When you search the internet for cutting bottles to up-cycle, you get a lot of links to follow. I’m sure you have landed on my blog because you did just that! So… what is the difference between MY post and most of the others? Something very simple… I am a simple being who don’t live in a perfect world. In my world the success rate to make perfect cuts is low… In my world I’m trying to share knowledge that might save you from making the mistakes I made, which I didn’t found on any other blog.
I can’t go out and buy everything that I want. I sometimes have to make plans to make things work. May be you also fall within that category. Luckily for me my husband is gifted and blessed with many talents, and he ALWAYS finds a way to help me achieve all sorts of technical stuff which I thought I’m incapable of.
So lets get started.
The first thing to do is to clean the bottle and remove the label. That in itself usually presents a problem! I soak the bottles in warm water first. Some labels may come loose immediately, others not. For some hardy ones you need a little bit of Thinners or methylated spirits.
My dear husband made a temporary jig with one of my dry cutters which he fixed with G-clamps so that it couldn’t move. Then you rotate the bottle to make a straight scorch as deep as you can manage.
We have heated the scorch line with a Dremel tool and then immersed in ice water. The first cut is usually close to perfection.
Now comes the more tricky part, to cut perfect rings for whatever you are planning. We have cut, torched and immersed quite a few rings that broke before we discovered a trick nobody shared where I read… and I am going to share that with you, because I believe in sharing of knowledge.
When you heat up the scorch line – don’t do it on the outside! Direct your flame to the INSIDE of the line, rotate, heat, rotate and immerse. If it don’t break with the first try, DRY thoroughly, and repeat!
The bottles don’t have a uniform thickness, and that add to breakage. The more uneven the walls, the more breakage you are going to have. I have found that the walls of wine bottle are more uniform in thickness than beer bottles.
I have used my microwave kiln to melt a few rings to make a wind chime. Those of you who are using microwave kilns – it took quite a while to reach fusing temperature inside the kiln, a little bit more than with flat pendants. Open your kiln occasionally to check the progress of the process. And… the walls collapse 95% of the time to the inside of the ring 🙂
If you find a bottle with a thinner wall, make a broader cut.
Good luck with your cutting, I hope that I have been helpful.