What to do with empty beer bottles?

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What to do with empty beer bottles?  You guys might be wondering why I have a strange title for a blog post.  First off, let me tell you first that I love drinking beer.  Why?

Drinking beer is a great way to unwind >> It’s no secret that alcohol is an amazing tool to help you relax. At the end of a stressful day, there’s nothing quite so satisfying as an ice cold beer.

Drinking beer pairs well with my hobbies >> I like to watch movies and read books.  So I usually drink beer while doing them.  Nothing beats that experience.

I drink beer because I am an adult >> Ever since I reached 18, I started drinking beer legally.  No need to ask permission from my parents.

So let’s go back to my title.  Since I drink a lot of beer, I have amassed quite a collection of empty beer bottles at home and have started to think what I should be doing with them.  Do I return them to 7-11 and get my deposit back?  Or could I recycle them into something useful?  Everybody knows that google is your friend and off I use my favorite search engine to get ideas on things to do with empty beer bottles.  Guess what is the most prominent search result?  Turn them into drinking glasses!  And why not?  We are running out of drinking glasses anyway at home since my dishwasher always breaks them.  By the way, what I mean by dishwasher is not that machine you are thinking about.  My kids are my dishwashers and I would always hear something breaking whenever they do their chores after meals.

And this my friends, is the result:


Bottle To Glass Animation


How did I do this?

I have 2 glass bottle cutters, the AGPtek Glass Bottle Cutter and the Kinkajou Bottle Cutter.  For this project, I decided to use the AGPtek Glass Bottle Cutter because it is easier to use (less mistakes).  I need more practice with the Kinkajou Bottle Cutter.  This will be the subject of a future post.

The AGPtek Black Glass Bottle Cutter Machine Cutting Tool For Wine Bottles:


What Comes In The Package


Top View


Here is a review I found on YouTube:

The AGPtek Bottle Cutter comes in a box which contains the tool itself, an allen key for making adjustments and an instruction manual.  If you took notice of the video, it does not actually cut the bottle but creates a score line on the bottle itself.

So let us cut some bottles!

STEP#1:  Adjust the bottle cutter

Determine where you want to cut the bottle by loosening the backstop screw and moving it forward for a shorter cut or backward for a longer cut.  If the bottle is of a large diameter, the distance between the rollers may be increased.

STEP#2:  Score the bottle

Apply a slight pressure on the bottle with your hands while rotating it towards you.  To ensure an accurate cut, keep the bottle firmly against the backstop.  A slight crunching sound will mean the completion of the scoring.

STEP#3:  Heat and cool the cutting line

Dip the bottle in hot water until it feels hot to the touch.  Then dunk the bottle into cold water.  Repeat until the bottle separates.

STEP#4:  Smooth the cutting line and the sharp edges

I used 5 grades of sandpaper to smooth the cut line.  These are #80, #120, #180, #220, #600.  Place the sandpaper on a flat hard surface (I used a piece of plywood).  Dip the edge of the cut bottle in water and then place on top of the sandpaper.  Start to polish in a circular motion.  After a short time, the edge of the glass will become flat.  Start with the #80 and progress all the way up to #600.  I have to admit this is the most difficult part of the process.  I had to take too many breaks before I completed converting the 6 bottles into drinking glasses.

For the sharp edges, I used #60 sandpaper.





6 Glasses


Below is a short video demonstrating steps 1 to 2:

Here is a video demonstrating step 3:


Sanding the sharp edges:

Why 5 grit levels:


Although working with glass bottles seems to be easy, I have to admit that I had my fair share of fails as can be seen below:

fail-4 fail-3 fail-1 fail-5 fail-2


Some notes on safety:

It is a good idea to wear safety glasses when working with glass.  Since I wear eyeglasses, I use an over eyeglass safety glass like this:


Over Eye Glass Safety Glasses

But this type will do if you have normal eyesight:


Safety Glasses

Hand protection is also necessary.  I used this type of gloves during the cutting and sanding processes:


Mechanix Gloves

During the heating-cooling process, kitchen gloves like this will do:


Kitchen Gloves


Would you try cutting bottles too?  Please let me know by leaving a comment below.  Thanks.


(Editor’s Notes:  The nice pictures and animation was courtesy of my second daughter, May.  The model (hands) is my eldest daughter, Kim.  The crappy photos were by me, of course!)




One thought on “What to do with empty beer bottles?

  1. Nope… not for me. Anyrhing that has to do with cutting, slicing, knives, sharp implements, sharp edges, broken glass… i keep my distance.

    I have a fear of getting cuts and cuts in general.

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