I often use glass bottle bottoms with which to make arrowheads. The material is free and consistent in it’s properties. Once in awhile I hear about a new (to me) way of removing bottle bottoms. I questioned a hearsay method that someone told me recently and tried it out unsuccessfully. I did some research regarding this on the web and found no references but in the process of research came across a different method using a dime. I had to try it out.
This method uses a 12 oz. bottle for the break out. A dime is small enough to fit inside the opening of the neck and once inserted the bottle is grasped by the neck and the thumb placed over the opening, then the bottle is shaked up and down vigorously for quite a time, perhaps a minute. I was delighted when the bottom finally broke out whole. This is best done over a soft surface so that when the glass bottom comes off it won’t break into pieces when it lands.
I use a tire iron to poke out the bottom of a 40 oz. bottle (because the glass is thicker) but some folks use a nail or bolt to shake in the same manner with this larger size as I did with the 12 oz. bottle and dime. I wondered that if a dime worked, could a small stone work as well. Sure enough, it worked, but it didn’t come out as cleanly as with the dime. I stepped up the test and used a heavy steel nut but the bottom was shattered and broke out in many parts. I’m guessing that there is an optimum ratio of weight-to-glass for best results.
In the end I would call this the “shake” method and it’s good to have alternative methods of removing a glass bottle’s bottom for various uses. Although water can be used for breaking out the bottle bottom (see “Popping Off Bottle Bottoms By Hand“) the “shake” method can accomplish the task when water is not available. Give it a try and share your results.