Technical Question, Bottle Cutting

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Flo S. posed this question:

Hi Jodi,

Saw your show on HGTV – great looking pieces. I love recycling but I am not into glass- EXCEPT I work with 4H and Scouts as well as some private schools. I just came into a windfall of colored bottles, mostly wine/alcohol I guess, after a friends Mother passed over. I want to cut the bottle into rings – then on my demo for the children on the Kiln I want to fire them – to smooth the edges – and they can then make into wind chimes. I am finding it hard to cut the bottles with the little kits, where you put in a cradle and run a cutter around the bottle, heat and drop in cold water etc etc. Any easier way to do this. I will never get enough done this way. Thanks, Flo

Hi Flo, I bought one of those little kits too. The cutter is not very good. I still use the cradle, but use my own glass cutter, which is much higher quality. I score the bottle, then use a propane torch to heat it and drop it in ice water. It takes a good bit of practice, and I’m not sure you want to show the kids the torch part. I can cut the tops and bottoms off of bottles at about 45/hr. The bad new is, I’ve never been able to make rings. I know the little book that comes with the cutter shows them, but I’ve just never been able to consistently do it.

The bottoms of the bottles melt nice and flat, in fact, I make sun catchers out of them. The downside to that is they have to be drilled and wired together. I’ve had requests from local schools about projects with recycled glass, I’m still testing some of my ideas, I’ll keep you posted.

If you want to go ahead with the bottle cutting, you can get a professional grade cutter at any stained glass supply house, I use a Toyo. I think they run about $20. It will last you forever, I’ve been using mine for 7 years.

Good luck,

Jodi






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