Glass is a great thing. It is non-reactive, indefinitely recyclable, and has a nice feel to it. It's brittle nature makes it inconvenient for some applications, but drinking glasses don't see too much harm unless dropped. However, buying a whole set of drinking glasses can be expensive, wasteful, and they don't even look cool. Here is an article about how to turn empty bottles (beer, soda, wine, etc.) into really neat drinking glasses.
I'm sure there are other articles too, but this is the one I found. Also, I am pretty sure you could use any flammable material in place of the Acetate (since you might not have that just lying around) like rubbing alcohol or the like.
I like using mason jars for glasses. They have a cool feel against your lips, and come free with my favorite salsa from Trader Joes. There are so many cool ideas for using wine or beer glasses, I have been saving my favorites for years, I even started buying ones with cool printing on the glass just to reuse.
Seen this around before. The one thing I find concerning is that they make no mention of the need for ventilation. Acetone is not really something you want to be breathing when you don't have to. Probably the most dangerous part of the whole process, and neither of those instructionals mentioned it.
I made some drinking glasses from bottles a few years ago. You have to be very careful about temperature shock, since they weren't designed for hot drinks.
I'm in the demolition business. I can assure you that the vast majority of glass bottles that are gathered for recycling are not recycled. Bottles are typically broken up and used as gravel. I don't know of any municipality that puts a large percentage to a higher use than that. Very little is ever melted down to make new glass. There are good technical reasons for this, mostly concerning annealing temperatures.
Fifteen years ago, I demolished the glass castle in Duncan British Columbia. It was an ill-conceived , financial failure that destroyed the house and the marriage.
The plan of a major tourist attraction, was never realized.
I got thousands of neat old bottles. I sold about 100 of them and after 10 years, I dumped them.
The fire string method is trumped by the hot water method.
Just score the bottle with a glasscutter, heat the score line with hot water(or steam) and shock the glass with cold water.
Perfect lines, falls right off.
Green Power Science has s good video on it
Bottomless bottles could be stacked as a column on a piece of rebar or conduit. Set columns side by side to form a wall and fill the gaps with cob.
Glass bottle windows often have necks on one side. Cut a "drinking glass " and slip it over the neck of the first bottle. Sequesters air like a glass block,more finished look then bottle necks.
Vlad Alba wrote:Yeah, I'd like to crush old bottles and tumble them for use here and there -- paved paths, mix with cement, etc.
Any suggestions on an efficient crushing/tumbling process?
Besides a baseball bat --
I had an idea that you could cast a concrete block in a 5 gallon bucket and put a threaded rod or hook in the concrete before it set up. Then un-mold the block, fasten a chain or cable on it and rig some sort of pulley or fulcrum to raise and drop it over a barrel filled with glass bottles. You would want a way to do it from a distance or rig a guard over the top of the barrel to keep glass from flying out and potentially putting an eye out, of course!
As for polishing, it is a pretty easy process to make a gigantic rock polisher out of old tires. Check this out, for example...
This isn't the best one I've seen by far, but it is one of the most basic and a good place to start. Have fun!
Companion Planting Guide by World Permaculture Association