Introduction: Belvedere Minibottle Shot Glass Flight in Walnut and Maple

About: Be limited only by your imagination.

This is another Instructable in my bottle cutting series. In previous Instructables I covered how to make a 12-ounce drinking glass from a small Grey Goose bottle Grey Goose Drinking Glass and shot glasses from miniatures Minibottle Shot Glasses. In this build, I have included instructions to make a three-shot flight using a combination of walnut and curly maple. I continue to use the modifications on the glass-cutting jig to get a continuous and straight score line and also continue to use candles to induce thermal shock to cleave the glass.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


A note about safety while cutting and polishing glass. Glass obviously is sharp and so you need to be mindful of this at all times and to protect your fingers and face from any sharp pieces. But the real danger is the dust given off by the glass during the polishing step. Glass or silica dust is a lung irritant and has been linked to lung cancer. Whenever I do these projects I use a respirator that covers my nose and mouth. Because silica dust is so fine I would not be content to use just a handkerchief over my face or a dust mask. Wear gloves when polishing the glass. Wear eye protection at all times.


  • Glass Cutting Jig. This is the jig mine is based upon. Glass Jig . These are the modifications I've made.
    • The cutting wheel is about 1/8 inch away from the fence and so I use a 1/8 inch piece of veneer that I tape to the backstop. This allows the bottle to be held directly against the wheel instead of at a slight angle.
    • In this project, the minibottles are small and so I raise the base up with various scraps until the cutting wheel is even with the midpoint of the bottle.
  • Drill
  • Round sanding disk on a drill bit with velcro and sandpaper varying from 80 to 220 grit
  • 400 grit and 1000 grit wet-dry sandpaper on a piece of glass
  • 1/2 inch dowel with a piece of 400 grit sandpaper taped to it to smooth the inside of the shot glasses.
  • Candle
  • Ice water bath
  • leather gloves when holding glass to polish it
  • Bandsaw
  • Clamps
  • Drill press with a 1 1/4 inch Forstner Bit
  • Dremel sanding drum
  • Table Saw
  • Number 4 Plane (optional but recommended)
  • Random Orbital Sander with 110 and 220 grit sandpaper
  • 400 grit paper to sand the project between coats of tung oil
  • Eye protection
  • Respirator
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Tack cloth


  • Three miniature vodka bottles. Grey Goose and Belvedere are my favorites because the design is permanently etched on the bottle.
  • Two pieces of walnut cut to on the band saw 3/4 by 3/4 by 5 3/4 inch
  • One piece of curly maple cut to on the band saw 3/4 by 3/4 by 5 3/4 inch
  • Titebond 2 glue
  • Tung Oil or other finish of choice
  • Rags to wipe Tung Oil on and Off
  • Latex gloves
  • Soft Scrub

Step 2: Cutting and Polishing the Bottles

A longer description of the technique I'm using can be found in this Instructable: Instructions for cutting glass

Here are the basic directions:

  • Put on eye protection
  • Set the jig up so that the cutting wheel is aligned with the middle of the bottle and slide the backstop until the cutting wheel is just above the etched design of the bottle.
  • Make ONE complete and continuous score.
  • Rotate the bottle over a candle flame for about 10 seconds
  • Plunge into the ice water.
  • Repeat the prior two steps until the top of the bottle falls off.
  • Put on the respirator
  • Begin sanding with 60 or 80 grit sanding wheels until the top is no longer shiny. Sand the inside and outside lips.
  • Work thru 220 grit discs
  • Using Wet Sandpaper on a glass plate, finish polishing with 400 and 1000 grit papers
  • Using a 1/2 inch dowel with an inch wide strip of 400 grit paper taped tightly in the middle, sand the inside lip of the glasses until they are smooth to the touch and a cotton ball can be rubbed against it without any fibres getting snagged.
  • Clean the inside of the glass really well. I use the dowel to push some old tee shirt material to the bottom.
  • I use Softscrub to remove the soot marks from the candle.

Step 3: I Still Don't Know What to Do With the Bottle Tops

I've thought of what I can do with the bottle tops. I thought of miniature candle holders or I could turn them upside down and hang them from the ceiling of a display with LED's to make doll-house chandeliers.

What would you do with them?

Step 4: Make the Flight

You could easily use a solid piece of wood that is 2 1/4 inch wide by 5 1/2 inch long but I chose to join three pieces of wood that were 3/4 by 3/4 by 5 3/4 inch long by gluing them and clamping them on top of a piece of wax paper so that the piece does not stick to my table. I chose woods with different colors for the visual contrast. If you are joining the wood, then after the glue has cured cut the ends square on the table saw to a final 5 1/2 inch length. Then I planed them flat but you could just as easily use sandpaper to do this.

I then marked the positions of the shot glasses and drilled a 1 1/4 inch hole 10/16 inch deep using a Forstner bit on the drill press. I then used a sanding drum from my Dremel chucked into my drill press to widen the hole until the shot glasses fit snugly.

I sanded the whole piece from 110 to 220 on the random orbital sander breaking/softening the edges of the top and the sides but not the bottoms.

I used a microfiber cloth followed by a tack cloth to remove the sawdust.

Then I applied 8 coats of Tung Oil scuffing with 400 grit paper between coats. You can use any finish you like.

Step 5: Enjoy

Thank you for reading this Instructable.

I hope you like the build and consider making one of these for yourself or to give as a gift.

This remains the project that people ask me to build for them and I hope that your friends and family will enjoy them.

Be careful with the cutting and sanding.