How to Repair Wood Swivel Chair Legs

Written by linda stamberger
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How to Repair Wood Swivel Chair Legs
Swivel chair with wooden base legs. (office chair image by Paul Moore from

Over time, wooden swivel chair legs may become worn or broken, rendering the furniture unstable and unsafe. A broken part must be reinforced to ensure the strength and durability of this type of chair. Swivel chairs are made to sustain and hold weight. The seat of the chair moves, so the legs of the chair must be strong. If furniture parts on a swivel chair are not stable, hazardous accidents may occur.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 1/8-inch to 3/8-inch dowel
  • Drill
  • 3- to 4-inch oval wire nail
  • Hand saw
  • Pliers
  • 320-grit sandpaper
  • Epoxy wood glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Clamp
  • Steel mending plate
  • Flathead brass screws
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Swivel
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Swivel clips
  • Rubber mallet

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    Swivel Chair Wood Leg Repair

  1. 1

    Fix wooden swivel chair legs by using a 1/8-inch to 3/8-inch new dowel. The dowel will pin the broken pieces of wood together. Drill dowel holes into the centre of the broken furniture leg. Separate the broken ends of the wood first, and drill half way down, so that part of the dowel sticks out when inserted.

  2. 2

    Drill the hole at the right angle of the break. Cut off the head of a 3- to 4-inch oval wire nail with a hand saw. Insert the nail into the hole, with the point up. The point of the nail should be protruding just slightly above the broken surface on the bottom part of broken furniture.

  3. 3

    Press the top part of the broken leg firmly into the nail, and to the bottom part holding the nail. Pull the two pieces of leg apart, and drill straight into the wood about 1 inch deep, where the nail point entered the wood.

  4. 4

    Cut a piece of dowel ¼ inch shorter than the total depth of the hole. Insert dowel, add glue over the dowel and to the break, then press together. Wipe away excess glue, and clamp in place. Use a new steel swivel plate part to reinforce a break where using a dowel isn't possible.

  5. 5

    Apply the plate to where it won't show, on the back or underside of the leg. Use a plate with screw holes that are bevelled to accept flathead screws. Secure the plate over the break using a drill or battery-operated screwdriver.

    Repairing the Broken Swivel

  1. 1

    Order a new swivel to replace the old or damaged swivel. You may need to reinforce the rest of the chair once the legs are repaired. Turn the swivel upside down, and lay it on the ground. Push down on the lock system to unhook the base, or use an electric screwdriver to unscrew the base from the swivel.

  2. 2

    Look over the clips of the swivel to see if they are damaged. If the swivel no longer moves, then it is damaged. Lift the broken swivel with a pry bar, and twist it off.

  3. 3

    Hammer a screwdriver into the base of the clips, and pop them out. Remove any swivel clips that are still stuck in the wood. Twist new clips onto the base.

  4. 4

    Tap the swivel clips in place with a rubber mallet. Put the new swivel in the clips. Rotate the swivel to make sure that it is in working order. Replace the base of the chair onto the new swivel.

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