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DIY Steps for Cutting a Glass Bottle

Silke and I have been house sitting in Toledo, Belize for a little over a month already!

One of the things that I wanted to bring with (next to the bug spray and sun screen), was the Kinkajou bottle cutter. With all my ‘extra time’ that I was now going to have, this seemed like the most opportune time to really get to try out the cutter.

The very first glass bottle that I found on the shore turned out to be my first attempt with the bottle cutter while here in Belize. It went down perfectly.

Cut Rum Bottle, Belize Rum

My first cut bottle in Belize

Here are some steps You can take to help guarantee a successfully cut Bottle with the Kinkajou:

  1. You want to make sure that when you are tightening the bolts down to secure the clamps around the bottle that the spaces on both sides are even.
  2. Don’t over tighten the clamps. You want to be able to allow the bottle to rotate freely while you’re making the score line.
  3. Once you’ve made an entire rotation, you should hear a very distinct popping sound. Stop rotating the bottle and remove the Kinkajou device. You are now ready for the separation process.
  4. Prepare boiling hot water. You will alternate between hot (first) and cool water (second). Using the cold water from the tap is adequate for this step.
  5. Pour the boiling water directly over your score line. Rotate the bottle during this process so that you cover the whole thing.
  6. Move the bottle over to the running tap water and rotate it once again, this time under the faucet. You might want to have a rag in the bottom of your sink during this process so when the bottle does separate it will have a soft place to land.
  7. Repeat these last two steps until you have successfully separated the bottle.
  8. You are now ready to sand the edges of the glass where the separation took place. Using a heavy grit sand paper with a little water on it will allow you to remove the sharp edges. You can follow up with a lighter sand paper grit for a nice smooth finish.

For a visual demonstration of the Kinkajou bottle cutter watch my video:
Kinkajou Glass Bottle Cutter Tool – How to Cut a Bottle

Belikin Beer - The Beer of Belize

Belikin Beer – The Beer of Belize

I found that the local Belikin* Beer bottles would be a little bit of a challenge.

* The Belize Brewing Company was established in 1969. Located in Belize City, Belize they produce Lighthouse Lager, Belikin, Belikin Premium, Belikin Stout (my personal favorite), and Guiness Stout.

The first problem that I encountered was during the scoring process. The score line would not connect after a full rotation. After scoring four of the same type of bottles I finally got one that was close but not perfect. The Rum bottle I found on the beach had been so easy that it just didn’t make sense that I would be having problems now. I even went the extra step of measuring the distance on the clamps so that I knew they would be symmetrical before I began the scoring process.

Beer Bottle Cutting in Belize

Bottle Separation Process

Belikin Bottle Cutting in Belize

Successfully Separated Bottle

The separation process took longer. During the first bottle separating process, I actually ran out of hot water! After boiling a second kettle it finally gave way. After the separation, the first thing I noticed was how thick these glass bottles were. The hand held glass cutter that uses the teeth to remove any excess jags of glass wasn’t even big enough to fit on it.

I attributed all of this headache to the thickness of these particular glass bottles. I did get a few to work with minor flaws but even those took awhile to sand down. I’m bringing the best one that I have home with us as a souvenir.

Cut Belikin Beer Bottle

Look at how thick the glass is.

I’m glad I brought the Kinkajou with for our trip to Belize. I got to play around with the device and the next house sitters will be all decked out with handmade votive candle holders and rum glasses.

Tips for Cutting Beer Bottles

My Perfectly Cut Beer Bottle in Belize!


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4 Responses to DIY Steps for Cutting a Glass Bottle

  • I thank you for the visual demonstration of the kinkajou. I have the kinkajou and still not able to complete a cut, so I will watch your video again. Always love all your information,again thank you

    • Carol,

      There is a bit of a learning curve to this device. That distinct popping sound is always welcome once you’ve made the full rotation with the scoring device. The pop doesn’t always happen and you still might get a clean break anyway.
      All you need is a small taste of success and you’ll be rewarded.

      Best of luck,

      Nick

  • Have you found any tricks for separating thick glass? I’m very proficient with the kinkajou now, but even with the perfect line and twenty mins of alternating boiling and cold water, no luck in separating big liquor bottles. Which incidentally would make amazing candles.

    • Kim,
      I used to do the cold / hot water trick for glass separating but the whole production seemed way over the top and really not that practical (i.e. the amount of water I was using). Today I simply use a candle and some cold water. Rotate the glass over the flame about an inch around your score line. Do this for 30 seconds or until you hear the glass make a slight popping sound. Emerge the bottle into your ice water and it literally falls apart.
      Hope this helps. Good luck with your glass craft projects!

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