Cava vase

I obtained a heavyweight Cava bottle, deep olive in colour with a corked neck and a punted bottom.This would have made a great hanging light, but because of the shape, I wanted to make another cut flower vase, as I had done earlier with a similar shaped wine bottle. The extra weight would make for a particularly sturdy vase. This would require only one clean cut, so not exactly taxing or imaginative, but I want to use the bottle to it’s best possible re-use.

Cava vaseI wanted the cut to be well up the curve of the neck to help emphasise the curving nature of the vase shape, hopefully leaving an opening of around 40-50mm diameter. I selected my point, using the G2 bottle cutter to see where I could get a clean clearance on the cutting wheel without fouling, and set up to get a clean score line. The glass was pretty flawless, with a reasonably clean seam, so scored well. I used my regular hot water method to run the score, and as the glass was thick, I kept the water temperature quite high around 80 degrees celsius. I gave the bottle at least five full revolutions to ensure the glass was really warmed up well, and I could feel the heat coming through to my grip at the bottom of the bottle. A quick revolution of the bottle under the cold tap ensured the line of break was fully complete and visible under reflection in the light. A second pour of hot water separated the neck with a pretty clean edge, sloping inwards as is the case when cutting on the curve.

The glass was up to 6mm thick, and I took almost an hour to very carefully finish the edge using the diamond blocks, as I wanted another perfect example. the opening size was around 50mm, so was a tricky fit for the pads, but care taken ensured a great end result, with the one edge pit eliminated, and the inward sloping edge retained. With the great colour, heavy weight, and good surfaces, this bottle became a great looking yet very functional vase.

 

Sanctuary lamp

Following on from some of the wooden base hurricane style projects, I’ve had in mind for a while the notion of making a pair of sanctuary style candle lamps, based loosely on the coloured cylinder sanctuary lamps you can often see in churches. A candle burning in a coloured cylinder has always seemed quite appealing in look, and an open topped cylinder should present no real complication in maintaining airflow to keep the flame burning well. First stop is to make the glass cylinders from coloured wine bottles.

cylinderI had four olive coloured wine bottles available, and had two pairs in terms of both colour tint and shape, which should allow for simple making of two matching coloured cylinders. Ten months into the hobby, I’m now pretty confident in cutting wine bottles and finishing the bottle edges to a good, clean standard , so two closely matching cylinders didn’t prove difficult.  Next stage is to make a base or holder for the cylinders.

I’ve corbelnever been a skilled woodworker, but a few projects into using the Dremel circle cutter attachment, I’m beginning to find my own best method to get a neat routed circle into timber, so wood is starting to look more and more a complimentary material for cut bottle projects. I’m even beginning to start to think about taking a local wood-turning course in the future, which could be complimentary to bottle cutting. A wooden base for the cylinder was the choice, though I’m not up to creating anything structured, so i looked around and found a number of pairs of corbels for sale on Ebay, as I thought a corbel could be promising as the wall mount. A pair with a flat top of around 95mm square were found and ordered, and that was near ideal size for the approximate 72mm diameter wine bottle cylinders.

corbel routingNext step was to router the circle into the flat top, after gauging the outer radius of the glass cylinder at around 37mm. Some comfort room for glass expansion and wood movement is required. I wanted the end finish to be as neat as possible and, as it was going to be cutting into the end grain, I was concerned about splintering and general untidiness. I set the first sweep round at 1.5mm, and only a third of the max revs of the Dremel. This gave a very neat circle, which was pleasing, and I tested the cylinder fit, which was ideal. I cleaned out the groove and continued the same gradual process having increased the depth of cut by another 1.5mm or so, and repeated this process four times to get a good depth of around 6mm minimum. This should give enough support to avoid any accidental falling of the cylinder from the mount. The groove was very neat, as can been seen in the photo, and a light sanding was performed to soften the edge down a little.

sanctuary lampLast job was to mount a candle, light it and add the cylinder into the groove, and test how the candles burns. Despite no chimney effect from a bottom air feed, the open top should be ample to allow the flame to be fed enough oxygen to thrive. So far, so good.

A second corbel was routed in the same way, with identical results. I think I’ll add an English Oak dye finish to the corbels, though I’ve no particular plan of where they will will end up. Quite a pleasing attempt, as I didn’t expect it to go quite as well as it did. Certainly the neatest bit of wood routing I’ve managed so far.

 

Etched glass

A long bank holiday weekend gives some much needed time to make a couple of things from the growing stockpile of bottles in the yard.

One unusual bottle I’d got was a tall etched glass bottle, about 50mm in circumference with quite thick glass. I tried to cut it high, to leave a very tall etched vase, but during the separating process, it cracked vertically in the same stressed way the blue glass bottle did. I halted progress, and re-cut it comfortably below the crack, but the same thing happened again…and again…and a fourth time, leaving nothing of the body left to work with! Just one of those types of bottles that just doen’t play ball.

etched and greenUnderterred, I salvaged the neck, and with some careful edging, got the base to a good enough standard to form a base. I did the old placing one bottle on top of the other trick, to visualise the nicest option, and decided a green cider bottle base would be the right size and look pretty good on the neck. This was a straight forward bottle to do, and I bonded the prepared base to the etched neck with the daylight activated UV glue. The mix of green and acid-etched glass looks quite good together, so that’s another combination to look out for to do future combinations.

As I had plenty of time, I cut a green mini-wine bottle I brought home from last night’s quiz , and bonded that to a J.P.Chenet min-wine bottle neck, which is a nice design I’ve made a number of already.