Introduction: Recycling Whiskey Bottles Into Drinking Glasses

Time: 2-3 Hours

Skill Level: Beginner

There are a few ways to do this but we have found that using this method is pretty fast after your first run through, and it yields good results. We should also mention you’re not going to break every bottle perfectly, some will crack and break so uneven they are unusable, but for the most part you should get more usable glasses than not.

Step 1: Items You Will Need

  • Safety Glasses
  • Leather Gloves
  • Dust Mask
  • Whiskey Bottles
  • Glass Cutter
  • Tape Measure
  • 2x4 @ 12-24”
  • 12” Clamps x2 Ea
  • 2-1/2" Wood Screws
  • Propane Blow Torch Pitcher
  • 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Sanding/Grinding Bit
  • 100 Grit Sand Paper
  • 220 Grit Sand Paper

Step 2: Making and Securing the Jig

Ensure the contents of the bottle are empty and rinse clean.

Measure the height at which you’d like to cut your bottle.

Cut your 2x4 to the desired height at which your bottle will be cut.

Cut another 2x4 at half of the length of the 1st 2x4 and secure together with screws.

Clamp the shortest 2x4 to the table/work bench.

Clamp the glass cutter to the tallest 2x4" and ensure the cutting edge is over hanging the 2x4 less than 1/8"

Step 3: Etching the Bottle

Put on safety glasses and gloves, etching the bottle and the rest of the process can send very small glass shards flying.

Firmly rotate the bottle against the 2x4 and glass cutter so that 1 single etch is made around the entire bottle.

It is important you get 1 single deep etch the 1st time around, this decreases the chances of a bottle cracking.

Step 4: Heating and Cooling

Now, fill your pitcher/5 Gal bucket with cold water, I used both.

Light your blow torch and adjust flame so that its approximately 1-1/2-2” in length.

Put on some glasses and gloves. Holding the bottle on each end so that its horizontal, rotate the bottle over the very end of the torch flame, over the etch, it should take about 4-5 seconds per rotation, do this about two-three times and try to heat as even as possible.

Quickly and evenly keep rotating the bottle and slowly pours cold water over the etch, or dunk it in the bucket pitcher.

Step 5: Removing the Top

Repeat heating the etch and pouring/dunking with cold water.

Take your time or the bottle will probably crack in some unintended area.

The hot and cold rotation expand and contract around the etch causing it to eventually break/pop apart. Hopefully you will have a clean break with no cracks.

Step 6: Sanding the Edges

Dry off your glass while using gloves, it’s going to be sharp.

Get ready to sand this thing, put on a dust mask if you want. -We are not doctors but breathing glass sounds bad.

Using a Dremel or grinding/sanding bit in a drill gun is the easiest method.

You can finish with fine grit sand paper to get a nice smooth finish.

Sanding the entire thing by hand takes forever.

Step 7: Completed Product

Your completed product should look something like this.

We broke about 3 bottles out of 15. The faster you go the less usable glasses your going to get.

Now that you have made your first recycled beverage glass, you should probably make sure you have a complete set.