How to Make a Bottle Prison




Introduction: How to Make a Bottle Prison

About: I like making things.

TL;DR: I designed a bottle jail or bottle prison, go to the next step to see how.

I like making things. I like giving presents, too. To family, friends or just people. What I like even more than making things and giving presents, is making presents which will give you a hard time. Loads of glitter, confetti and ugly photos are usualy involved.

With the upcoming birthday of my dad, I was thinking about what he would like. He likes a good Jack&Coke every now and then, so I wanted to give him a bottle of Jack Daniels, but just giving it would be way too easy ;) So I decided he would have to put a little more effort into getting his Jack&Coke than just staying alive for another year.

I designed a jail to fit the bottle of Jack Daniels, which can only be opened by removing the 132 nuts that keep the bottle locked up.

Step 1: Materials

For one bottle jail I ordered online:

  • two 12x12cm 3mm thick aluminum sheets
  • 160 nuts (M6)
  • 4m of threaded end (M6)

(I ordered everything double, so I could make another one and had spare parts if something didn't work out the way I wanted)

I also used:

  • file tool
  • a hacksaw
  • a drill (6mm)
  • a bottle Jack Daniels 0,7l (obviously)
  • a ruler
  • glue
  • a lasercutter (optional)

The total costs of the materials (excluded the Jack Daniels) were around 25 Euro or 27 dollar.

Step 2: The Aluminum Sheets

First I placed the bottle and the nuts on the sheet to check how many prison bars I should make. I decided that 12 bars would be perfect. I drew twelve dots onto one aluminum sheet and drilled the holes. Then I put the other sheet under the already drilled sheet so the holes would match, and drilled again. They might not be in a perfect straight line, but since the upper and bottom sheet are aligned it should work just fine.

I filed the edges and the drilled holes to make sure all sharp edges were gone. Later on I also drilled a hole in the middle of the upper sheet, for the box that's covering everything up, but that's optional.

TL;DR: drill the desired amount of holes in the two sheets and sand or file the edges.

Step 3: Testing

The threaded-end bars came in 1 meter parts, so I sawed them into 33 cm pieces and tried to put everything together. The nuts under the bottom sheet are glued, otherwise you could just spin those off and open the jail.

Optional: Using a laser cutter and the program Box designer ( I made a box to put over the top, for a little extra challenge, and a little box as a bottom to prevent the nuts from scratching the table. I glued the boxes together and spray painted them black. The box on the bottom is glued to the bottom nuts to make sure everything stays in place.

Step 4: NUT TIME

Screw on all the nuts (Optional: put the box over it, screw on the last couple of nuts) and you're done!



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34 Discussions

I like it! It's funny how all these people have their own ideas for "short-cuts" to getting the bottle. First, where's their sense of humor? And second, why not just put the work into removing the nuts?
It's a good idea, an evil one, but a good one! LOL! Thanks for sharing!

This would be a great dirty santa/white elephant gift!

I think that's cool that you put some humor in with your gifts, and I'd bet your Dad really enjoyed the idea also, much less the Jack and coke. Great idea. I was always a Makers( Mark) and coke guy myself. Thanks, Johnny

Your father is a Philistine for puring Coke in Jack Daniel's

2 replies

Pretending that Jack Daniel's in the God-King of the whiskey world is like pretending Bud Light is the king of the beers.


Well, in France they say : "Des goûts et des couleurs, on ne se discute pas".

As someone who loves to make gifts... I love this idea.

This concept ( a gift with an asterisk ) reminds me of an old Mad Magazine gag about presents you'd give to someone you hate. Two of the gifts I remember are: a $10 gift certificate toward the purchase of a Rolls-Royce, and a St. Bernard puppy.

love the instructable! I would personally go for welds. However a good whiskey (Bushmills 16y for instance ;p ) is there to enjoy so a couple of bars would have 'fake welds' like the ones of the welded bolt puzzle


I like it! But I would attack it with bolt cutters.

I smell evilnes XD, is it posible To only remove the front roots???

8 replies

nope, not possible. I glued the bars to the nuts at the bottom, so you can't just unscrew only two bars and get the bottle

If you glued the two rods (and nuts) in front of the bottle to the top and bottom.....all you need to do it remove the nuts for those rods.

If you apply enough force onto the nuts they will break free of the bonds that hold them.

So, yes it is possible to only have to remove 25 nuts and 2 would just have to apply enough force to break the glue bonds.

all nuts at the bottom are glued and unreachable for a wrench as they are concealed in the bottom wood, so if you apply force to the nut on top of the bottom plate you can make the rod turn but the bottom nut wont come lose.

You could break the wood to get access, but why not take an angle grinder to free the bottel? Or give it as a gift to an other victem....

I would be worried about using an angle ginder purely because of shrapnel and/or the blade damaging the bottle or breaking it (due to vibration, heat generated, etc etc).

The point I'm making here is that there is no need to mess with all 132 nuts as there are several ways to get the bottle out.

Hell a quicker and even dirtier way to do it would be to place the whole thing in a bucket, break the glass so it all pours out, and then put into another bottle.

Another method would involve that last bit about breaking the bottle.

Except that you could use one of those one-way value kerosene siphons (that has never had kerosene put through it) and if you could manage to make a hole in the bottle at the top that is large enough to accept the tube of the siphon you could manually pump out the contents into another container.

Here is a a random thought, remove the center bolt from the top, hole saw through the plate, tip over enough to slide bottle to where it can be opened. Drain bottle and recap. Place cover back onto top of jail.... return empty jailed bottle to sender....

Why would an angle grinder throw "shrapnel" or damage the bottle? You could zip through those threaded rods in about a minute with no damage to the bottle at all.

Sorry, but if someone gave me that, I'd have that bottle free in about a minute with a cutoff wheel on an angle grinder... and I'd probably giftwrap the destroyed cage and give it back to them.

Solution to the angle grinder attack--tighten the dimensions of the cage so the rods touch the bottle.