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Bottle Cutting Part 2
Entered: 2010-02-16
Edited: 2010-02-16
Type: workshop

Due to the surprising popularity of Sunday's post about bottle cutting I decided to take a few more pictures and expand a bit on the how-to nature of the information.

I ended up making a new tapper, the wooden dowel and nail thing was too flimsy for more than a couple of bottles, so I bought a 1/4" mild steel rod from Lowes and cut it down to about 14" and then bent the last two inches or so at a 90* angle in a small machinists vice. I then cut the bent section down to be maybe 3/4" long (required some test fitting in bottle tops) and filed the end down to a round point.

The extra mass of the steel and the nicely rounded tip do a better job of cracking the class without chipping it in the process. I also added a set screw so it would hold it's setting better in use and not creep down to the score line.

In use it works just like the crappy wood and nail one, only better:

A few other notes for anyone trying this at home. For starters my cutting rig is horrible, don't build something like this. My bottle cutting rig is in fact just my bench hook with some extra crap screwed to it. It works in a pinch and modifying it was a lot faster and cheaper than building or buying a dedicated cutting rig. But if you don't already have one, it would be silly to make one just to modify as crappy bottle cutter.

If you've never used a lapping plate before it can be a bit tricky at first. Remember when lapping the rim of your glass on the sandpaper or loose grit that you want firm, even pressure all around the rim. Don't push too hard and don't move it around so fast that you tip it and dig an edge into the paper. That's an easy road to disaster. Also it's very important to keep everything well lubed with water. It keeps the glass dust from getting in the air (and your lungs) and keeps the glass from overheating.

All in all just be careful, wear gloves and safety glasses and remember that you are breaking glass! Broken glass == sharp!

Beer Glass:

Bag of Fail ready for the recycling bin:

The rest of yesterday's victories:

After a few days practice at this I'm getting a successful cut on 2/3 Perrier bottles and a 50% success rate on everything else.

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