Loose chair legs not only cause discomfort, but are also disasters waiting to happen. Even if you know how to fix loose chair legs, doing it is no easy task since it involves a decent amount of knowledge and tool usage.
One way of taking care of the problem is taking the chair apart and gluing all the wobbly pieces back together. Another involves the installation of brackets to help stabilize the loose parts.
Nevertheless, the process can be done in a day or two, and you can enjoy comfortable and safe seating again. Keep reading to know what causes your chair to wobble and the specific steps to fix them like a professional.
Why Do Chairs Wobble?
Chairs wobble for many reasons. Office chairs and other metal seats swing when there are screws loose. These could be easily mended by tightening the screws and making sure the wheels, if any, are properly in place.
On the other hand, wooden chairs are a completely different case. Wooden chairs wobble due to overuse and eventual wear and tear.
There are many steps to reduce or avoid issues with wooden furniture, but problems will eventually come up. These problems, however, are not as easily fixed as their metal counterparts.
Wooden chairs are usually made through joints, either mortise and tenon, or dowel ones. These joints are put together with any kind of wood glue, and fixing these chairs would require a little bit of woodwork.
How To Fix Wobbly Chair Legs
If you find a loose chair joint early, you can repair it with wood glue. Fill the joint with glue, making sure to get into the nooks and crannies and clamp it. Afterward, leave it for at least twenty-four hours before using it again.
If damaged joints cause the wobble, you can either disassemble the whole chair or support it with brackets, depending on the extent of the damage.
Method #1. Disassembly
The best way to fix a wobbly wooden chair is to disassemble it first. This is to ensure that everything is firmly put together by getting to the root of the problem.
Before you disassemble the chair, make sure to label each part. This is so you know which is which when reassembling the furniture.
Determine which leg wobbles. Try sitting on it to see what moves, or put it on its side and test each leg.
As much as possible, do not remove everything during disassembly. If only one leg is wobbly, pull only that leg.
If the joint won’t budge, try to twist the piece to break the glue. Use your hands or self-locking pliers with padding to avoid damaging parts.
Sometimes, you might even need to use a mallet to detach parts. Use the mallet by lightly tapping on the joint or nail, increasing the force if necessary.
Carefully scrape the old glue off by using sandpaper. Take care to avoid thinning the wood, which would make it even looser.
If the tenon is cracked, cover it with glue and wrap it with silk thread. If the chair has loose or broken dowels, replace them.
Afterward, once the piece can fit snugly into place, cover it with wood glue and reinsert it. Clamp it and leave it for a day or two until it dries completely.
Method #2. L-brackets
This method is for added support. The disassembly method is best to get to the direct cause of the problem.
Also, this method is not recommended for antique chairs. Putting any kind of metal will drastically decrease the value of your chair, so consider applying the first method before trying out this one.
Like the previous step, check which parts are loose. Once you find which leg wobbles, position an L-bracket in such a way that it will brace the leg and the frame of the chair. Mark the outline of the bracket and the holes for the screws.
If, for some reason, you cannot remove your chair leg, consider getting L-brackets so that you will have enough space to drill.
Pre-drill the holes you have marked, making sure that your drill bit does not go entirely through the chair. Use a drill bit slightly smaller than the width of your screws to ensure a tighter, more secure fit.
Attach your L-bracket to the leg of your chair first. Make sure that your drill and screw are parallel to your surface. Prepare your chair leg for reassembly.
For a better grip, put wood glue at the leg joints and wipe away excess adhesive. Reattach the chair leg to the chair itself, and put back any screws that you may have removed.
The last step in fixing your loose chair is to screw the remaining part of the L-bracket onto the frame of the chair. Make sure that both screws are tight. Let any glue dry completely before using the chair again.
Congratulations! You may now enjoy your chair with comfort and safety.
Chairs and their pieces, no matter what they are made of, will deteriorate over time. Rust, wears, damages, and all other forms of decay will eventually turn up. Nevertheless, equipped with the proper knowledge of how to fix loose chair legs, you can mend any furniture you have and use them for years to come.