After finally blagging two empty wine bottles from a colleague and my dad, it was time for the first go. Pretty strange hobby for a teatotaller to adopt, but hey ho…there’s always the recycling bins!
Having soaked the bottles in very hot water for a while, the labels came off pretty easily, leaving a minimal amount of adhesive, which scraped off with a single flat-edge blade. A quick dry and polish up removed all tiny smears of glue residue. A clean bottle will help keep the cuting wheel at its best. The jig was set up to cut the bottle at the below shoulder location required, and the cutting wheel was adjusted to contact the bottle at 90 degrees to the bottle surface as per the instructions. The rotation of the bottle appeared to go well, and the sound of the scoring was very apparent and a useful audiable guide to the level of pressure I was applying. The cut looked good, if a little flaky (compared to the flat glass cuts I see at work which are immaculate as the cutting heads are top quality). I’d already decided to probably avoid the candle and ice cube method, as it looked quite slow and a bit of a mess. There’s usually no ice cubes in the freezer anyway, but I thought the cold tap would be as good. Using the candle seemed to result in a sooty mess on the bottle, obscuring the score, despite adjusting how close I went to the flame. It wasn’t transfering the heat very quickly, so I abandoned that idea and went onto just-off the boil water. This worked very well. I allowed a small controlled trickle to heat the score line area for a few seconds, then quenched it under the trickling cold tap. The run started to show, and could be controlled pretty easily, rotating it around and taking a little time not to over-heat using the hot water. Right near the end, towards a flakier bit, it ran off, which was disappointing. I was quietly confident of the heat control and running technique having watched carefully some of the better YouTube videos. I looked at the wheel, and saw a lot of glass dust, then the penny suddenly dropped…I’d forgotten to put any cutting oil on the wheel! This was despite having ordered a neat little squeezy bottle of it from Ebay in advance. A basic error that I should have known to avoid, coming from a glass factory enviroment. A quick blow out of the cutting wheel, a drop of cutting oil on it, and a second go at the process worked beautifully, with a nice clean cut and good run. I was quite tickled with that, so I decided to take another go, and cut another ring off the bottle bottom, about 50mm down. This too worked a treat. The bottle helped a bit, as the Hardy’s wine bottle glass was very uniform in thickness, and very smooth to roll.
Here’s my first successful cut bottle, prior to beginning the edge finishing. Not bad cuts for a complete novice.