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I have a very old wood level that I'm restoring. I need to know what they used to hold the glass bubbles in place. it appears to be white and hard. I thought window glass but that wouldn't turn hard for a long time. So does anyone know what they used 100 years or more ago?
Not sure what was used 100 years ago. But epoxy putty (available at hardware stores) will cure hard and can be soften with a heat gun if it needs to be removed for another repair in the future. Silicone caulk will also work.
If you're want the same product as the original, try these websites for information.
Let us know what you find out.
I'm fairly certain plaster of paris was used - well...that's what an old carpenter told me when I asked that question 45-years-ago. And, it makes sense - if your level is older than that because epoxies weren't commercially available until the late 30's. Funny, I never picked up a piece of sandpaper to see how soft the white stuff is to find out.
Joe Johns, Twisted Knot Woodshop
Twisted Knot Woodshop "There's never been a classier joint"