Polish Glass Bottle Edges After Cutting





Introduction: Polish Glass Bottle Edges After Cutting

About: Creating DIY projects

Now that you have cut your bottle, it's important to sand off the sharp edges. I will also show you how to polish the cut.

This bottle has 3 cuts. If you want to do multiple cuts, I recommend doing a cut, sand and polish it, then do the next cut. I also recommend doing all your score lines before making any cuts.

If you would prefer to view this instructable in video form, you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/t2sT8SNHvUY

If you want to see how I made these cuts, check out my other instructable: Bottle-Cutting-With-a-Soldering-Iron

Supplies needed (grits can be approximate):

Step 1: Safety First!

Before we get started, there are some safety things to keep in mind. The sanding process makes glass dust. Because of this, eye protection and a dust mask are HIGHLY recommended.

Step 2: Sanding the Rim Flat

You can see in the picture this bottle that was just cut doesn't have a smooth or flat surface. The inner and outer edges are also sharp. I'm going to start with 80 grit wet/dry sand paper. The first thing to do is to get it wet, and make sure there is plenty of water on it during the sanding process. This will help keep most of the glass dust from getting into the air. Now that the sand paper is ready, start sanding the cut. I like to do a circular motion, and make sure you apply some downward pressure. Rotating the bottle every now and then will help the sanding be more uniform. Holding the bottle in one position the entire time will focus the pressure on one side of the bottle, potentially giving you a lopsided surface.

The markings that I put on the bottle are only there for the pictures, to help demonstrate how I move the bottle.

Since this first sanding is for flattening the cut surface, it will take a while, depending on how smooth the cut was. Check the surface every now and then, to see the progress. Wipe the surface off with a paper towel. It will be obvious what parts were sanded and what parts still need sanding. If it looks like it needs more sanding, keep at it a few more minutes. If it looks good to you, it's time to sand down the inner and outer edges. Be careful not to cut yourself while doing this part, and keep the sand paper wet.

Step 3: Prepare for Polishing

That's it for the first stage of sanding. The surface is flat, and the edges are no longer sharp. The other stages are for polishing, and will be quite a bit quicker. You can decide at which stage of polish you want to stop.

The first stage put a lot of grit from the sand paper and bottle on the table, so clean that up before starting the polishing stages.

Step 4: Start Polishing

Next I use 150 grit wet/dry sand paper. Each stage will follow the same steps: Sand the surface for a minute or two, then sand the edges. After that I like to wipe the surface dry and look at it, so see the progress. Since the polishing stages are not as aggressive as the sanding stage, it's not really necessary to clean the table between the polishing steps.

The next grit I use is 220 grit. Then 320 grit. And then 400 grit. This looks much better than what I started with. Some people like to stop here, but I like to do even finer polishing.

Step 5: Finer Polishing

For the fine polishing, I use 1000 grit sand paper, then 2000 grit sand paper. The 1000 grit gives a huge improvement over the 400 grit, and the 2000 grit gives a little better polish.

Step 6: And That's It!

The bottle I cut is now safe to drink from, and has a highly polished surface. If you would like to see the video version of this instructable, you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/t2sT8SNHvUY

If you want to see my instructables on cutting bottles, check them out here:



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    18 Discussions

    I do this and similar polishing jobs in the out-house sink with a fine trickle of cold water flowing onto the wet-and-dry paper; easy to clear up, no trays, no spills, just the granite tile I use as a flat base to rinse off and done.


    1 year ago

    You can also use a sharpening stone or diamond sharpening thingie.

    I have cleaned up edges on window louvres with very cheap sharpening stones - the ones that are useless for sharpening and wore away gave the best results as they rounded the glass.

    4 replies

    My father was a ceramic tiler for 50yrs. He used to clean the edges and glaze of cut tiles with an old sharpening stone.

    That's a good idea, didn't think of using a sharpening stone for polishing glass.

    If you use it (or the abrasive papers) with water as a lubricant it cuts down on the glass powder as well.

    I used to work in a glazing company (as an estimator) and was often amazed at the ways around getting stuff done that were used by the older (properly apprenticed) glaziers and fabricators.

    It is amazing the tricks people come up with to get stuff done. Using water as a lubricant is a great way to control the glass powder.

    Had to go look it up, but the stone is a "Carborundum Grinding Stone" or "Abrasive Sickle stone." I'd forgotten all about it from my long ago stained glass class. Something else misplaced over the years . . . you can also get them for a 1/8" rotary tool.

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    Thanks for teaching me to be more patient. I'll go back to polish further old glasses I put aside, because they needed more polishing. Best regards

    1 reply

    The nice thing about polishing is it goes a lot quicker than the sanding. Each grit only needs a minute or two.

    Wet and dry Emery paper can be used with water to eliminate dust. (the stiff black grey paper at the more expensive end of the stand).

    Do the polishing in a shallow tray to contain water and the glass dust is running in the water (shallow).

    This way you can rinse the glass, tray and paper between grits.

    Well done.

    1 reply

    I'll have to try using a shallow tray of water, that sounds like a great idea! The way I have been doing it gets water all over the table.


    1 year ago

    I used to use emery cloth in various grades and found it worked very quickly.

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    Basically the same process for polishing metal as well. You use progressively finer grit sand paper until you like the results. Good project though.

    1 reply