amid80, after rereading you original post I have more questions. You mentioned a 45 spindle, and the fact that the mat you found is for a 33/78 spindle. That would be how this TT comes. Is the spindle you're trying to remove the 45 spindle? That would definitely not be part of the platter and should just lift off. If it won't, then someone has glued or forced it somehow. Good luck, and let us know what's up.
You can't have too many Christmas tree erections.