Personal Challenge: Cutting Glass Bottles, December 7, 2013

20131207_223835The last few days have been extremely challenging but just when I was starting to fall into a deep depression, a box of happiness arrived with a smile (Amazon) and wound up taking my mind off of my troubles.

For months, I have been curious about cutting glass bottles so you could turn them into cups.  It first entered my mind when I saw a six-pack of Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale.  I thought if I could turn them into glasses, it would make a great gift for my college roommate and my brother.  There was a popular post circulating around Pinterest at the time, stating that you could cut a glass bottle with string and nail polish remover.  You just had to soak the string in nail polish remover, tie it tightly on the bottle where you want to cut and light it on fire.  You are supposed to turn the bottle so the flame evenly spreads around the bottle then you dunk it in a pot of ice-cold water.  Then voila, it magically and perfectly cuts the bottle, you sand the rim down and now you have a glass.

So I of course had to try this.  I tried it several times, using different techniques and failing each time.  So I took to the Internet for answers and found out that they sell kits that you can use to cut the bottles.  I found two on Amazon that sounded appealing and both offered videos to show exactly how they cut the glass.  One was called Generation Green Bottle Cutter.  This kit was cheaper in price and the woman in the video made it look so easy so I put it on my wishlist.

Then there was Ephrem’s Original Bottle Cutter.  This was higher in price but made in the USA (something that is important to me) and it looked like it was easier to use.  So I put the item in my cart and that is where it sat for months until I decided that this year I was going to make all Christmas gifts (my financial situation being the biggest factor for such a decision).

So I finally bought it (it was on sale) and it arrived today.  So while I was stuck in my apartment because of all the chaos that still gets me upset when I think about it, I decided I would play with my new toy to lift my spirits.  I skimmed the directions, pulled out all the pieces and dug out the bottles that I had planned on turning into glasses months ago.  Now the fun would begin.

I made the necessary adjustments so that the cutter would line up with the exact spot where I wanted my cut on the Monty Python bottle.  I pressed down while spinning the bottle, per the directions, so I would get the scoring mark.  (Later on I would learn you need to apply more pressure).  Then I took out the candle provided, lit it, and spun the bottle over the candle, heating the scored area.  Next step, I took the bottle away from the candle and ran an ice-cube along the score mark.  I got all giddy when I heard the little cracks.  But it wasn’t enough to split the bottle so I had to repeat the previous steps, candle then ice, candle then ice.  I had to do it several time before I heard the louder clicking noises and the bottle suddenly became two pieces.

Even though there was a big divot in the lower part of the bottle, I was beyond proud of myself.  I was so proud that I immediately called my parents so they too could revel in their 35-year-old daughter’s ability to cut a beer bottle in half.

Once the celebrations concluded, I decided to cut another bottle.  But this time, there was still a divot, the cut wasn’t coming out evenly and there were cracks in the bottle.  So this is when I went back and decided to really read the directions to see what I was doing wrong (I always have to do things the hard way first).  I discovered I wasn’t putting enough pressure on the bottle when I was scoring it and according to the directions, you are supposed to complete 3-4 revolutions with the bottle over the candle before you apply the ice.

So I tried it again, this time following the directions exactly.  This time it was a perfect cut.  So I did it again.  Perfect cut.  I kept going until I had cut up every beer or pop bottle in my house.  I was having so much fun and I would highly recommend this activity to others who find enjoyment in crafting.  Of course, I am nowhere near done with my glass cutting endeavour.  I still have to try a wine bottle and figure out the sanding/polish steps.  And of course I have to figure out what I want to do with all of these cut up bottles.  They could be made into cups, candle holders, lamps…oh, the possibilities.  I get excited just thinking about all the things that I am going to create thanks to my new, wonderful toy.

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