Introduction: Custom Recycled Glassware

Today we will be teaching you how to create custom glassware using a some tools and old liquor or beer bottles.

We Recommend that you have the following supplies in order to complete this craft:

1) Dremel Tool with the glass cutting wheels (What we will be cutting the glass with)

2) Old Bike Inner Tube (We will use this to secure the bottle or Dremel to the stable surface)

3) Tape (We used Duct Tape but scotch tape can work as well)

4) Power Drill or Hammer with the appropriate fasteners (Screws/Nails)

5) Sharpie

6)Water Bottle with a hole poked in the cap

7) Safety Gloves/Glasses/Long Sleeves (Highly Highly recommended!)

8) Scrap two by (2x4) lumber to secure the base apparatus to

9) Glass Sandpaper or Sandwheel for a Dremel

Note that our procedure can be modified in a number of ways to improve safety and precision when cutting. If you make an adjustment to what we have done please let us know and we will give it a try as well!

Step 1: Locating and Setting Up Your Base Platform

We had the benefit of having an old table that we could screw directly into without any worry. If this is not an option for you, I would suggest perhaps securing the base 2x lumber via clamps or grips to your table.

Step 2: Preparing the Bottle for Securing and Securing the Bottle to the Base

The tape is used for your guide when cutting the bottle. Place it around the bottle around the area you desire to begin cutting.

We tried both securing the Dremel to the base and the glassware to the base and found that it was easier to secure the bottle. To do this we center the bottle on the two by dimensional lumber base and stretch the bike inner tube over so that it is a snug fit. We then secured the tube by adding screws on each side.

We determined that the bottle was ready for cutting if it was secure enough to not give very much in a side to side motion when pressure was applied. However, you still need to be able to rotate the bottle via a twisting motion to continue your cuts, so make sure that this can be achieved as well.

Step 3: Begin Cutting

Be sure that you are wearing your safety protection gear for this step!

To begin cutting, start anywhere along your tape line. We advise that you read the instructions for Dremel speed for the particular glass cutting bits that you purchase. For our example we used the medium/medium-high setting. First fine which way your cutting tool rotates. We found that using a motion opposite to that of the tools rotation worked best. Carefully applied downward pressure on the bottle and move around in a circular motion.

Whilst cutting be sure to have a steady application of water to the cutting wheel. This should counter any overheating which could potentially lead to fracture of the glass.

Be especially careful when cutting through the glass bottle. Once you establish a line, keep with it. Do not twist or torque the tool while you are in the groove/cut. This can lead to the wheel fracturing and most likely the shattering of the bottle as well.

Step 4: Continue/Finish Cutting

Slowly rotate the bottle to create a comfortable upward facing area that is easy to cut in. Note that once you approach the end of the project the top part that your are essentially removing will become very weak, so refrain from rotating the bottle by its neck.

As you approach the final cutting segment be careful to initiate the cuts in the most even way possible. Once the structural integrity of the neck is compromised, gravity will want to take over and the potential for cracking or sharp edges from abrupt breaking is at its highest. Avoiding this will lead to much less sanding down the road.

Another suggestion as you approach the final breaking point. If you have a partner helping you with this activity, we would suggest having them hold the neck of the bottle as you perform the last cuts. This can help prevent the jagged edge from appearing and lessen the amount of sanding needed in further steps.

Step 5: Sanding

Now with either your sandpaper or sanding Dremel bit begin to sand around that edge you just cut. Be careful not to apply too much pressure to the glassware or it may fracture.

If you are using a Dremel sanding bit please look at the manufacturer's notes on the specified RPM for that particular bit. We found that ours worked best on the medium/high-medium setting.

Try to focus on problem areas first. Then proceed to blend them into the whole rim so you get a nice smooth edge all the way around. We found that these most often occur where the neck separates from the bottle base during the final cuts. We cannot stress enough the time that you save by being careful at the end and trying to get the most even cut possible.

We found that you can get a very smooth edge if you put forth the effort.

Step 6: Finished Product

This is what our example ended up looking like! If there are any additional questions or comments please let us know so that way we can hopefully clarify and fix them. Remember to be SAFE and happy cutting!