Im trying to take apart a metal desk, but Im stuck on one part. Theres one spot where the screw is visible, but the nut isn't accessible, so when I turn it, it just turns both. Ive tried moving other parts, but no matter what I can't get to it. Is there anything I can do to get it out? Im ok with going hard on it, but I'd rather not ruin the desk, so powertools are mostly out of the question.

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    A photo would be useful, someone may have an idea of how to get to the nut (someone must have had access to it when the desk was built). Sometimes if you can jam a screwdriver or something under the bolt head to cause tension under the nut, it will hold it in place enough to back out the bolt. – Johnny Aug 31 '19 at 18:55
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    maybe you need to disassemble another part of the desk first – jsotola Aug 31 '19 at 20:12
  • Hacksaw the head off? – SqlACID Sep 1 '19 at 14:40

Without any sort of picture, one technique that has worked for me is to pull on the screw to pull it out and then rotate gently - friction between the nut and its surface then allows the screw to come undone.

Tricky part is getting the “best” amount of pull compared to rotate. If it was cross-threaded then you are out of luck, see the next bit...

If all else fails, you will probably end up drilling the head off the screw - good luck.

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    If the screw is spinning, it might be nearly impossible to drill out, but a bit of careful grinding with a rotary tool like a Dremel might remove the head and allow the other portion to drop inside or drop free. – fred_dot_u Aug 31 '19 at 19:27
  • @fred_dot_u done it before, needle nose pliers in one hand and a steady hand on the drill, just use a sharp bit... no Dremel necessary... – Solar Mike Aug 31 '19 at 19:29
  • If the nut is cross threaded no amount of pulling will help but cutting off may be the only answer. If the nut was a “pem nut” the question will be how to get a new nut in a “blind location”. – Ed Beal Aug 31 '19 at 20:16
  • @EdBeal so you cut a slot and have the nut welded to a bit of welding rod, then weld it in place... Been there done that. – Solar Mike Aug 31 '19 at 20:22
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    @SolarMike - 'cos we've all got a welder kicking around ;) – SiHa May 28 '20 at 8:37

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