I read with interest an email from Bottle Cutting inc, makers of the Kinkajou, that they will be introducing their own diamond pads to sell for finishing cut bottles, and they will be called Saber Tooth Diamond Sanding Pad Kit. This can be pre-ordered on their website here.
Using diamond pads is something I’ve advocated since day one, having used them in the flat glass industry for arrissing glass edges when required, and posted about my techniques several years ago in the blog post ‘Edge finishing’. It never seemed remotely realistic to use sandpaper, as so many have advocated over the decades for finishing cut bottles. It just doesn’t cut the mustard. Diamond pads were for me the only viable option for good results, short of buying a lap wheel. Bottle Cutting Inc have put curved edges on their kit of two cutters, which I’m sure will be beneficial to preparing the inside edges of bottles. I’ve never found the square pads much of a problem to be honest, having only ever used the softest bodied ones, which do flex and curve nicely with your fingers anyway. I don’t see the curves being any disadvantage though. What doe surprise me a little is the choice of a 60 grit pad, combined with a 400 grit one. Personally, I think a 60 grit is a bit to savage for bottles, particularly more fragile beer bottles. I found the spacing of the diamond circles too wide for the surface edge you are trying to abrade, and it made it a bit too prone to adding chips rather than making them disappear. My preferred method is a softer start. I usually start off, gently as she goes, with a 120 or 200 grit block, before moving onto a 400 and then a quick 600 buff over. It’s a gentle but effective way of abrading the surface down to a smooth result, though it can take longer. It’s tough on the wrists at times, but my results are good. Unless I’m missing something in differences between UK and Canada/USA grit numbers, the difference between a 60 to a 400 might be quite a lot. A three pack range would have been better in my opinion from years of use. They seem a little expensive in comparison to my UK ones, which are under a tenner a piece for good quality ones. At that price, with shipping, I can get a triple set of premium 3M ones, or a full range five set of my preferred electroflex ones in the UK. I like what Bottle Cutting Inc have achieved, and have bought a number of their products, but I’ll probably sit this one out and watch how they go with curiosity. I’m all for consigning the sandpaper to the historical bin, along with candles, ice and acetone soaked strings.