Kinkajou cutter

After a morning or sorting out a whole load of bottles that I was just not getting towards doing, I had a bit of a browse on the net, and came across an article and link to a prototype cutter called the Kinkajou bottle cutter :

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lehoux/the-kinkajou-a-bottle-cutter-with-a-new-twist

Interesting to see a new design being put up for backing to hopefully lead to production. It looks promising, though I’m left with a couple of points of wonder over the design. The first is just how accurate and level you can keep any twisting method, so that the score meets up perfectly. This will depend on how the device is designed. I wonder how you make sure it keeps a good line around the circumference of the bottle, without maybe slipping up or down. It could be clamped of course, but that’s a bit more than the toolless kitchen design principle. Though not clearly shown in full use, the results do show fairly clean and level cuts, so it’s certainly more hopeful than some I’ve tried. The second nagging doubt I wonder is how useful the adjustment feature to solve problem of non-symetrical and uneven bottles is going to be. Skipping can be a problem with any device , and in use you’ve certainly got both hands busy, by the nature of it’s handheld use, to try and keep contstant and even pressure on the wheel contact. It will be curious to see how this one evolves. I’ll be keeping an eye on progress, have made a pledge, and wish the inventor well with his project. hopefully it’s one which will come to fruition, and will be tested in the future. Good luck Patrick! The more varied choice and styles on the market the better.

http://thekinkajou.com/

Update (3/7/12):  In an email I’ve received since making a pledge, I’ve had an interesting update to the design which certainly answers the contact doubt I had above. It says the cutter will be spring loaded, which is something I had wondered that could work it better, as it does with the higher end Toyo and Silberschnitt hand held cutters we use at work. This should be great news to help on bumps, seams and irregularities in the bottles. The other is thumb-turn screws, which is a sensible idea to make it more tool-less.

Update (7/7/12): An email has arrived stating that the project has made it to the fully funded level just before the deadline, so will now go ahead. Great news, and a good example of social funding that gains momentum. Looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Tea-light mounts

Just a short post showing a couple of tea-light bottle parts I’ve started from street salvaged bottles. The tea-light holder is to the right is the bottom of a Becks green beer bottle. Nothing too remarkable or different to various tea light holders you can buy cheaply from the shops, but just made for the sake of making something from a discarded bottle that was scuffed and tatty. I’m tempted to try and mix this in to a copper-foil project somehow – maybe a floating lilypad look or something. I need to find more time to practise that craft also.

Tealight partsFrom a salvaged mini-wine bottle I picked up from the waste ground on a demolished factory , I top and tailed the green bottle to try and make a cylinder like I did with the full size wine bottles. It cut well, is thick enough not to cause any weakness worries, and fits over a tea-light snugly. I’m intending routing a circular groove into a nice piece of wood when I find one, and making a miniature hurricane of some description , be it free-standing or forming a  table centre. No doubt I’ll post a photo when I get something done. These are just clearing some of the sitting stockpile of bottles I’ve built up. It’s attracting a snail or two in the yard!

Update:   today I found the little log section, and routered a circular channel out of it at a comfortable size for the cylinder.  Log cylinder tealightThe bottle cylinder was slightly off-round, and fairly thin at the two seam points, so I made this the bottom to put the best edge to the top. The 4mm Dremel router bit was more than wide enough to give a holding circle groove that coped with the slightly off-circle shape. The groove was dyed with an english oak colour, and left to dry. The inner circle is a perfect size for a tea-light, and the open top let’s it burn freely without any need for any holes to create an air draw.

Eco-friendly bottle

I’ve finally come across one of the eco-friendly, lightweight wine bottles, so was interested to see how well it cuts in comparison to regular wine bottles.

First impression was that it was hardly detectable as being much lighter, but I’m sure that’s just a trick of the mind, and that the true difference in weight as a percentage is actually quite significant. It certainly didn’t feel overly flimsy, that’s for sure. I soaked the labels and removed them, then cut it low down on the Ephrem’s bottle cutter with the help of my home made extension jig. The bottle cut and separated very cleanly using my usual hot water method.

At this point, I could see the major difference and obvious weight saving is in the thickness of the bottle body itself, as you can see in the comparison photo to the left. The wall thickness in parts was under 2mm, similar to many beer bottles. The base was punted, and had no significant loss of thickness compared to many common wine bottles. The edge smoothing process obviously required a lighter touch, but was fully successful. Many brands may well switch to more eco-friendly packaging over the next few years, so it’s been useful to try one out to see how they stand up to cutting.