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Bottle Cutting - Any tips?

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  • Bottle Cutting - Any tips?

    Hi folks,

    Has anybody here used (with success) one of those bottle cutting tools/kits?

    We've got one, but generally the only result achieved so far, with the first dozen bottles, is a big, smashy, glassy mess.

    Definitely requires a lot of practice, however, I also wonder if I haven't managed to get the knack yet.

    Basically I try scoring the bottle with the blade, as per the instructions, then inserting the rocker/tapper and tapping around the inside until it splits - but even with a solid (straight) line of masking tape around the outside, I still get a line that is far too jagged to even sand off.

    Anyone out there who is good at using these who can share a few pointers?

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  • #2
    bottle cutting

    I've never used a bottle cutter, what is the actual cutter like? If it's low quality it's going to be hard to get a good cut, and bottles can be pretty thick which doesn't help. How good a finish do you need? have you got a glass grinder or diamond file to finish it off with?
    I've always used the string and solvent method. Tie a piece of cotton string round the bottle where you want the cut, soak it white spirit or similar, let it burn for maybe 30 seconds (depends on the bottle etc) then plunge the bottle into cold water.
    Heres one example
    Last edited by Creativekev; 27-10-2008, 05:19 PM.
    If you think you can do a thing or if you think you can't you will be right. Henry Ford


    • #3
      Thats pretty cool

      Can't actually post a link, but if you google for 'bottle cutter w hobby', thats what we have. In theory it looks like a great idea, but maybe not!

      I've got a file which should be upto the job (and some super heavy duty sanding paper), but so far haven't been able to produce a cut that is anywhere neat enough to file or sand off.

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      • #4
        some good info here
        "You've Got to Keep Your Mind Wide Open" - AnnaSophia Robb
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        • #5
          Thats looking like quite a decent piece on the subject - thanks very much for the link!

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          • #6
            Oil & water

            When I was a youngster I was in the navy, a friend of mine made ships in bottles. not by feeding the ship through the neck and pulling the rigging up in the traditional way, but by using oil & water.

            As far as I remember he filled the bottle to the level he wanted the cut with hot oil, then placed the bottle in cold water, and the bottle split very neatly, I never saw him do this but I did see the result, and the cut was very clean.

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            • #7
              Dont work with glass, but I cut and grind stone which is quite a lot harder stuff.
              You should be able to grind the roughest edge down useing standard grinding stones, the only secret is to keep everything cool with a water drip or spray, while keeping the grindstone speed slow


              • #8
                Originally posted by Creativekev View Post
                I've always used the string and solvent method. Tie a piece of cotton string round the bottle where you want the cut, soak it white spirit or similar, let it burn for maybe 30 seconds (depends on the bottle etc) then plunge the bottle into cold water.
                Hi, I've been trying to find out what a decent glass cutter is for making drinking glasses out of bottles, and found this thread because of it. Can I just ask about this method, when you say let it burn do you mean set fire to the string? Or does the white spirit eat away at the glass somehow? The youtube link doesn't work so couldn't use that to help me, and had no success finding other mentions of this method, but possibly that's because I'm not sure of the method!


                • #9
                  Using hot oil one side and cold the other causes thermal shock and that is what cracks glass, just like when you fill a glass with hot liquid it cracks because one side heated up quicker than the other. Success also depends on the type of bottle you use - beer bottles are apparently too thin and brittle to get a good finish and now they are making 'eco friendly' (aka thinner) glass wine bottles too so I am guessing the same will apply.
                  I cut a lot of (flat) glass and have looked at many examples of bottle cutting on the web but as yet am unconvinced by the bottle cutters on sale.

                  The youtube vid that seems to give impressive results is this one

                  Although as you already have one I would suggest the following
                  - persevering, you may need to develop your technique, perhaps even get a cheap glass cutter and practice on flat glass to get the 'knack' of a good score (£ shops has many glass frames that can be used for practice)
                  - ensure you keep equal pressure all round to get a consistent score line
                  - never go over the score line, a deeper score does not lead to a neater/better cut as the purpose of the score is to weaken, not cut, the glass so when tapped out the break follows the line of least resistance.
                  - always finish a score line, don't stop and start or lift the cutter mid way.
                  - you can tap a score line from the outside or top of the glass if using flat glass, you will see the line 'running' along the score and then a gently pulling apart should give you the neat line you are looking for.
                  - wear gloves of hold bottles with cloth to avoid nasty cuts

                  HTH x
                  Terry xxx
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                  • #10
                    I found the best method is to score a neat circle around the bottle,with a diamond head glass cutter,hold the cutter in a vice and rotate the bottle, so as to get a perfect circle,bottle rests on a flat surface so the circle is consistant,then hold bottle under very hot water, then under cold water,do a few times ,the bottle should shear cleanly along score line.DONT be a silly billy like me and forget to remove the stopper ,because there will be one hell of a bang,and glass everywhere ,ALWAYS WEAR EYE PROTECTION
                    Last edited by jondav; 24-11-2010, 08:40 PM.


                    • #11
                      My husband cuts bottles all the time with a wet saw - a tile cutting saw. It uses water to keep the sharp and dangerous dust from billowing up into the air - not good for you.

                      He polishes the cut edges sometimes with a diamond grinder and sometimes just with a sanding sleeve from...something... heh, sorry, can't remember...