Removing gasket material on military storage boxes

Hello All: I scored some really great square 5 gallon "waterproof" steel military type boxes with lids that have an 3/8" indent in the metal lid in
which a rubber type gasket material marries up to the box to form a seal. The lid is held tight by compression clasps. The gasket material is old and hard and very difficult to remove. My question is how to remove this material easily, and then, what material do I replace it with? Thanks for the help. Mike
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mlcorson wrote:

For removal, you might try making a cutter by filing a flat face on a piece of 1/4" brass rod, like a 'D' shaped cutter. Chuck it in a dremel or similar, it ought to grind out the hard rubber without cutting into the steel box lid.
Replacement might be a rubber tube, RTV'd into place, or look at weatherstrip products.
Stuart
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On Tue, 19 May 2009 15:28:04 -0700 (PDT), mlcorson

20mm ammo cans. How waterproof do yu want them? If you want them back to factory original..buy some neopreme and replace the gaskets, cutting and pasting in new pieces and holding them in place with Goop.
Gunner
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Sounds like a job for the HF multi tool. I have the Fein, and I'd guess one of the very best uses is removing old caulk, etc.
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It wasn't intended for removal. If it seems stiff, it could be covered with paint; I'd try some paint stripper first, it might not need replacing at all. I have some Vietnam-era surplus boxes, THEY haven't lost gasket elasticity.
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