this for the other 4 fingers.

Step 14: Load it up and cut some bottles.

Picture of Load it up and cut some bottles.
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Load it up and cut some bottles.  You will need a glass cutter and torch to actualy cut the bottles.. 

Would love to see it in action!

fretted2 years ago
This could easily turn into some thing steam punkish some kind of time machine prop or automatic plasma loader device

Good idea but i agree it is a bit overkill for a bottle cutter but for holding PVC to spin and carve it it might just work !
brightled4 years ago
come on man,this is overkill ,look at some of the old bottlecutters for sale or better still buy a cheap one and examine what is really happening,why the bike crank and the welding ,come on man a few sticks of 1x1,a baseplate12x12 inches, and a elcheapo glass cutter makes a great cutter,think about it ....BRIGHTLED
urbanpirate (author)  brightled4 years ago
probably true but it was fun to build and it never hurts to get practice time with the welder
handprints4 years ago
pretty neat! I love gears and cranks. Will you post a photo of a cut bottle?
urbanpirate (author)  handprints4 years ago
I plan to follow with several projects using this machine, a glass cutter and a torch as the main tools soon.
Your next addition could be an adjustable toolhead to bring the cutter in contact with the bottle at a preset distance.