When making a drinking glass out of a beer bottle, what type of string do you use to soak in lighter fluid, then tie around the bottle?
By Alex from Sheffield, MA
In the 50's, when I was a wee widdle kid, we used postal twine, a cheap hemp string, tied to the top and bottom of a thumb-thick willow stick, like it was a fiddle string. Looping the string completely around the bottle, turned the fiddle stick into a bow. "Sawing" rapidly heated up the glass and splashing water on it cracked it.
In the 60's we got lazy and used butcher twine and white gas.
In the 70's they sold bottle cutting jigs, that let you roll a bottle in a V shaped trough with one end stop and a glass cutter.
I improved on that by drilling two holes into each side of the trough and gluing marbles into three of them for smooth sliding bearings, and the glass cutter into the fourth hole.
For the neck side end stop I just clamped a block of wood into the trough with a C-clamp.
For the smoothest rotation I wrapped a strip of rubber cut from an old bicycle inner-tube a couple of times around the bottle and out through a hole in the bottom of the trough. That resulted in smooth and precise cuts and the 100th bottle was cut exactly the same as the first.
To get the edge perfectly smooth I always used a torch. As long as you never stop and keep the torch moving around the top, it works quite well.
Keep in mind, though, even with a perfect cut and a perfectly beaded edge, cut bottle glasses are just a goofy novelty and will be retired to a shelf or given away pretty soon. They are not comfortable for drinking, but if you use colored bottles, they can be used to make very pretty storm candles.
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