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I just took over my first apartment, and have to replace the kitchen fan. In order to fit my new kitchen in the cupboard above the stove, I have to remove 6 sheet metal screws pointing out from the sides on the inside of the cupboard. The cupboard is made of some porous kind of cheap wood.

The screws have been screwed in prior to the cupboard (and kitchen) being assembled, so the "hat" of the screws are stuck in between two cupboard walls, and I am completely unable to reach them without dissassembling the cupboards from the walls.

Here is a hideous illustration of approximately what it looks like: enter image description here

The 6 tiny lines signify the screws pointing out on the inside of the cupboard, while the hats are shown by the red dots.

How can I get rid of these screws while causing minimal damage to the cupboard?

Thanks in advance.

Edit
The screws were there to keep up a wooden shelf inside the cabinet.
I need to fit a new kichen fan inside the cabinet, so I tore off the wooden plate, but got no clue how to remove the remaining metal screws. They don't support the general cabinet structure in any way.

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    I am unclear why you want to remove the screws. Are they somehow holding the hood assembly in place? (If so, how?) – wallyk Feb 15 '17 at 18:50
  • @wallyk I updated question with further information. – krystah Feb 15 '17 at 19:34
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I've done this intentionally when the only screws I had were too long for the purpose. The pointy ends can be dangerous on inadvertent contact!

Your specific choice of method will be dependent on the tools available to you. A thin sacrifical sheet of steel, even something as simple as a soup can cover, with a hole punched in it, placed over the screw will protect the surface below. Tape it to the cabinet or secure it in a similar manner.

I have a right-angle side grinder, a fairly aggressive power tool. It makes short work of the screw, which also gets hot. If one is less aggressive, the heat generated will dissipate without burning the surrounding wood.

I also have a Dremel brand rotary tool. One can get sanding drums (slow, less aggressive) or grinding drums (slightly faster) or cutting disks (much faster) to remove the screw. In your case, the cutting disk would be used to slice away the screw as close as possible to the plate, then turned on its face to flatten even more of the remnant.

On the final option to be listed, one could use an ordinary metal working file. Plenty of elbow grease is required, much patience. Little heat is generated, although you may not get as close to the surface as you'd like.

Each of the above methods will leave a bit of a stub in place. When I use the right-angle grinder, I'll cut slightly into the surrounding wood, which could be considered unsightly, of course.

Variations of the above methods can be considered.

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I have used a Dremel rotary tool with a cutting disk. You could use a new sharp hacksaw or just a hacksaw blade.

Alternatively, with an electric drill, drill a hole next to each screw and then work the screws laterally into the drill hole and out. Then fill the holes.

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