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Great difficulty removing old drawer knobs

(8 Posts)
sighbynight Sun 11-Jan-15 13:41:12

I thought changing the knobs on our inherited builtin wardrobes and drawers would be a relatively straightforward task, but its not turning out that way. I wondered if anyone had any helpful suggestions.

The knobs are pearlised ceramic and many of them (there are 45 of them - yes really) will not unscrew. I've used a manual screw driver, an electric one, I've speed with WD40, I've tapped with a hammer to loosen any fusing. Some of them will not budge. They just rotate. I have also tried smashing the knobs off (not easy - tough little buggers!) and cutting through the shanks with a Dremel. This does work but it feels very drastic and the Dremel is scorching the wood.

Any ideas? It's driving me mad!

peteneras Sun 11-Jan-15 13:51:34

Try using an electric drill with a drill bit smaller than the screw holding the knob and drill off the screw from the opposite side. The smaller drill bit is to avoid damaging the surrounding wood.

sighbynight Sun 11-Jan-15 13:56:02

I'll give it a go, peteneras. Thanks

And I've SPRAYED with WD40, obviously

PigletJohn Sun 11-Jan-15 16:26:47

when you get one out, does it have a shaft like a wood-screw sealed into the back of the knob? Or does it (much more common) have a female threaded socket in the knob, and a machine screw going through the front of the drawer from inside?

The knobs are ceramic, right? So they shatter like china?

Some pictures would be very useful.

When you use a screwdriver, what shape are the screw heads and where are they?

It is most unlikely that you will be able to get WD40 or any other lubricant into the socket of a typical knob.

Do you know anyone who has a soldering iron or a mole wrench?

roneik Sun 11-Jan-15 17:14:49

Sometimes tightening first will break the seal . Wd40 comes with a tube for a concentrated jet of release fluid. I once spent a couple of hours with a car drive shaft trying to release it from a hub with no success. I sprayed it and left for a couple of hours and it almost fell out of the hub. The trick is giving the fluid time to penetrate. Last resort try crushing the china knobs with a set of mole grips , If you set the wrench so that the jaws will only just fit over the knob then screw in the adjuster knob a bit and clamp the grips might be enough force to shatter the knobs, Watch your eyes with the splinters though

roneik Sun 11-Jan-15 17:18:22

You could wrap some cloth when clamping to avoid splinters

sighbynight Tue 13-Jan-15 07:05:35

Ooh. Mole wrenches. That's new for me.

Pigletjohn, it is as you say a machine drew going through from the inside of the drawer and quick deeply sunken in.

It's very slow progress.

PigletJohn Tue 13-Jan-15 07:46:18

Like ron, I was going to suggest crushing the knobs.

Or, if you can lay your hands on a soldering iron, you can touch it to the heads of the screws to get them very hot. As they expand, and contract again when you take the iron away, the screws will probably loosen in the knobs so you can unscrew them.

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