how to cut bottoms off gallon jars : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Friends, I need to cut the bottoms off of gallon juice jars to make cloches for my garden plants. I have tried to freeze the jars and stick them in boiling water. I have tried to heat them and stick them in ice water. I've tried tying twine (soaked in kerosene) around them and burning the twine and sticking the burning jar into cold water. I've tried a glass cutter, and banging the jar on cement. That one worked, but cut the jar jaggedly. Any suggestions??? Thanks Mary

-- Mary Fraley (, April 13, 2000


I ve cut jars with a good (heavy duty) cutter, just make sure you cut above the curve. My grandpa would take a triangle file and etch the glass kinda deep, then hit it with a hammer to knock off the unwanted parts

-- stan (, April 13, 2000.

My mom got some very neat jar bottom cuts by accident while canning. She was using a cake pan to catch drips while loading the jars up. Gradually, the drips cooled and accumulated. Once the temperature was different enough, she poured a dipperful of boiling hot beans into the jar, and it seperated neatly at the outside waterline. I haven't tried it on juice jars, but it would be worth a shot, I think.

-- Connie (, April 14, 2000.

Make dandelion wine and after it has fermented than set it in the sun(or light) We have blown the bottom off many a gallon jar by accident with this method.

-- Joel Rosen (, April 14, 2000.

Use a glass cutter (or a triangle file) to score around the bottom above the curve. Then heat up the jar in the oven or heating with hot water. Using hot pads of gloves to keep from getting burned, lower the jar into a flat pan with about an inch or so of very cold water. The heat differential will cause the glass to break right along the score. Be sure to then file or use emory cloth to remove the sharp edges.

-- Curt Kovener (, April 14, 2000.

I have some info on this, and I have made some cloches from gallon jars. However, have you actually tried using cloches? I did last year, and found them to be far more trouble than they were worth. I've given up on them as a waste of time. But I am in Maine, and maybe they are a good idea where you are, as they seem to be in France (hence the name). If someone else doesn't solve the problem, e=mail me and I will answer with more specifics. Good luck!

-- Brad (, April 14, 2000.

I would agree with Brad as we've tried cloches, including made of gallon jars, several times. They blow over (we get a lot of wind here), they mildew, the plants start to touch the glass and get burned or frozen, depending on the time of day, even the little ones that aren't touching the glass can get burned real fast inside that clear glass. I'm not real happy with floating row-cover, either (though maybe in a less windy spot it would work better), but I would recommend it over the cloches. We've also tried wall-o-waters, and couldn't get them to stay upright

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, April 14, 2000.

I use wall o waters every year, and the trick is to fill them quite full and pull the bottoms out to make the teepee shape. Once in a great while, if the ground isn't level enough, one will fall over, but rarely, and it is REALLY WINDY where I live, all the time. I think I should have realized that was why all the trees grow slanting to the south! My broccoli, cabbage, etc. get set out first in the wall o waters, then when they are good sized, I take the things off and put my tomatoes and peppers in them. I used to have the clear kind, but they deteriorated in the sun, so that is why they went to green plastic, which seems to last longer, and the plants grow just great in them. Good luck, and unless you have an unending supply of the glass jars and want to use them, I would agree with the others who have used them. Unless you coat the insides with a coat of muddy water, just enough to screen the plants a bit (old trick they used to use to start roses), the glass will cook the plants. Jan

-- Jan B (, April 15, 2000.

Those Wall-O-Water things are too expensive for me. I have used a circle of plastic 2 liter soda bottles filled with water around tender plants. When they are really small I put one that has had the bottom cut out directly over the plant and remove it in the daytime. I think the green plastic ones hold the heat better but I've never actually taken the temp. I also have found the glass cloches too hot, and clumsy to store. Sorry I couldn't be more supportive-

-- Peg (, April 15, 2000.

Thanks everyone. I tried Curt's idea, and it worked. The bottoms on some are a little jagged, but at least I got them off. They are really heavy duty glass jars. I wanted to try the glass cloches, because a friend of mine uses them and it has increased his gardening season by at least a month. I will take the jars out of the garden in about a month. Hopefully the plants won't burn. If this doesn't work for me, oh well. I'll try something else next year. Mary

-- Mary Fraley (, April 15, 2000.

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