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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 Moritz 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.
The beautiful jade green of Perrier bottles makes them a great choice for making drinking glasses. This is a page about making recycled Perrier bottle glasses.
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I would like to make glasses like these from the Pottery Barn. However, I have never worked with glass. Any ideas on how to cut the bottles, and then smooth the edges? Thanks.
If you Google "bottle cutter", you will get lots of results that have the special kit; and it should include the emery cloth to smooth the edges. It should also have good directions for all steps. I saw nice kits for $29.95. (01/02/2009)
This idea has been around for years. When I was a child, my father bought a kit to make his own glasses. He used beer bottles, Pepsi bottles, and any other kind of bottle that suited his fancy.
He did find the kit at one of those " As seen on television" stores. (01/08/2009)
We tried this years ago with a kit. We never were able to use any of them. We couldn't get them really smooth. It always felt sandy and for the time and trouble, it was cheaper and easier to buy glasses, even second hand if you really want to be frugal.
There are several video's on youtube showing how to cut glass bottles. I watched them last year because I was going to try it, you know how that goes. It's still on my "like to try list". If I remember, you take cotton string or twine, soak it in nail polish remover, tie it on the bottle where you want it to be cut, set it on fire, and then submerge and snap off the top in a bucket of cold water. (I think the sudden change in temperature breaks it off.) Then you wet sand it smooth. Good luck and let us know the results! (01/08/2009)
They never come out right. If you'll notice on your regular drinking glasses, the edge is slightly rounded. The straight cut glass never "feels" right when you drink out of it. (01/13/2009)
This was a popular shop class project when I was in high school back in the 1970s. You cut off the neck of the bottle, glue it to the bottom and it becomes the stem of the glass. You do have to use a special glass cutter, which I believe you can get at a crafts store. They are novel, but the big problem with this type of glassware is that the sides of the glasses are so thick so that when you drink out of them, they dribble. I say don't waste your time. If you are looking for fun, frugal glassware, try the mason jars that ready-made spaghetti sauces (like Classico) come in. They work great, are good quality, hold a lot, and are fun to drink from! (11/14/2005)
To make edges of glass smooth to drink from, use sand paper and oil, it works great. (05/04/2007)
By jack sparrow
First of all you cut the beer bottle or wine bottle, then you go to any auto parts store an get some valve grinding compound. Put the valve grinding compound on a sponge and wet it. Then you lay the sponge down and turn the glass up side down on the sponge and start twisting. The edges will come out smooth and rounded. And that's how to make drinking glasses from glass bottles. (12/10/2007)