Removing old light fixture brace?

I am attempting to install a new heavy-duty ceiling fan joist brace in replace of a light fixture brace. It's a different type of brace. It doesn't screw out to press into the sides. Instead it appears to be comprised of two pieces, each of a thin steel bar and one end. One is on top of the other and they fit together. I'm not sure exactly how they are mated, and that's the problem -- I can't figure out how to get these two separated so that I can remove them from the ceiling! Basically, they look sort of like this individually:
]------------
------------[
and together they look like:
]---===========---[
I do know that they are pressure mounted. I've tried pulling, prying, pushing, and aside from slowly cutting it out w/ a dremel I don't know what to do here. Any help would be much appreciated.
Ian
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Ian Robertson wrote:

if you talking about sheet metal braces that are up there to hold light fixtures go to home depot, lowes, etc. and look for some.... and the instructions and see how they are put in.. think they use nail on each end to hold the sheet metal to the ceiling joist.... thats what i got in my 1972 built home....
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Ian Robertson wrote:

You probably can not remove the brace because of the end nailing. Keep going with the Dremel or with a fine tooth hacksaw-like blade. (I use a fine metal-cutting blade in a cordless recip saw.) Or, are they thin enough that you could use aircraft snips to cut them?
Jim
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New-work vs. Old-work mounts. The screw kind costs a few cents more, so is not usually used in new construction. What you have has pointed metal tabs and/or nail holes in the end plates, holding it rather firmly to the joists. You are trying to do all the work through the old hole, so as to avoid patching drywall, I take it? Feel up and down the shaft again- I've seen some flavors with a setscrew or locking tab to fix the length once placed. If you can't find that, I recommend the metal blade in a Sawzall or similar, like another poster mentioned. If you can't find any way to get it out through the hole, you are looking at either patching drywall, or using one of those big-ass trim plates the fan store sells just for stuff like this. Or you could always cut a new hole 8 inches over for the fan, and cover this spot with a blank cover plate, using the existing box as a junction box if needed.
aem sends...
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