Bottle Cutting and Finishing Techniques

dragonfly_wingsJune 3, 2009

Are you a glass artist or crafter who has tried your hand at altering bottles for use as drinking glasses, wind chimes, etc.?

I'd like to hear from experienced folks about the best way and best tools for cutting and finishing glass bottles. There are plenty of online websites promoting/selling bottle cutters and discussing the process but I'm interested in hearing from those who have tried various techniques and bottle cutting tools.


BTW - I've used quart-sized plastic water bottles cut in half to create pots for starting plants while using the other end for funnels.

Here is a related site on various cutting techniques:

Here is a link that might be useful: Glass Bottle Cutting Techniques

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I wish someone had answered you dragonfly. I would like to know more about this too. My dh bought me a bottle cutter. If I try it out this weekend I'll post to let you know how it went.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 2:49PM
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Hi kathy,

Did you try your bottle cutter out? I'm waiting with bated breath to hear your results. What kind of cutter is it and what prompted your dh to give you one?

I do hope someone with experience will respond. I have saved a bunch of beautiful bottles (wine and water bottles) to use as glasses. I love the way 'bottle glasses' look and feel in the hand. But I really don't know how difficult or involved the process is. I can imagine that the cutting might be fairly easy and straight forward, but I wonder about the finishing of the edge.

And if anyone has come up with any other interesting uses for bottles I'd be curious to hear about them.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 12:55AM
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Heres a photo I saved of wine bottle lights,I think they are so cool looking, I have never tried bottle cutting, so I have no advice for you, have done a few winebotlle lights, and I make smoking bottles will show a photo of one I made, if you do a image search for wine bottle crafts lots come up, hope you find some info on cutting bottles maybe try it out on beer bottles frist.
Happy Crafting

smoking bottle

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 7:40AM
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OMG love those bottles....

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 8:13PM
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I tried it a long time ago ..... it never worked for me. I can't remember the brand - it was so long ago . My friend owns a stained glass store , and when I worked there ,so many people came in asking for a bottle cutter. I asked Anita why she didn't carry them and she said everyone she sold got brought back because they didn't work.

There has to be some brand somewhere that does work . I have a tile saw that I'm going to try bottle cutting with .
( eventually ) I also have a glass saw, but the diameter you can cut is very limited. When I find something that works - I'll let you know !

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 11:38AM
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Wow, those bottles make beautiful pendant lights! Thanks for showing them. Not sure what a smoking bottle is though.

toomuchglass, I look forward to hearing how the tile saw works for you. I've read about using them but would like to know what your experience is. I've seen some glass cutting bandsaws with diamond blades online and wondered if a bottle would be too wide for that set up. It sure seems like those with the round multi-directional diamond blades would do the trick very nicely and cleanly if only the bottle would fit...but alas. I read that you don't even have to sand the finished cut it's so smooth. If true, that would save a lot of time and the expense of a wet sander to finish the edge on the bottle-glasses.

Anyway, I hope you'll let us know how it goes when you get around to experimenting with cutting bottles with your tools.

I'm also considering uses for the crushed glass that I can get free from the recycling plant in my city. I was thinking it might be pretty poured into a clear container and lit from within or used in a water fountain, and so on.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 5:29AM
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Hi dragonfly, sorry I never answered. I'm usually on garden junk forum and I forgot where I posted this! Unfortunately I didn't use my bottle cutter still. :( I don't know why I'm so chicken! I have saved a bunch of blue bottles. Love those lights!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 9:04PM
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Thought I would bump this up in case someone could help you. All I know about glass cutter's is old fashioned kind looks like a pen with couple of little wheels to cut. I used it for cutting glass for pic frames. I've had good luck smoothing rough edge or chipped glass with either a nail file from beauty supply shop,it's about inch wide with foam core & come in different "grits" I guess you could say. I didn't like them for my nails, too bulky but use them to "finish' glass edges. You just go back & forth over cut edge. I think it would be difficult if you were making lots of glasses. Use a very "rough" 1 to start & finish with 1 that is quite smooth. They have the "sandpaper blocks now that are about 3in x 4 in. Norton makes 1 I just bought at Home Depot .Get 1 that has all sides with grit so will last longer.About $3+ Used on wood projects, filing off metal edge smooth, glass chip on a bowl, etc. very handy & much better than sandpaper. If you want to use sandpaper get "wet & dry" & wet it & put it over a small block of foam, such as stuff that is inside packing in a new radio or appliance box(found a use for that besides using it to hold dowels or nails I want to spray paint)That's all the help I can give you. Oh the nail files used to be 2for $1 probably more like $1.25 each now. They are 7 in. long 3/4 in wide & come in dark grey, brown or black shades, you would get a very bumpy or rough one for starting to get project done & fine 1 for finishing it smoothly.They last a long time. Might try going over to Stained Glass & mosiacs forum to see as not too long ago someone wanted to smooth glass edges. Jan

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 11:13AM
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No help on bottle cutter just wanted to say I love Oddie's smoking bottle!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 6:09PM
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I have a friend who found an old cutter at a garage sale that works great. It might be that glass cutters are another one of those things that were made well years ago (like in 50's and 60's?) but are made of junk now. Maybe try looking for old cutters on ebay?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 8:36AM
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