I have read else where that some people freeze their tiers to be stacked in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes, just enough to get the buttercream icing stiff. This will allow for min. damage when you go to stack the tier. Has anyone done this before? Any luck or suggestions?
I haven't tried it...but a good way to keep from damaging your tiers is to leave the dowels sticking out an inch or two and place the next cake on them. They will slowly settle into place leaving time for you to get your fingers out from underneath.
I've tried leaving the dowels sticking out slightly... and they did NOT go all the way into the cake! I had one of 4 that would not go down, so the cake was all wonky, and I couldn't "push it down" because I would definitely mess up my BC... I had to try sliding my spatula underneath to push it down. So I don't recommend that one. As for what to actually do, I've only made three 2-tiered cakes before, so I'm not much help.
Have you looked at tonedna's youtube video?