How to install stem casters

One way to add mobility to furniture and floor cabinetry is to install stem casters. Stem casters are wheels that have stems inserting into the legs of furniture. Before purchasing stem casters, measure the outside circumference of the legs and get a general idea about how much the piece of furniture weighs. This helps to ensure that you buy the right size caster for your project. Stem casters are available at home improvement centres.

Place the piece of furniture you are installing stem casters into on its back so the legs are facing you. Measure the two opposite sides of each leg with a tape measure and mark the centre point with a pencil.

Insert the appropriate size drill bit recommended by the stem caster manufacturer into your drill. Typically the drill bit is the same size diameter or slightly smaller than the caster socket sleeve.

Place the socket sleeve against the side of the drill bit and mark the length onto the drill bit with a piece of tape. This will give you a guide to how deep to drill the hole.

Drill a hole at the centre mark of each leg until the tape on the drill bit is at the leg surface. Blow out the hole with canned air to remove wood shavings.

Tap the socket sleeve into the hole with a hammer. Insert the stem caster into the socket sleeve until it locks into place. Repeat for all four legs of the furniture.


Some manufacturers use an epoxy glue to help secure the socket sleeve. Mix the glue according to the instructions that come with the kit and apply it to the outside circumference of the socket sleeve before inserting it into the hole.


Wear eye protection when drilling holes and blowing canned air.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Drill with bits
  • Canned air
  • Hammer
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About the Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.