Cutting Old Glass Bottles


I went out ATVing a few years ago, and found an old ranch site that dated to the 1880's. I found a bunch of broken whiskey bottles made out of brown glass. About a quart size. The necks and shoulders were good, and I took six of them to make a coatrack/hatrack out of. I figured out of six, three might survive fabrication.
I thought I would take my diamond tipped masonry blade and water lubricated tile cutter and slice them at a slight angle at the base of the neck. Then mount them to a piece of barnwood at an angle on some dowels, and fill it all in with epoxy.
I haven't tried cutting any of these yet. Do you think if I take it really slow with slight pressure that I can cut these? I would make a mold with some plaster of paris and saran wrap to cradle the necks while on the moveable table of the saw.
Anyone ever done anything like this? The glass isn't that thin, but it isn't that thick, either. I'd say 3/16" to 1/4" tops in that area of the bottle.
These are blown in two piece mold applied lip bottles if any of you are collectors. Plain brown whisky bottles. I occasionally come on sites like this, and if it works, I will pick up more. The blue ABGMCO, ABGM, and ABGCO would look nice, too. (Old Budweiser bottles)
Steve
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Steve B writes:

I've cut bottles on my MK-101 wet tile saw. Works great. You get a sharp corner, which then I chamfer lightly with the edge of the blade. Gotta be careful with the glass grit in the wash water, as it is sharp. The cut edges are rough, and unless you have a high-temperature annealing oven, you can't just smooth them with a pencil torch since they will chip from unannealed stresses. Polishing the edge might work better, but I haven't tried that.
I've used this to make souvenir beverage glasses out of exotic soda bottles found overseas, Betta fishbowls out of old wine bottles, bottleneck slides for guitar playing, that sort of thing.
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On Fri, 04 May 2007 00:53:18 -0500, Richard J Kinch

This is where you need to watch those women who do glass sculpture at the fair. They use propane torches with the flame spreader to even out the heat. Once you get a feel for it you can put a rolled edge on the glass. Just watch your heat. Practice on a bottle you have a bunch of.
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Are you speculating? You've succeeded on cut glass bottles?
I suspect the glass sculpture stuff is using a low-temp, low-expansion glass that doesn't need annealing, like chemists use for tubing so they can cut and bend it in the lab. Very different stuff from what ordinary bottles are made from, which is cheap but requires annealing.
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you're speaking of pyrex which doesn't need a whole lot of annealing.
actually, most sculpture and beadwork is borosilicate, which does if you want the pieces to last.
regards, charlie http://glassartists.org/chaniarts
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On Fri, 04 May 2007 17:08:05 -0500, Richard J Kinch

Yes I am speculating but I will try it to see. I agree if you whack these with pinpoint heat they will chip but I am talking about bringing up a large area slowly.
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No, the problem is not the heating, but the cooling.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annealing_%28glass%29
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On Fri, 04 May 2007 17:08:05 -0500, Richard J Kinch

BTW how old are these bottles?
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wrote:

about 120 years old. So, all bets are off.
I have a large collection of bottles, my oldest documented to 1863. In those days, manufacture was a science only because not everyone knew how to do it. By today's standards, it is quite crude. So, from lot to lot, and even bottle to bottle, there is no consistency.
I have been interested on how these will behave, and cutting them will be an experience with old glass. I don't know if they will do better because of their old manufacturing techniques, or be brittle and breakable because of their inconsistent makeup.
I'll keep you posted.
Steve
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Unless you're just dead set on cutting some old glass, why not cut a hole in the wood and preserve the bottle? (Assuming the wood is thick enough for the bottle to penetrate it adequately.)
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Steve B wrote:

I seem to recall someone using string and a little gasoline to do the cut.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

http://www.wikihow.com/Cut-a-Glass-Bottle
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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I appreciate this, but I want to cut them on an angle so that when I mount them, they will be pointing a little uphill so that coats and hats would hang on them.
Steve
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It might be better to fill the bottle with epoxy and your dowel first. It should help releave some of the stress and heat.

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Take them to the glass shop and pay them $15-$20 to save yourself the aggravation.
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