The ultimate resource for help assembling flat pack funriture in the UK.

June 13th, 2012

Hi - can you advise on the best method of removing the back panel from a wardrobe (flat pack from Argos, now assembled) without damaging it so that the wardrobe can be semi-disassembled to move house and then re-assembled?  The wardrobes are pine and the back panels are pinned in place using small nails (that came with the wardrobe).  Thank you.

Hi Neil,

You can do it but it requires a bit of care and patience.

You will need:-

- Largish flat headed screw driver (at least 7-8mm across)
- A pair of bottle nosed pliers

The way I do it is as follows:

- pull the wardrobe away from the wall so you can get access the inside and the back. Remove the doors and any other loose shelves rails, drawers etc. try to leave enough room so you can tilt it forward to lie on its front later (see BOLD type below).
- estimate where the pin/nail is in the back (say measure 20cm from the top on one side, then measure ~18.5cm on the inside to allow for the thickness of the top panel).
- gently (but firmly) push the back panel with your fingers close to where you have measured the pin to be. It will either: not move; shift a little or move freely.
- If it doesn’t move, find and try another one.
- If it comes out freely then great!
- If it moves a little, use your pliers to remove the pin from the back.

- Once you have removed one pin, there should be some give in the panel when you press it from the inside and it should be easier to locate the next pin. This time you can either repeat the above method or slide in the screw driver along the loose groove to the next pin. Once you are as close as you can be, then use the screw driver as a lever to gently loosen the next pin.

This is quite time consuming, some will come out easily others will be difficult but if you take your time you can usually get them out. Even if you only move a pin by 2-3mm, this is usually enough to get your pliers in to finish off the job.

Don’t get carried away once you have removed a couple, thinking this is easy, take your time.

Don’t worry if you damage the back panel a little when doing this as sometimes the pins can pop through the back panel. This is inevitable, but when you come to reassemble, they should be hidden from view, and hammer a new pin in near to the hole.

As I say it takes a bit of time but can be done with most items of furniture.

BE CAREFULL TO ENSURE THE WARDROBE IS PROPERLY SUPPORTED WHEN YOU REMOVE THE LAST FEW PINS ON THE LAST RIGHT ANGLE. If you don’t the wardrobe might collapse under its own weight (flatten like a cardboard box). Get someone else to hold it or lie it on its front. Also note when moving it, without the back on, it can still collapse like a cardboard box if you move it laterally, so get its front onto the floor so you can undo the remaining panels.

I hope this helps,

Edwin Cooke