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I’m dismantling my desk so I can repaint it. The desk has two hinged legs, and one of the embedded hinges has separated into two.

I’d like to remove the part of the hinge embedded in the desk so I can repair it (I have all the parts) and to help when painting, but I don’t know how to get the half hinge out.

On the other side, I pulled the leg with some force to remove the embedded hinge from the desk (may not have been the best idea, but it worked!). It’s not glued in, but is firmly embedded in the wood.

I’ve tried pushing a screwdriver into the holes to lever it out, but can’t get enough pressure and am worried about damaging it.

Is there a clever technique / tool I can use?

Embedded half hinge I want to remove Embedded half hinge I want to remove

Holes left to right: screw, used to hold leg when in up position, hinge, screw

Other side of desk with hinge removed Other side of desk with hinge removed

Desk legs with full hinge and half missing Desk legs with full hinge and half missing

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  • Try carefully going around it with a small knife or scalpel and see if that frees it up.
    – Gil
    Aug 19 at 2:16
  • Probably struck with paint. Would place screwdriver or similar object in a hole and wedge underneath, and tap screwdriver lightly with hammer a couple of times. Turn screwdriver in another direction(N,S,E,W) and repeat.
    – crip659
    Aug 19 at 12:47
  • @crip659 Sounds like an answer - make it into one.
    – JPhi1618
    Aug 19 at 13:44
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Probably struck with paint and/or a very tight fit.

Would place screwdriver or similar object in a hole and wedge underneath, and tap screwdriver lightly with hammer a couple of times.

Turn screwdriver in another direction(N,S,E,W) and repeat. Light taps should loosen it after a few times.

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    If necessary, you may also need a "pick and hook" set (similar to this one for a whopping $2 from the place that gets their Freight at the Harbor). You can use the end of one of those hooks to get underneath and pull straight up.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 19 at 15:16

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