Intro: How-ta-add-a-tap to a Glass Bottle
Do you have an old jug, unique liquor bottle, or vintage glass that you'd love to be able to both show off and utilize at the same time?
Perfect! I'll show you how-ta-add-a-tap to any glass bottle in just 7 easy steps!
I created this project for myself entirely so I could quickly dispense cold coffee right into my thermos every morning. I had a gallon sized mason jar jug that is the perfect size to chill a weeks worth of coffee while being small enough to not dominate the whole fridge.
Other reasons you might want to add-a-tap?
- Pour your alcohol from its own bottle tap; what novelty!
- Reuse that vintage glass container to serve sun tea at a picnic; how charming!
- Need a perfectly sized dispenser for a very specific thing that doesn't seem to exist in the world? Now you can make your own; how convenient!
- And many more!
By now I've surely convinced you to add-a-tap to every glass container you own. Lets get started....
Step 1: Getting a Tap
Unless you have an amazing collection of odd and useful knick-knacks filling your house, its doubtful that you'd have a spare tap lying around. Thanks to the wonders of the internet its easier than ever to find the perfect tap to fit your needs.
I used Amazon and came up with a nice array of options.Stainless steel will give you the best quality for your dispenser and its barely higher in price (Search for "dispenser spigot" instead of "dispenser tap" to avoid flimsy plastic cooler taps). I want to make sure your add-a-tap project will become a family heirloom in time so lets make it count!
I provided a view of the tap I choose and the assembly diagrams that were provided. These measurements will be very helpful in planning your project. My tap kit wasn't shipped with any instructions so double check if the seller provides the necessary details or make sure you are very good at puzzling things together.
You've found your perfect tap out of a sea of google options, now its time to gather the rest of our tools.....
Step 2: Common (and Not So Common) Household Tools You'll Use
I will admit I took some advantages in my process of this project but I'll share how you can do it too with some simpler tools.
My tools used:
- Carbide drilling bits
- Hot glue
- Stained glass edge grinder (totally worth it!)
- Basic cleaning items: soap, baking soda, a sponge you plan on throwing away
- Not pictured: Cutting oil, permanent marking pen, chapstick/lip balm
Instead of using the carbide drill bits or the glass edge grinder, you can substitute those for diamond chip cutting bits and a Dremel or other rotary tool. It'll take a little longer but they are easier and cheaper bits to come by.
Lets prep our bottle...
Step 3: Prep Your Cutting Surface
- You'll want to mark off where you are going to mount your spigot. The lower you can place the tap the better so you don't waste as much liquid at the end of the pour. Trace the threads of the tap with a marking pen once you've found the perfect location.
Tip: make sure the tap isn't too low so that it'll crash into the table or other surface. You'll also want to consult your measurements to make sure the washers and gaskets can fit without hitting a surface like a table or the inside bottom of the jug.
- Make a cutting oil/water dam. Use hot glue or clay to build up a tiny wall around your tap point you just marked off. This will later be filled with cutting oil or water that'll help extend the life of your bit and prevent the glass from heating up and cracking.
- Glue a cap to the inside to catch all that oil/water/glass. Once you successfully drill a hole through your glass all the oil and glass will go right through. We'll be cleaning the jar later, but its nice to avoid so much extra oil and glass.
Great! We're ready to start drilling and grinding.....
Step 4: Drilling
This step will help you find your inner balance - you'll need it to slowly drill a hole through your glass.
- Fill your dam with a good pool of cutting oil (preferred) or water.
- Chuck up your carbide or diamond bit into a drill or drill press.
- Apply steady, even pressure being sure to allow the bit to slowly remove the glass. If you press too hard you risk damaging your bit or cracking your glass.
Tip: Try to do a better job centering your bit than I did, it'll make things much easier later on.
- Once you have created a sizable hole you can stop and get ready for grinding. Drilling is much faster than grinding so make the drilling hole as large as you can.
- Remove your hot glue dam and wipe up any leftover oil/water.
- Remove your cap and admire how much oil and glass you saved yourself from having to clean up later.
*phew* we did it, now time for some good ol' grinding....
Step 5: Grinding
This step you'll need to call on your inner peace, you'll need it to get through the slow act of grinding....
- Realize that wiping away the oil in that last step completely erased your marker line. Draw a new one.
- Cover your line in chapstick this time to make sure it'll survive the grinding process.
- Get ready to grind! No matter the tool you use to smooth and expand your opening, its going to take some time.
- Water works best with grinding since your bit is moving faster and you are removing more material.
Tip: Keep adding oil and/or water to your bits. If using a rotary tool, sometimes its easier to submerge the glass under water while you carve away. If you are creating a fine, white powder then your bit is running too dry.
- Grind until you get to the edges of your marker line
- Check your hole size by fitting your tap. Once it fits through, you are done grinding!
Good job, wasn't that therapeutic? We're so close to the finish line now......
Step 6: Clean Everything!
You've just thrown oil, water, and glass all over your bottle. We can't have that! Your beverages would end up tasting awful and possibly quite hazardous....
Tip: Use a sponge you don't care about throwing away because we are going to fill it with tiny glass particles.
- Scrub your container with some soap to neutralize the oil and clean up your grimy hand smudges. Baking soda gives me the peace of mind that everything has been given a good scrub. You don't want to miss anything!
- Let everything dry.
- Assemble your tap as per the instructions provided. I advise you tighten the nut by hand to avoid cracking your container after all this effort.
- Test your tap by running water through it. This will help you catch any leaks and help you rinse out your tap at the same time. Such efficiency!
We did it! Time to fill it up and enjoy the fruits of your labor.....
Step 7: Fruits of Your Labor...
Ah, now its finally time to enjoy a chilled coffee/impress your friends/appreciate your creative upcycling.
Thanks for following my mini project adventure, I'd love to see what you add-a-tap to!