Make a Glass Bottle Cutting Jig for ~ $10




Introduction: Make a Glass Bottle Cutting Jig for ~ $10

This Instructable will show you how to make a cheap jig for cutting glass bottles.  It's not pretty but it works great and will take you only a few hours.  The only "special" tool you'll need for this is a drill bit that can cut through 0.25" of metal.  The jig is adjustable to fit most bottles.

Parts that you will need:
1) ~2 feet of 2x4.
2) Small sheet of plywood.  The exact size isn't real important but it needs to be about 6" longer than the longest bottle you want to cut and 6" wide.  My sheet is 2'x6".
3) Plumber's epoxy putty (~$2 at your local hardware store).  You'll need ~ 1 oz.
4) Cheap glass cutter ($6 on Amazon).
5) 0.25" bolt, 6 inches long.
6) Wing nuts and two large washers for 6-inch bolt.
7) Rubber leg tips ($1.50 at Home Depot).
8) Five 3" wood screws and one 1" wood screw.
9) Small washer that can fit inside the rubber leg tip.  I used a plastic one.
10) Small cloth rag.

Tools: The normal stuff like drill + bits, screwdriver(s), and saw.  As noted above you'll need a bit that can drill metal.

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Step 1: Bottle Stabilizer

This part of the jig helps hold the bottle in place while you cut it.

1) Cut a hole into the bottom of the rubber tip.  You want the hole just big enough to fit the 6" bolt.
2) Insert the bolt.  We want the tip to be able to rotate freely so we need to in insert something to keep the epoxy from binding with the bolt.   Stuff a washer into the rubber tip so that it lays flat against the head of the bolt.
3) Cut off a good chunk of the epoxy and knead it so the two parts mix up well.
4) Stuff the epoxy into the rubber tip as tight as you can and form it into a rounded cone.

Set it aside to allow the putty to harden.

Step 2: Build the Frame.

1) Cut the 2x4 into two parts to fit onto the plywood.
2) Drill holes in the bottom of the plywood and screw in the longer 2x4.
3) Use your bottle to get a rough idea where the hole for the 6" bolt should go and mark it on the smaller 2x4.
4) Drill the hole for the 6" bolt.  You want a snug fit so that the bolt doesn't wobble.
5) Attach the 2x4 to the plywood using wood screws.
6) Put a wing nut and washer on the bolt, insert it through the hole, and add the other washer and wing nut.

Step 3: Attach the Glass Cutter.

My glass cutter didn't have a flat bottom to make it easy to screw to the frame so I used the epoxy to help hold it in place.

1) Drill a hole in the handle of the glass cutter large enough to encompass the 1" wood screw.
2) Knead some more epoxy and add it to the handle of the glass cutter.  Press it down against your frame so that the cutter rests on the fame and the epoxy.  Keep in mind the orientation of your glass cutter so that the tip will press against the bottle.
3) Use your bottle to determine a good spot for the glass cutter.
4) Screw the cutter to the frame and form the putty around the handle to keep it steady.

Once it hardens you're ready to go!  You can adjust the stabilizer with the wing nuts so that you can cut different length bottles.  You could also potentially move the glass cutter around by drilling multiple holes.

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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Thank you for the instructable - very clever and cheap. I sanded down an old wine cork as the bottle holder versus the epoxy tip.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I am quite frustrated-$30 later, 16 broken bottles later. Drilling through the glass cutter broke it 2x, then finally screwed it in and tightened too hard-broke again. Then did it more loosely and tried to use the putty to hold it in place. It moved just enough to be slightly off by the time the bottle was fully scored so then the 3 that did pretty well have a little bump. Tried again to retighten with putty-broke again!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Doh, I'm sorry to hear that. =/ If you try again, here's some ideas that might help:
    • Use a thinner drill bit.
    • Use a sharper bit, or one specifically made for drilling metal.
    • Try using a button-head screw with a flat bottom (like the second screw shown here).  If you're using a flat head screw then it could be putting too much stress on the cutter when you tighten it.

    Good luck!

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Handy, especially if your cutting at lot of them. What do you make with the glass after it is cut?


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Well, I've just gotten started so I haven't done much yet :) but I plan to start by making some etched drinking glasses. I tried cutting some bottles by hand but the results were less than satisfying (read: awful) so I decided to make the jig first. In the future I may try to make my own glass lamp shades.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    for the actually separation part, I HIGHLY recommend the instructions posted by Dan Rojas(greenpowersciencs).

    I linked to the youtube video on account of... I don't THINK he posted it on THIS site under his account. Jump to 6:15 for the down and dirty of it.
    It really does take longer to watch the 10 min video than it does to score, separate, and sand the finished product.

    Anyhow, let me tell you... this is the EASIEST method I've ever tried.
    Using a wet-tile saw or glass cutting band saw gives you more flexibility(like being able to cut bottles at a nice angle) and NO chipping/stress cracks.
    Abrasive machining of glass is nice, but it can be pretty pricey, time consuming, and for straight cuts, don't work any better.

    If you do champagne bottles, you need FRESHLY boiling water, and it will take longer.


    8 years ago on Step 3



    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I THINK the problem being expressed is that the cutter is a fixed position, so the cutting of glass rings is complicated.

    The number of rings you can score is limited by the length of the bolt for the stabilizer.

    The SOLUTION to this issue is to either make the scoring tool adjustable(like using a c-clamp to hold it onto the board, instead of a screw) or to replace the bolt with a length of all-thread, making the stabilizer infinately adjustable(Well, unless you're trying to cut one of THESE