Durham's Water Putty

John Teeter

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I have a nice clock but with a broken replacement tablet. Unfortunately it was put in with water putty. :( I believe that it is a form of plaster, not real putty. I want to replace the tablet.

Does anyone know of a good removal process?

John Teeter
 
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Peter A. Nunes

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John, a mutual friend of ours once told me of mounting a square edged router bit in his drill press, then running the door, face down on the drill press bed, along a fence he had clamped to the bed. This allowed him, with several passes, to neatly rout out the putty/plaster, and with good control. He finished the corners off with a sharp chisel. Though it sounds like a recipe for disaster, he claimed that with proper precautions and patience, it wasn't as hair-raising as one would think.
 

Troy Livingston

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Peter,
On first read I cringed and I was going to suggest a chisel for everything, not just the corners. After a little thought this idea has grown on me and I now think it would be the best solution. Placing the door on a thin sheet of plywood to prevent damage to the finish and using multiple passes as you suggested would probably place a lot less stress on the door frame than using a chisel. Durhams is fairly brittle when dry and would probably just crumble away from the wood as the router bit gets closer to the wood. Just a guess as I have never tried this technique but have had to clean up this stuff when patching defects in plywood.
 

Paul H

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Jun 23, 2005
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For real stubborn putty in the past I have simply used a good sturdy box cutter knife. You can slit the wood on the door just under the putty. This theoretically enlarges the opening in the door, but if you use a steady hand, the amount you are doing this is less than 1/32 inch which is negligable. You still have to do some work to get the putty separated from the glass. After the new tablet is installed, you really can't tell.
 

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