Introduction: Poorman´s Bottle-cutter

About: 4step instructables or your money back!

I always have a hard time when throwing glass bottles to the trash, they
can have another use, so here is a good idea to make your own bottle cutter. It is really easy to make, I did mine in a Sunday afternoon, i had no drill, only a screwdriver. This set-up can be useful for someone that lacks access to electricity, kitchen, etc. because, i will also show you how to cut a bottle using just a candle (most bottle cutting techniques I've seen use some sort of expendables or high-power consuming heating elements).

Step 1: Gather the Materials

To make this bottle cutter you will need:

-3 small wheels

-1 glass cutting tool

- 3 small L-shaped metal bars (i guess it is called support bracket)

- 2 wood planks: 35x20cm and 5x10cm

- 13 wood screws, and one steel screw and bolt

The tools:

- One screwdriver

- Pliers

All this materials can be found in a small hardware store, I even found the wood planks on my way to buy the screws

Step 2: Construct the Cutter

Construct the cutter

Place the first 2 wheels at a 6cm separation and position the 3rd wheel at a distance of 10cm. One thing I worried about was to be able to cut both big and small bottles. This can be done in this set-up without any problem. Before you screw the wheels in place make sure that they are properly aligned.

Now get the cutting tool between the L shaped metal bars, lock it in place with the screw and bolt. (my cutting tool came with a handle attached, to remove the handle just pull the metal part away from the handle, this is good! you can put the piece back again if you need to cut flat glass). Place this arrangement in the wood plank and, with the help of a bottle, position it; the importance of this resides in the fact that the cutting tool should be perpendicular to the surface of the bottle, so make sure it has a perfect 90 degree angle before you lock it in place.

Finally, put a small wood plank at the top so the bottle won't go back and forward when you spin it. Bottles differ in sizes so you may need to move this piece of wood time to time according to the bottle you want to cut

Step 3: Cut the Bottle!

To cut the bottle i will list the materials you should have:

-A nice bottle (you know where you can get this.. )

-A candle

-One recipient with water where you can submerge the bottle

- Sandpaper (sets of 80, 240, 360, 600)

- Access to water

- A flat floor

- Pliers are useful too

Place the bottle in the tool you've just made

Apply some pressure with one hand, make sure the glass is against the edge of the cutter. With your other hand spin the bottle. Try to get the most straight line possible, a nice and sharp cut will be continuous and get to the same place where you started, if you have to make a second pass, it will probably end up in bad results. Check the cut itself, it should be a non-interrupted straight line, this is crucial for the next step.

Light up the candle and spin the bottle's cut 1cm above it. The idea here is to evenly distribute the heat in the line of cut. Make this for around 2 to 3 minutes, then dip the bottle into the water (some people use cold water, ambient temperature water works as well). You should hear a cracking sound. Carefully rise the bottle, at this point it may break if you apply some force, or hit it gently with another bottle. Be careful and don't cut yourself. If the bottle doesn't divide try the candle step again.

Once you have the two pieces you may want to check there is not any crack in the surface (if there is, it will break sooner or later). If the borders are too irregular you can use the pliers to take out some small pieces. Place your sandpapers in a flat surface and then pour some water on them (water helps in the grinding process and prevents glass dust to spread all over the place). Spin the borders of the bottle in the 80 grit sandpaper, also tilt it 45 degrees to sand the outer part of the border. Repeat the process with the 240 sandpaper, grab a piece of it to sand the inner wall of the border. At this point the edge shouldn't cut, you may proceed with 360 and 600 grits.

Step 4: Final Touches

The border of the glass should look like the one in the photo. It shouldn't cut your lips if you try to drink from it, nor your hands if you try to wash it... don't forget to wash it!

You can make various things beside a glass made out of beer to drink your beer, you can make shot glasses, cups for wine, cocktail mixing glass, candle holders, lamps, pot for your plants, there are a lot of ideas out there (even without cutting the glass), check some:

Don't get frustrated if you don't get good cuts at first, i get something like 2 or 3 failures for one good cut.

If you really want to get some better tools for cutting bottles check out this design ($90 on Amazon):

That's it, have some fun and recycle that bottles, make some cool stuff yourself!