Removing self-rimming sink

I am hoping that someone in this group has a clever solution to my problem. I have two expensive Kohler porcelain self-rimming bathroom sinks installed in a marble counter, and I want to remove them without damaging either the sinks or the counter. (We are building a new house, and my wife wants to put these sinks in the new house. The cobalt blue color is no longer available, and she doesn't want to consider picking another color and just getting new sinks for the new house.)
The sinks are held into the counter in the usual way, with silicone caulk or something of that persuasion, but in 10 years, the stuff has set up like granite. The sinks, unfortunately, were nicely installed, so the gap where you might normally be able to get a utility knife blade in to scrape away the caulk is very tight. I have tried every kind of blade that I can scrounge up at Home Depot, hacksaw/coping saw blades, and foul language, but so far, I can't get enough of the caulk loose to release the sinks. I have tried pushing up from the bottom, but the seal is just too tight. I have tried heating up the caulk with a hair dryer, which did help a little, but the problem is that the gap is just too tight to get any kind of instrument in, heat or not.
Needless to say, the edges of the sinks are highly prone to chipping, and the marble counter top is highly prone to scratching, so I can't get too heavy-handed. Does anyone have any clever ideas?
Thanks
BG
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Bull Gator wrote:

Can't help you with the stuck sink (I always use plumber's putty instead of caulk, exactly for the purpose of avoiding this problem). However, did you check the Kohler web site to confirm that the sink isn't available? Sometimes the dealers don't have current information.
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New self rimming sinks come with a tube of caulk/adhesive. That's what the manufacturer wants you to use. Probably a warranty problem if you don't.
I recently had a self rimming sink removed from a bathroom vanity. The vanity top was Formica instead of marble, and the removal process damaged the formica but not the sink. Once out, the remaining caulk on the sink was easy to scrape off and when reinstalled in a new vanity, looked good as new.
Bob S.
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Bull Gator wrote:

You're sure there are no hold down clamps too (on the underside)? ________________

I am not aware of any solvents for cured silicone. Maybe, I'd check.
The usual way to remove mastic mounted mirrors is with a length of piano wire seesawed back and forth. If you can find some wire rope small enough in diameter, that should work without messing up the countertop much.
If you do manage to get the sinks out you'll have the silicone residue on the countertop to contend with. Since it is virtually impossible to get off, my inclination would be to use whatever means necessary to remove the sink and then repair damage to the marble. It is so soft that it is easy to sand and polish. Any gouges could be filled with polyester resin before hand.
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Nope, no clamps. This is one of those sinks that is held down by the caulk alone, too well in my case...
Thanks
BG
On Sun, 23 May 2004 12:03:27 -0400, dadiOH wrote:

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: Bull Gator wrote: : :: : > Does anyone have any clever ideas? : : The usual way to remove mastic mounted mirrors is with a length of piano : wire seesawed back and forth. If you can find some wire rope small enough : in diameter, that should work without messing up the countertop much. : I'd second that piano wire idea....
Rick
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<< The sinks are held into the counter in the usual way, with silicone caulk or something of that persuasion >>
Most caulks , including silicone, are attacked by methylene chloride, the basic ingredient in many paint removers. Given this situation, I would try keeping the edges wet with the remover while applying gentle pressure from the bottom with 2 x 4's and wedges or a cheap hydraulic jack or some such. It might take some time to work, but the caulk would surely eventually give up. If the caulk is an inorganic cement, then the whole unit might have to be removed through a hole in wall...tough call.
Joe
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On Sun, 23 May 2004 17:27:36 +0000, Joe Bobst wrote:

That's a good idea. I tried mineral spirits, to no avail, but MC is definitely a lot more powerful. I am going to give that a try on a hidden area to make sure it doesn't attack the marble, and then give it a whirl.
Thanks
BG
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solution to my

self-rimming bathroom sinks

without damaging

house, and my

blue color is

picking another

silicone caulk

stuff has set up

installed, so the gap

blade in to scrape

blade that I can

foul language,

release the sinks. I

just too tight. I

did help a

to get any kind

to chipping, and

can't get too

Have you considered moving the sinks and counter top as a unit? You can then replace the counter tops in the old house.
Frank
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On Sun, 23 May 2004 14:06:09 -0400, Frank K. wrote:

That's not an altogether bad idea. Marble is tricky to move, but I am beginning to get the feeling that I am going to damage it more by trying to extricate the sinks than by moving it. Thanks for a creative solution.
BG
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