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Champagne Bottle Lampshade

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Bronze Post Medal for 2021. 31 Posts
March 28, 2021

Finished lampshade in use.By recycling glass bottles, we help reduce pollution and waste. I like the shape of champagne bottles, this why I decided to use them to create an original lampshade.

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Champagne bottles have a glass thickness of 5 mm. It's not so easy to cut glass with such thickness, especially bottles. There are many ways to cut glass bottles, I used a vise to get a perfect cut, and the method with flame - heating using the flame of candle and cooling using cold water in a pot.
Remember that working with glass you need to observe safety precautions. Work in an area that is easy to clean, keep pets and children away. Wear protective glasses, a dust mask, sturdy work gloves, a heavyweight long-sleeve shirt, long work pants, and work boots.

Total Time: 1-2 Hours

Supplies:

  • 1 empty champagne bottle in emerald color
  • 1 empty marsh colored champagne bottle
  • 1 Glass cutter and oil/lubricant
  • 1 Candle
  • 1 Matches or lighter
  • 1 Bucket or big bowl full of cold water
  • 1 Piece of wood board measuring not less 8 x 20 x 2 cm
  • 3 Planks of wood measuring 13, 13, 8 cm long, width and thickness 1-2 cm
  • Boards to substitute under bottles and change the level of cutting
  • 6 Nails 25 mm long
  • 1 Hammer
  • 1 Vise
  • 1 File and sanding paper 120 grain
  • Glue for glass, I used Loctite Glass Glue
  • Copper wire with diameter 1.5 mm
  • 1 Pliers
  • 1 Ruler
  • 1 Pencil
  • 1 Drill and glass drill bit
  • 1 Rag
  • Masking tape
  • 1 Sturdy work gloves
  • 1 Protective glasses
  • 1 NIOSH-approved N95 mask

Steps:

  1. Soak the bottles for several hours in warm water. Remove labels and wash bottles well. Any grime on the glass can ruin your score. Leave the bottles to dry well or wipe the glass surface using a rag.
  2. Glass bottle in a bath of warm water.
     
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  3. You have to cut off the top and the bottom of the two bottles. Of course, you can buy a circle cutter, but I don't think it's rational if you only need to cut several bottles. I suggest you to use a vice to get a perfect straight cut around the bottle.
    Fix the glass cutter in the vise in such a position so that you can then substitute the boards to change the cut level: first level is 3 cm above the bottom of the bottle and, second level is 8 cm above the neck of an inverted bottle.
  4. Make a cut at the top of the two bottles. If you use the glass cutter without oil tank in it then put some oil on the cutter. Smoothly spin the bottle with a little pressure towards the glass cutter.
  5. Glass cutter cutting top of bottle.
     
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  6. Make a cut at the bottom of the two bottles.
  7. Glass cutter cutting bottom of bottle
     
  8. Now you have to break the glass. As known, the glass breaks due to thermal shock: difference in temperature between two surfaces of the glass induces stress in the material and the cracks start to develop. We will use this to beak the glass.
    Using candle, heat the score line at the top by constantly rotate the bottle directly along the line that you made with the glass cutter. Make several rounds and then dip the end you have to break off in the bucket or big bowl full of cold water.
    Repeat this various times until it snaps and the top of the bottle finally separates from the body. Be careful and watch for cracks so as not to miss the moment of separation of parts.

    My tips:
    - Do not try to get the result quickly and, accordingly, do not heat the glass too much at one time. Better spend a little time with multiple heats and chills than quickly ruin the bottle.
    - Always spin/move the bottle. The stronger the flame, the further keep the bottle away from the flame and the faster spin it.
    - You can use a low-power torch.
    - Do not use running tap water, as this can result in many small cracks across your cut and not where you needed.
    - I do not recommend using too high contrast cooling, because this increases the chance to break the bottle.
  9. Candle flame heating a scored glass bottle.
     
    Glass bottle being dipped into a tub of water.
     
    Glass bottle with the top cut off.
     
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  10. Separate the bottom of the bottles.
  11. Bottom of bottle being dipped in cold water.
     
    Glass bottle with bottom cut off.
     
  12. You have to make cut along one bottle. Build a stand that will make this cutting easier.
    Nail two 13 cm long planks to the sides of a wooden board. The space between the two planks will depend on the width of your bottle, in my case 4,5 cm.
    At the end of these planks, screw on the 8 cm long plank.
  13. A piece of wood with two smaller pieces of wood attached.
     
    Glass bottle with top and bottom cut off.
     
    Wooden frame to hold glass bottle for cutting.
     
  14. Place the bottle of marsh color on the stand. Make the score line using the glass cutter in the vice or just freehand it. The score must run from one edge of the glass to the other edge.
    Then repeat the steps 3 and 4. The risk of ruining the bottle at this step is higher. So, be careful when heating. Heat only the score line. Do not heat too much.
    In result you will have three glass parts of lampshade: one whole of emerald color and two halves of marsh color.
  15. Vice holding glass cutting blade.
     
    3 pieces of glass used for lampshade.
     
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  16. Don't worry if you have small protruding pieces of glass at the edges. Remove them gently with pliers and clean off the edges using the file or coarse grit of sandpaper. Then use finer grit sandpaper. Do it in water, as the dust from glass is very harmful to health. Make the edges smooth.
  17. Glass bottle cut in half lengthwise.
     
  18. You have to drill holes in the top of glass pieces to fix the halves of marsh color to the sides of the whole piece of emerald color.
    Place the halves to the sides of the whole piece and mark the place for the holes not less 2 cm of the edge: one hole in each piece of marsh color (halves) and two holes from the opposite side of whole piece of emerald color.
    Add masking tape over the spot you want to drill.
    Put glass piece in the bowl with rag.
    Add water to keep the cutting area cool throughout the drilling process or form a donut-shaped ring of plumbers putty around the spot and keep it filled with about 0.5 inch of water throughout the process.
    Make sure the glass is firmly supported on the backside.
    Put on mask and drill holes, placing only very light pressure on the drill.
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  20. Thread the wire through the holes and bend it. Glue the parts together for best fixing. Wrap the wire around the top end of the lampshade.
  21. Run the power cable through the the hole in the lampshade and connect to the lamp holder. Using wire fix the lampshade to the cable.
    Screw in the LED lamp and enjoy the work done.
  22. Finished lamp shade.
     
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