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Build an Adjustable Bottle Cutter for 30-Second Clean Cuts

Craft & Design
Build an Adjustable Bottle Cutter for 30-Second Clean Cuts



One of the most popular videos we’ve ever shared on Make: (see below) is of Dan Rojas demonstrating how to cut a wine/beer bottle very cleanly using only a light score line and hot and cold water to stress the score and separate the glass. In that video, he uses a conventional glass cutting jig, which will cost you from $20-45. In the video, Dan talks about building a cutting jig in a future video, but as far as we know, that video never happened. There are a number of tutorials for building such jigs online. I like this simple adjustable one that I found on Instructables that uses only a few pieces of wood, some bolts, and the head of a glass-cutting tool that you can pick up for a few bucks.

I bought some beautiful recycled drinking glasses for a family member last Christmas. I was shocked at how expensive they were. With this rig and Dan’s technique, you can make lots of cool glasses for next to nothing.

YouTube player

9 thoughts on “Build an Adjustable Bottle Cutter for 30-Second Clean Cuts

  1. Chris Morgan says:

    How would one cut very thick glass such as a Johnnie Walker scotch bottle?

    1. Gareth Branwyn says:

      Chris, I think this technique should work on most wine, beer, soda, and whiskey bottles. You may just have to do multiple heating/cooling rounds. If you end up experimenting, let us know.

  2. student099 says:

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  3. catherine1848 says:

    what is the best grit sandpaper to use for a smooth “drinkable” finish?

  4. Barb says:

    I really love my G2 Bottle cuttter, comes ready to use, and cost me less than $25 from eBay – I don’t have a router to make such an item as this shows, and would spend way more than I did on the G2. It paid for itself in my first 2 wind chimes I sold ~

  5. Phil Spitler says:

    I have cuts that look that good but still have trouble getting a good edge.

    Would love to hear some finishing techniques.

  6. johnny says:

    Nice woodwork! I bought a traditional cutter on Amazon and they have quite a lot for sale: but I really don’t know the difference in quality. Anyway I still can’t make good cuts. Don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Maybe I’ve to build one myself… but I can’t make it as nice looking as yours I’m afraid :-)

  7. Judy White says:

    I cannot find the instructions on how to make the bottle cutter stand. I have been cutting for over a year. With the cutter I score then dip in boiling water and then dip in ice water. Works good. Still have my share of ragged cuts.

    1. Andy says:

      so, you use some wet and dry on the edge?

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn
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