removing old putty

Hi, I have just picked up a wooden sliding door and window. They are a colonial style and each of the three sections (Fixed window, sliding door and windout - awning window) have 10 small pieces of glass in frames. The windows/door are made of Australian wood - Tasmanian Oak and were painted. I will be stripping them back to stain a maple colour to match my other windows/doors. Is there any easy way to remove the putty from the window. Most of the putty is hard and very difficult to remove. Thanks in advance
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I have an old sturdy knife, the type with a rounded end and a blade on only one side. If you place the rounded end on the glass and the sharpened bit on the putty and tap the top gently with a hammer it works a treat.
A friend of mine uses a similar idea, but with an old chisel that snapped. He grinded it so the that the top inch of one side was sharp, the end was smooth, and does the same idea.
I would recommend putting masking tape down the glass where the blade will run if you intend using it again.
Barry
www.woodworking.wizkids.co.uk
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Prazi putty chaser is your friend....
http://www.praziusa.com/puttychaser.html
I assume they would ship you one down to Oz...
Rick wrote:

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Classic putty is kaolin (clay) mixed with linseed oil. If it is hard (the linseed oil has polymerized), a little heat will soften it. Careful use of a propane or butane torch, or a hot air blower, will soften it so a scraper will remove it.
The glass may be held in with glazier's points (little triangles of steel), so be prepared to pry at those, gently, as you scrape.
The putty I've dealt with softened at a lower temperature than was required to blister paint, so you can consider paint to be durable enough to survive the process. Or you can apply the heat a little longer and remove the paint (it's also composed of linseed oil, usually).
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