Pendant light shade

I’ve been meaning to try a bottle as a pendant light shade for a while, just to try and suss out how the fittings sit without any extra parts, but never got round to it. whisky pendant lightA suitable whisky bottle was donated, with a wider neck neck hole than a wine bottle, so I figured it would just snugly hold the light fitting nicely, which  was the case in the end. I cut the bottle bottom off using the Ephrem’s bottle cutter, leaving an immaculate cut edge, and finished it to a very smooth edge using the diamond pads. I fitted the bottle onto the pendant, and it gripped the light fitting firmly without requiring any further modification. Quite a simple and unimaginative one really, but I’ll maybe play around with it to improve the look somehow, maybe by decorating the bottle with coloured nuggets. It’s pictured here with an energy saving bulb, but might look better with a regular bulb.

Tomato ketchup bottle

A colleague fetched in a Heinz 57 tomato sauce bottle to see if it was any good to try, so have given it a go. The bottom of the bottle is quite promising, with octagon faceting, with radius tops at the neckline. Above that the neck returns to a round shape, has four of the famous ’57’ logo numbers  and tapers away forming the neck. Heinz Ketchup 

The shape dictates using a vertical aligned cutter, in this case I used the G2. The neck opening is larger than most wine bottles, and I wondered if would cause an issue of control when the cutter was spun in the opening, but it fitted fine. The only viable cutting line to leave a nice design was just above the ’57’ numbers. The cutting head was at an angle, so I had to keep a firm grip on the support arm and be careful to ensure the line didn’t drift up or down as it sometimes can as you move round on the more awkward shapes. The cut was clean enough, and these ketchup bottles are slightly thicker than most beer bottles, so it broke relatively cleanly, and presented no difficulty to careful arrissing of the edges. '57' Ketchup bottle 

The end result isn’t a bad looking pot at all, with a bit more about it than some bottle chops. For use it could be a little mini-vase say for a kitchen window cill, but in this first instance, I’ve ordered some red wax dye, and will pour a ketchup coloured candle into it. I’ll try to add a photo of it in the near future if successful.

Wooden bases part 1

Having got to grips with chopping the bottoms off bottles cleanly, and getting a very satisfactory final finish, it was time to explore a few options for a bottomless bottle, other than the hanging lights that I’ve done a few of already. Looking around for a few ideas, the combination of coloured glass bottles and wood looks good together, and there’s some good looking designs with hurricane style candle lamps using flat bases. Probably the finest ones I’ve seen have been bases on old barrel sections, but there’s also a number of tea-light holders based on driftwood and logs sections.

Floorboard section

I placed the prepared bottle centrally on the floorboard, and drew round it’s outer circumference for the outline. The inside outline can be gauged by the bottle thickness, which in this case averaged 4-5mm. At this stage, if you place your bottle over a lit candle to gauge how it will look, you will notice that the flame will soon start to struggle and dies.Routered baseYou soon work out that a channel or some other method for drawing air into the bottle is required, creating a chimney ‘drawing’ effect. You could drill a hole in the glass as low as possible, but it’s best not to weaken it too much as it’s likely to be handled a quite a lot.  You could have the base on some feet, and let it draw through some holes in the base if you prefer a less visible solution. In this case, I thought I’d start with a thin channel of about 2-3mm, and deepen it if required to allow more air to drag through. If a tea-light is the intended use, you could also add a central circle outline of around 37-38mm, which would help stop it moving off centre.

Floorboard light

I routed the outlines out using a Dremel rotary tool, testing the depth and width of the circles with the bottle till it was a good enough fit. Then I adjusted the router height, and increased the cut depth of the two airflow channels. Once happy enough with the overall bottle fit and airflow performance, the top and all edges were sanded and rounded down, and the wood was given a couple of coats of oak wood dye. I avoided the notion of any varnish or was, as its final use might well be in a warm fireplace, or it may be affected by the heat under the bottle itself, which does get surprisingly warm even with a tea-light. Overall, the finished look is not too bad for a ‘rough and ready’ same day experiment. I retained the tongue and groove parts of the floorboard, just to show its re-used nature. A very cheap and straightforward little experiment using leftover bits and bobs, with only a tea-light as a new expense.

 [skip to wooden bases part 2 here]