I picked up a bottle cutting jig from Bottle Cutting, Inc. to finally get on the road making hurricane wine bottle lamps. I started out with a couple of clear bottles since they will be the best for letting the light out. I may decide to put a frosted pattern on them later. This is a tutorial/review of the Kinkajou Bottle Cutting Jig.
What’s in the box?
I’m glad you asked. I opted for the deluxe kit since it has a huge stock of the sandpaper necessary to make some smooth bottles.
- 1 Kinkajou bottle cutter
- 2 silicone separation rings (fits all bottle sizes)
- 1 glass finishing tool
- 3 pieces of silicon carbide sandpaper (80 grit)
1 finishing kit:
- 6 Pieces of Silicon Carbide Sandpaper (80 grit)
- 6 Pieces of Silicon Carbide Sandpaper (120 grit)
- 6 Pieces of Silicon Carbide Sandpaper (180 grit)
- 6 Pieces of Silicon Carbide Sandpaper (220 grit)
- 6 Pieces of Silicon Carbide Sandpaper (600 grit)
The jig also came with some cool stickers, mostly of their site and products, but they go well on the lid of the work cart, which is quickly becoming filled with neat stickers.
Ok, enough babbling, let’s get to it!
Step 1 – Lock jig onto bottle
This part isn’t very tricky, just takes some tweaking here and there to get the jig to rotate without binding, once that’s done, it’s on to the cutting!
Step 2 – Spin the bottle! <phrasing>
Once around the bottle Jeeves! Engage the cutter, and gently turn the bottle around until you’re back at the beginning. A little “click” will tell you <pun>“you’ve made the cut” </pun> You can see that the jig makes a very clean-cut, and it didn’t take much skill to keep the jig from slipping around on the bottle, I was worried I had placed it at an angle, but it sits straight on the bench.
Step 3 – Warm it up, cool it down.
So now that I have the bottle scored, I need to cut the glass all the way through. The easiest way to do this is to cycle the bottle between cold and boiling hot water, this will cause the glass to crack, and if all goes well, it will do it along the scoreline. To make things easier, the kit has two adjustable straps that go above, and below the scoreline. This helps to channel the water around the bottle and keep the majority of the boiling water away from your hands.
What I ended up with were a wine bottle with no bottom and a clean-cut line. The water process took a few rounds, but in about a minute, the bottom of the bottle simply fell off.
My second attempt didn’t go as planned, which is bound to happen, glass is a fickle thing. The third time was a charm, however, and now I have a pair to start with.
Step 4 – Smooth it out
The last step is pretty simple, but one that should always be done no matter what the application. I used a piece of 80 grit sandpaper and water to smooth the sharp edge of the bottle. I did this to the inside and out, and it turned out good enough that I could have used it for drinking. The higher grit sandpaper is for buffing the edge so there’s no chance of getting cut, but since this is going to be used for lamps, I only smoothed it enough to create a soft edge, don’t want my customers getting hurt right?
I have tried cutting bottles in the past, it took a lot more time, and I wasted more than I saved. This system was well worth the price since I’m planning on making a lot of these lamps.
This system will also cut beer bottles, and pretty much any bottle with a smooth edge. I don’t drink beer much at all anymore, but having some semi-disposable glasses around for get-togethers would be a neat thing.
This is the first post in a series I will be doing in making the wine bottle hurricane lamps. Keep checking back for more on this project. Thank you for reading!