I have a hutch with drawers and a secretary desk/pull down desk and am trying to change the hardware on the drawer pulls. It was straightforward to change the pulls on the actual drawers (the screw in back was accessible), but the pulls on the panel that closes over the desk must have been mounted in a different way because I can’t access their screws from the back of the panel like I can for the drawers. Is there a way I can change them out? I can’t even figure out how they’ve been secured to the front of the panel.

Thank you very much for any advice!!!

front of panel with pulls mounted

back of panel (no visible screw holes)

  • 1
    They may have been simply glued on. What happens if you pry gently with something like a credit card?
    – isherwood
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 1:23
  • Thanks! They aren’t budging if I pry at them. Could a hairdryer loosen the glue or is there anything else I can do try to see if they’re glued on?
    – Hayley
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 1:28
  • If the builder used wood glue it'll take a far bit of force and could damage the face. Maybe post a photo of one you removed so we can see what the thing looks like.
    – isherwood
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 1:36
  • Are you concerned about salvaging the hardware?
    – isherwood
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 1:39

1 Answer 1


My best guess is that the pulls were attached just like the rest, but in this case, a sheet of veneer was glued over the backside after that, concealing the screws.

You'd have to cut access holes in that veneer sheet to get to the screw heads.

  • 2
    should be able to find the screws with a small magnet if this were the case.
    – rtaft
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 10:15
  • 2
    @rtaft so long as the screws aren't brass, which was quite common in old woodworking
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 11:11
  • 1
    The grain pattern definitely suggests that the faces are veneered. The question now becomes whether the item is old enough that the veneer has been applied to a board, new enough that it's been applied to MDF, or somewhere in between with it being plywood and the handles fastened by e.g. clips. Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 15:42
  • 1
    Following on from my other comment, there's a possibility that clips have been screwed on from the front, and the visible hardware slotted into place. Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 15:44

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