Have an interest in turning some of those empties into something equally as cool, perhaps you should invest in The Kinkajou bottle cutter. Named after the small South American mammal with big teeth the Kinkajou ($50 and up) is a bottle cutter that’s designed to be easy to use and will allow you to make clean cuts in wine or beer bottles.
The process is pretty straightforward:
- Scoring: While the Kinkajou is called a bottle cutter it does not actually cut the bottle. The tool is meant to create a score line on the bottle at the location you wish to cut the bottle. You simply need to put the Kinkajou around the bottle, tighten it to create a snug fit and align the cutting wheel to the location you want to score the bottle. Once it is snug and the cutting wheel is at the proper location, start slowly turning the bottle. You only want to go around once.
- Separation: There are many videos on the internet showing different methods to separate the two sections of the bottle but after trying them all, the method that produces the most consistent results is simply to use hot water (doing this over a kitchen sink is recommended). Boil some water and pour it over the score line. After a few seconds, use a faucet to pour cold water over the same score line. This cycle of hot and cold will cause the bottle to crack along the score line. The bottle should separate after one or 2 cycles of hot and cold, thicker glass may take additional cycles.
- Finishing: Now that you have separated the two halves you will be left with a sharp edge. To remove this edge, you simply have to sand it down with a piece of sand paper. The sand paper needs to be made of silicon carbide or aluminum oxide (I will include the proper sandpaper with every Kinkajou I ship). Using water to keep the sandpaper wet will help keep the dust to a minimum. There are 3 sections to sand: the outside edge, the inside edge and the flat surface. Using an 80 grit sandpaper to start, will quickly remove the sharp edge but will leave the glass scratched and frosted. If you want to bring this edge back to a smooth clear like finish you will need to use multiple sheets of sandpaper with a different grit. These are the grit levels I would recommend. 80, 120,180,220. Once you’ve sanded the glass with a 220 it should be very smooth, if you want to make even smoother you will need to use glass polishing compounds (found at your local hardware store).