I'm restoring a pine table. The two drawers have old drop down swan neck handles which I want to remove in order to properly sand and then varnish the drawers. I've taken the bolts off the two screws on the inside of the drawer - but I can't unscrew the screws as the handle, which hangs between them both, prevents either screw from turning. I think I'm missing something obvious but can't work it out! How do you remove a swan neck drawer handle?

Thanks in hope!

  • 4
    Pictures would help. Have you tried trying to knock the screws out of the front of the drawer?
    – gnicko
    Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 19:20
  • 4
    You've said bolts but I think you meant nuts, and typically when nuts tighten on to threaded rods inside a drawer these rods don't screw into the wood at all. Instead they are just pushed through clearance holes. If this applies here they should simply knock back out, although if they're rusted they may put up some resistance! BTW if you're removing the prior finish by sanding I highly recommend considering using stripper instead. Stripping is always far preferable for removing old finish, with sanding ideally reserved for when it is the only viable option. Oh and welcome to StackExchange.
    – Graphus
    Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 20:39
  • Speaking of finishes and all.. might it be that some finish is holding the hardware on to the front of the drawers? If that's the case you might need to dislodge the hardware from the dried finish to extract it. A couple of pictures will really help.
    – gnicko
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 20:20
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    @Graphus Exactly! But, without a picture or two to go on....
    – gnicko
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 21:40
  • 3
    @GregNickoloff, you want to add an Answer here since we now know what we suggested was indeed all that was necessary? You'll automatically get one upvote, and hopefully we can get the OP to add the tick too.
    – Graphus
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 2:45

1 Answer 1


It seems that the handles are stuck to the finish on the front of the drawers. They could have been installed before the finish cured or just the force from being tightly attached has somewhat bonded the pulls to the finished surface of the drawer fronts. Years of furniture polish and residue, etc. could play a part in this too, I'd imagine.

You might need to tap the bolts toward the front of the drawer to get the hardware to release from the finish or pry on the pulls a little bit to separate them from the drawer fronts.

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