How to Remove Hanger Bolts

Hanger bolts are designed to have two threaded sides. One side has wood threads designed to be driven into wood, and the other side has machine threads designed for machine-threaded nuts. These fasteners are usually used to secure table legs, but are also commonly used for mounting objects on walls. Because they are designed to be covered in threads, they are quite difficult to remove without causing damage to the threads or the wood.

Tools and Materials

  • 2 wrenches
  • 2 machine-thread nuts
  • Vise
  • Pliers
  • Hacksaw

Step 1 – Detach any Mounted Object

Determine how the object is mounted onto the bolts. Usually, the machine-threaded portion of the bolt goes into a hole in the object and is secured into position with a mechanical nut. To remove the mounted object, use an open-end wrench of the correct size to turn the nut counterclockwise. If the nut will not turn, tap the opposite side of the wrench with a hammer to make it loose. As soon as the nut is loose, remove it from the bolt. Locate all bolts and remove every nut in place. Pull the mounted object carefully off the wall or wooden surface.

Step 2 – Determine How to Loosen the Bolts

There are different ways of removing the bolt, but choose carefully. Check the design of the bolt first and how it is mounted to the wall to determine which method works best. There are generally two kinds of hanger bolts. One has a non-threaded center while the other has all surfaces threaded.

To loosen a bolt with a non-threaded center, grip the center with a vise or pliers and turn the bolt counterclockwise. The threads should come out of the bolthole. If the center is threaded, determine whether to recycle the bolt or not. If you do not mind damaging the threads on the bolt, grip the bolt firmly with a vise or pliers and turn it loose. To remove the bolt without damaging the threads, proceed to the next step.

Step 3 – Remove the Bolts

The machine threads on the exposed side of the bolt are designed for machine-thread nuts. Use two nuts as a means to remove the bolts without causing damage to the sensitive threads. Insert both nuts into the bolt together and turn them clockwise until both nuts are as close as possible to the center of the bolt. Position an open-end wrench onto the inner nut in a counterclockwise direction. Position another open-end wrench onto the outer nut in a clockwise direction.

Grip both of the wrenches and turn both nuts against each other. To loosen the bolt away from the wall, exert more pressure on the inner nut, turning it in a counterclockwise direction. This should force the bolt to move counterclockwise as well. Remove the bolt.

If the bolt is too tightly secured to the wall and will not come off without causing damage to the wall, consider cutting the bolt with a hacksaw.