Good putty, for general purposes, is composed of raw linseed-oil and whiting thoroughly incorporated, and can be made equally well by hand or machinery. The whiting should be dry. Linseed-oil foots or "bottoms" is only used on the score of economy - that is, to use up a material j that would be objectionable in paint. In the shop, putty is made by hand in winter, for summer use, on the putty bench. Dry sifted whiting is mixed with as much oil as will enable it to be well beaten with a mallet (an essential feature in making putty is to beat it) and well kneaded into lumps about the size of a 4 lb. loaf, which are then ranged on a shelf, and left for a week, by which time it will be found they have become very soft. More whiting is now worked in, after which pack in casks, pressing it well down. This putty improves by keeping a few months - that is, gets tougher and more homogeneous.
A very strong putty is made of boiled oil and whiting for exposed situations, as skylights, but is not adapted for keeping - it gets too hard.
Putty for good inside work is improved by adding white lead.
Another putty which requires to be made as wanted (as it gets hard almost immediately) is composed of red lead in powder mixed with boiled oil and turpentine varnish, and is used for fronts of houses or any place requiring a hard putty.
Some manufacturers prepare an oil for the purpose by melting 20 lb. rosin and mixing it with 90 lb. linseed-oil, the rosin being used for economy sake.
For some purposes a drying-oil may be used with the whiting: this is made by mixing 1 gal. linseed-oil, 12 oz. litharge, 1 oz. sugar of lead, 1 oz. white vitriol, simmer for some time, allow to cool, and when settled draw it off.
French putty. Ruban prepares this substance by boiling linseed-oil (7 parts) with brown umber (4 parts) for two hours; 5½ parts of chalk and 11 of white lead are then added, and the whole well mixed. This putty is very durable, and adheres well to wood, even though not previously painted.