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Cheap idea for a window  RSS feed

 
Tom Connolly
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It wouldn't open, but it would let light into the room, and could be covered by a curtain to darken it. I was thinking of taking clear, empty whiskey bottles - drained by others, of course - and making a window the size of a straw bale to install about 7 feet above the floor in a wall. The purpose is to provide natural light (no fresh air) at a cheaper cost than standard windows. Rather than using the standard cement and bottle idea that I have found I was wondering if it is possible to glue or weld the bottles together and then provide some kind of infill for the much smaller spaces that will result from having the bottles this close together. If plausible, it will take less infill and provide more light than the ideas I have seen. The resultant "window" will not be load bearing in the least, and will only have to bear the weight of the other bottles on top of it. With standard whiskey bottles it is likely to be a 5x20 matrix of bottles.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Tom,

Yes...it can be done......it's not easy!

I helped make a back drop and end wall divider for a large aquarium room divider for a bar area of a home in Miami way back in the 80's out of whisky bottles. Damned thing start to leak after a year though. We used aquarium silicon.

For a house...hmmm...?

I think I still would go with a lime or cobb mortar.

If you really want to "go nuts" with the bottle glass ideas you are having...actually try melting the glass into a fuse matrix of bottle and glass. We have done this in "pit kilns and sand" as well as a few other methods. Some sheets, very rough and bumpy are nice, the better is don in a potters kiln...

Good luck,

j
 
Tom Connolly
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I am willing to go to clay or mortar...just wondering how close the bottles can get. I have seen a product called "gorilla glue for glass". I was wondering if I used that - since welding this kind of bottle would be, at best, tricky - would I be able to get by with putting the bottles in touch with each other and then filling in the gaps with clay/lime/etc? I would like to find some way to turn the filling black, to make it look a bit like stained glass. I have seen glass blocks (bricks) that can be used but they are a little pricey, and there is no sense in paying a premium price for something when something can be reused for almost free. I would imagine that, to protect from water and elements, if the bottles can be glued together, silicon might be necessary because it would expand with temperature changes...but I could be wrong. I want to be pretty certain of this because this windows is (most likely) going to go into a straw bale house.
 
allen lumley
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Tom Connolly : Using bottle inserts to let in natural light is an almost universal practice in Cordwood house construction and is often done in Cob, or Adobe Construction.

If you google ''Cordwood buildings pictures'' or ''Cordwood walls pictures'' I expect that you would see hundreds of pictures and tips on how to do it!

Two good further sources would be The Author rob roy who also posts here, and there are several good glass cutting tutorials at Instructables.com when you are ready
to get fancy !

J : An Aquarium, that sounds like an episode on one of those reality TV series Mad Creds ! For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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I am willing to go to clay or mortar...just wondering how close the bottles can get.


All depends on the method and the wall it goes into...There are just so many ways...some good...some not so...

I have seen a product called "gorilla glue for glass"....would I be able to get by with putting the bottles in touch with each other and then filling in the gaps with clay/lime/etc?


Could work...I would suggest a 'hot glue' system for the primary construction building these units over something like 'gorilla glue' if you really are going for them having the thinnest bond layer. They the unit could be set up with the face of the bottles up, and grouted with black lime grout or even a matrix of epoxy or other glue type mixed with sand as the grout (if modern materials is the goal method wanted.l)

I would like to find some way to turn the filling black, to make it look a bit like stained glass.


Then I would cut the bottles up as this is the traditional method and "cane them" proper just like stained glass bottle windows are normally done...I have made both these and "bullseye glass" eve a one from "Heineken beer bottles." If interested...find a local glass blower and have them teach you the basics and pay for some shop space to do a project...

I have seen glass blocks (bricks) that can be used but they are a little pricey, and there is no sense in paying a premium price for something when something can be reused for almost free. I would imagine that, to protect from water and elements, if the bottles can be glued together, silicon might be necessary because it would expand with temperature changes...but I could be wrong.


Silicone is a way...it is not really necessary unless working with something like a fish tank...

I want to be pretty certain of this because this windows is (most likely) going to go into a straw bale house.


Good for you...These, if the building is well planed and designed are something that can be fabricated ahead of time to save in the actual build time there by shortening the "turn key" of the project.

Regards,

j
 
William Bronson
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I have placed bottles in a frame and poured concrete around them.
I then had to scrape excess off of the bottoms.
No idea of the longevity of such a thing, it was a proof of concept that got recycled into fill.
If it were to be a large window, mesh reenforcement between the bottles would be nice.
Silicone in quantity is pricey, how about the mix you use on your roofs?


While we are on the subject of bottle reuse, I have this vision of walls made green bottles sans their bottoms,slid over 1/2 copper...
 
Bill Bradbury
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Hi Tom,

While re-using bottles is great, the window shops are full of unwanted old windows that they will give you for free. They actually pay to have them removed.

The 80+ year old wooden ones can be rebuilt for nearly nothing, even if you buy new single pane glass.
 
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