I want to share a homemade glass bottle cutter I made. Anyone that follows my blog knows I love crafting with bottles. I spend a lot of time making bottle lamps for my Esty shop and I’ve also been looking for ideas to expand my shop with more bottle type crafts. A few projects that have sparked my interest require cutting the bottle. I would love to add some nice glass tumblers or bottle candles like these to my shop.
So first things first, how do I cut the bottles? After researching the subject, I found there’s multiple methods people have tried. Most work, but don’t look very pretty. Almost all the methods are actually controlled breaks with the exception of a diamond blade power saw. I would like to avoid the power saw, so here’s my glass bottle cutter along with my attempts to make a clean “cut”. I just want make it clear, this is my first experience cutting bottles and I cannot make any claims about the safety of this project. It’s always a good idea to use proper eye and hand protection when working with glass!
Constructing the Bottle Cutter
- wooden base (7in x 18in)
- tub & shower wheels (2 packs)
- 5 metal brackets + 10 screws
- glass cutter
- 3-4 large grabber screws
- small bolt & wing nut
- dremel tool
- power drill
- screw driver
The basic idea is a wooden base with rollers attached so a bottle can spin evenly over the glass cutters blade. I bought all the supplies at Home depot for about $20 (wheels ended up being too small for the brackets). This is our first design, if anyone has a better solution to cut bottles that doesn’t require a power saw, I would LOVE to know in the comments!
I started out with a 7×18 board for the base. The bottle will need to rest against something to make an even cut, so I have a scrap piece of 2×4 that should do the job. I’m cutting specific bottles (Captain Morgan’s) so I used that to measure out the guide lines for the rollers.
Since the wheels were a tad bit small for the brackets, I had to round off the corners with a dremel tool. I could have avoided this when I bought supplies. Oh well. I also used the dremel tool for cutting the tip off the glass cutter. I attached this to a bracket with a small bolt and wing nut.
With all the wheels facing inwards, I arranged the brackets according to the size of the bottle and where I want the cut. I marked the holes with a pencil and pre-drilled them before tightening down the brackets with a screw driver.
Cutting Glass Bottles (fire & ice method)
As I said before most methods don’t literally cut the bottle. They score the bottle with a glass cutter and use temperature changes to make a controlled break around the score line. I have to admit I almost gave up on this project because I couldn’t make a clean break! I wasted about half a dozen bottles before I got my first “clean break” with no jagged edges. Not a very good start.
Scoring the bottle seems to be the easy part. The bottle doesn’t need a deep score line, just one revolution in the cutter making sure there are no spaces in the score line. Multiple revolutions in the cutter tool will just dull down the blade.
I tried a handful of methods like the alcohol soaked string, or pouring boiling water over the score line and shocking it with cold water. This is the results I got time after time. The glass would break and crack in places away from the score line because the temperature changes were too great.
After watching this video, I was able to revive this craft project from the ashes and make two clean breaks in a row!
Obviously the edges will need sanded, but I think these recycled Captain Morgan’s bottles with the embossed pirate ship make a cool tumbler set!