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How can I remove these carriage (or perhaps round head) bolts? (How were they ever tightened to begin with?) There seems to be no way to access behind the backboard. enter image description hereenter image description here

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There's either some space behind there, or they go right through the wall and the nuts are on the other side of the wall. There may be a compact/flattish bracket (not requiring removal of these bolts to remove the backboard), these pictures are not helpful in assessing that possibility. If there's really no space, get behind that wall and look.

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    That's it. They go all the way through. – Patrick Szalapski May 4 at 18:35
  • If you don't have ready access to the interior, you could grind the heads off or drill them out. – Aloysius Defenestrate May 4 at 21:08

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