Bottle-neck Guitar Slide (glass Cutting Methods)




About: Hey guys! I am Spencer Force. I am an aspiring artist from the Indianapolis area. When I'm not teaching myself guitar I am working on one project or the other. I work on anything from sculptures and models, ...

For my first ible I thought I would do somthing kind of simple but highly useful. Despite the title, the methods used in the following steps are useful for so much more than just making guitar slides. It is nearly impossible to cut glass in a makeshift way, but it is pretty darn easy to crontrol the cracking of the glass to yeild a result similar to that of a ‘cut’. It’s hard to see due to the transparent state of glass, but on my ring finger there is a slide. Guitar slides like the ones we will be building. Guitar slides are used instead of the finger to create a twangy bluesy sound. When you fret with your finger it creates etheir a rachety sound because you can only play half steps or one frets difference. With a slide the string contact is not of the fret wire it’s of the bottle so you can place the string length at anyplace on or in a half step. Hope you have fun building along with me or just reading.

Step 1: Method One: String Cutting

Of the two methods, I wouldn’t recommend this one. In my opinion it is harder and yeilds sloppy results. Though for some projects it can cut glass where you want it while still giving the product a broken random look.

Step 2: (String Method)

For this method you will need:
1. A bottle, jug, cup, or other glassware of you choice
2. A length of cotton string
3. Scoring tool
4. A flammable liquid (oil, ascetone, starter fluid etc)
6. Igniter

Step 3: (String Method)

Step one:
Once you choose what you want, you need to choose where you want to cut it. Use it a simple jig as shown above score with a file of razor blade clamped tightly down. It would be much better to invest in a proper glass cutter to score. They are about 30 dollars and extremely useful, but as a 14 year old making 7 dollars and hour in the sporadic opportunities I have work, I didn’t have 30 dollars at the time of this build, so I used a razor blade **TIGHTLY** clamped. I do not recommend this. If you slip you can seriously cut yourself. Use a file or, even better, a proper glass cutter. Slowly rotate the glassware until a score line goes all the way around the bottle. Then you’re ready to move on.

Step two:
Time to get yourself a length on string. I think this next bit is self explanatory but I’m going to cover it anyways. Wrap the string tightly around the score line, tie tighten and trim the excess.

Step three:
Soak the string in the liquid you choose to burn. Light the string and turn the bottle to heat the line evenly. After 30-45 seconds dunk in ice water (see McDonalds). If you hear an audible pop, don’t be afraid. That’s good as long. It means the crack has started and, if your lucky, finished. Lightly tap the bottle against the side of the container. If the bottle doesn’t snap off then repeat once or twice.

Step 4: Method Two: Score and Torch

This method tends to be easier. It creates a very crisp line and is useful for precise work such as guitar slides like this. Even better, we will use mostly the same tools as before.

Step 5: (Score and Torch)

For this method you will need:
1. Bottle, jug, cup, or glassware of your choice
2. Scoring tool/jig
3. Torch
4. Container of ice water.

Step 6: (Score and Torch)

Step one:
For this repeat the first step of the last method. Use the jig it is important you score well for this method. It is not as important in the last method but it will not work with a poor score here.**make sure you score well! Your score is were the cut will be! If it is off or not where you want it, the cut will be off or not where you want it!**

Step two:
Fire up the torch! Hold bottle over the flame. Make sure you are heating the score only. Don’t hold the flame in one spot two long or it won’t work. Instead, make sure to rotate the bottle at an even pace to evenly heat the entire score. Do this for 20 to 40 seconds (if you hear a crack durning heating, dunk immediately) Instead of a torch, or if you don’t have one, try a candle or boiling water and do the same thing. (With boiling water, submerge bottle until the water goes about half an inch over the score line. The side you submerge is more likely to crack so Funke the side you don’t need just in case.)

Step three:
Dunk in ice water. The colder the better. It creates the thermal shock we need to break the glass where we want. If it doesn’t break repeat and or tap lightly against the side of the container.

Step 7: Sanding

**be careful! Glass dust can and has been dangerous** this is pretty self explanatory. Sand down sharp edges so you don’t bloody up your guitar. Were a mask and safety glasses and eye protection ESPECIALLY when using power tools for this bit.

Step 8: Finished! (Conclusion)

This was a lot of fun to do and is a really useful skill to have for sculpture. I will say, glass ‘cutting’ can produce sharp edges and you need to mind those obviously. Also glass dust is not somthing I would recommend getting inside you etheir through your nose, mouth, eyes, or ears. Be sure to where a ra mask during sanding. Lastly be careful in general. It is highly unlikely that a major event should occur. But be mindful of the tiny possibilities of a shatter.

Thank you guys for coming to my page and/or this ible. I hope it helped you with what you needed. Be sure to check me out at:
Youtube: Force 3D Arts
Instagram: Coming soon!

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    2 Discussions

    Force 3D Arts

    1 year ago

    Thank you so much! I haven’t been playing all to long. Only a couple of months in general. Even fewer with the slide. Sorry it took me so long to respond, I don’t have consistent acces to internet so I post and comment in home room or at the library when I can. Thanks again!


    1 year ago

    That's a neat way to make one out of used materials :) I'd love to hear how it sounds when used!