Give your discarded glass new purpose!
I have begun to notice an increasing trend in bottle upcycling since last year.  With certainty, there are some increasingly-clever ways to use bottles for things that I've never even thought of before.  I remember when I first found a passion for this back in April(ish) of 2010 because of a YouTube clip from Green Power Science showing how easy and simple it was to cut glass bottles using nothing but a little scratch and a hot trickle of water.  I was amazed at that, but ever since then I've come to refine the process with little tips and tricks I've discovered on my own.  Then I had great success at a pair of local craft shows, and I really thought this was something amazing that I was doing... but I've sinced refined my views on this, too.  It's actually something amazing that YOU are doing.  Let me explain.

First, the fact that you are reading this means you're interested in the idea of upcycled glass bottles.  It intrigues you, or you wouldn't be here.  (Am I right?)  And the fact that you are interested, or you buy one of my bottles, or you're simply here to learn how I do it or what can be done with discarded glass, etc... that makes you an amazing person.  You're after something unique.  You have great taste in innovation.  You want to do something great for the environment by saving glass from landfills and reducing wastes, etc.  Or you just want to share with me your ideas and concepts because of similar passions we share.

That, in and of itself, sets you apart from many people out there... and in my eyes, it makes you amazing.  :)

And now you are writing in.  (You, the collective masses viewing the site.)  You're telling me about how you do it, or you're asking me how I do it.  Or you're simply sharing some of your creations with me for enlightenment.  I'm blown away by that!

One of you (Ron) recently sent me a YouTube link illustrating how an old record player "turntable" can be used to cut (and fire polish!) the glass bottles.  Granted, I don't do fire polishing because I work with so many paper labels... but I might just give his idea a try.  Thanks for the video, Ron!  In fact, I wanted to take this a step further and reduce my energy footprint even more.  I've been thinking lately about the turntable concept... and what else spins like that... for long periods of time... and without any power... and then it dawned on me: A potter's wheel!  In pottery, the kickwheel is used to throw clay pots, but it could just as easily be used for spinning and fire-cutting a bottle!  Even better, now imagine how energy-neutral it would be to use that concept for grinding glass.  Instead of using small motorized diamond drums, it could be diamond drums attached to heavy kick wheels to keep the momentum going strong enough through the finishing stages of each bottle.  One day, maybe next year, I want to build me one of these.  And when I do, I'll share my plans with all of you so you can do it too.

Speaking of, here's another awesome use for bottles that was shared with me recently from a great woman named Darlene.  Her family has an Italian Restaurant, and with so many bottles, she decided to make a garden wall out of them.  I've seen bottle walls before, but not quite like this!  Darlene, you too are amazing for your innovation, and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.  :D

And to everyone else out there, don't stop sending me your amazing thoughts and ideas!  I really enjoy it!


11/23/2011 9:35pm

I would like to buy a glass cutter that will cut round as well as square bottles. Like the bottles that olive oil come in. Do you have any suggestions? Most bottle cutters that I have seen only cut round bottles.

Castaway Bottles
11/23/2011 9:44pm

Alas, GCbug... there isn't a better square bottle cutter than a tile saw with a finely-coated diamond blade meant for glass cutting. For a cheap tile saw, you're out about $40... but for the blade (and the blade makes all the difference here), you'll be out about $90 to $120 extra. I've tried flame-cutting square bottles before, and it was a wreck of an experiment. Wound up purchasing a good 10" tile saw (a bit more pricey) for the harder bottles so we could be more creative. That's the best advice I can give!

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