Do It Yourself Furniture Repair: Fixing Common Chair Problems

Find out how you can fix some of the most typical problems for chairs.

You have to admit, most chairs take a lot of day - to - day abuse. So, it's only natural that they are going to develop problems at some point in time. Take wooden chairs, for example. They can be commonly found at kitchen tables, at writing desks, at work benches - most anywhere that someone needs to sit down to perform a task. A common problem with wooden chairs is that their glued joints become lose over time. The original glue often dries up and falls out of the joint, causing the chair to either wobble or come apart at that joint.

To fix this common problem, you will need to remove any existing glue that is on the joint pieces. Either sand or scrape it off, but be careful not to break or otherwise damage the wood.

Then, put the two pieces of wood together and check to see if they fit tightly. If they do, proceed on to the gluing step. If they don't, then you will need to fix this problem before you proceed. To do this, measure and cut strips of old, clean cotton cloth. Make them just wide enough so they will cover the end of one of the wood pieces. Be sure they don't show when the pieces are joined together. Make them long enough to wrap the end, so the wood piece fits tightly into the second piece. Finally, glue the cloth onto the end of the wood piece that gets inserted.

The next step is to apply glue on both of the joint pieces. Use a good quality heavy duty wood glue in order to make the joint sturdy. Finish the gluing by wiping off any excess with an old, clean rag. You should use wood clamps to secure the wood pieces of the joint together until the glue dries. If you don't have any wood clamps, you can either apply heavy weight to the joint or you can tie the pieces together with a strong cord. In order to achieve the best results, read and follow the manufacturer's directions on the glue container. Allow the glue to dry for the specified period of time before using the chair again.

If the chair is wobbly or broken because it is missing screws or bolts, you can easily fix that problem too. Stick two or three wood toothpicks into the bolt or screw hole, depending on how big it is. Then, squeeze enough wood glue into the hole to securely hold the toothpicks in place. Allow the glue to thoroughly dry before you proceed onto the next step.

Finally, reinsert the bolt or the screw into the hole and tighten it securely. Unless the wood glue lets go, the bolt or screw will never come out again.

Another common problem with wooden chairs is that they can make scrape marks on your bare floors. To fix this problem, you can purchase chair risers at your local hardware. These risers look like a tack with a long shaft; on the other end is a rounded button. To install these risers, just tap one in the bottom of each of the chair legs with a tack hammer.

Not all chairs are the wooden variety so let's fix some other common problems with the upholstered varieties. Nowadays, office or desk chairs are often made with metal or a mix of metal and hard plastic frames. The seat, arms, and back are covered in foam rubber and either leather, vinyl or cloth. These chairs are generally durable, and they can last for a long time, but they always need fixing at some point.

If you have an office chair of this type, the arms, back and seat are probably screwed or bolted onto the frame. The screws or bolts can come loose with use. To make the fasteners stay tight permanently, you should apply a dab of good adhesive glue to the threads before you reinsert them. Then, tighten them securely and allow the glue to dry thoroughly before you use the chair.

Another common problem you may have with your chair is with the pneumatic cylinder. This is the device that enables you to raise and lower the chair seat. It also holds the seat at the height you have chosen. If it malfunctions, the seat of your chair will quickly fall down so it is resting almost on the part of the frame that holds the casters or wheels. To fix this problem, you can pull the seat up to the height you want it at; mark the height on the pneumatic cylinder. Then, measure the distance from the bottom of the cylinder to your mark. Measure and cut pieces from an old yardstick. Place these wood pieces between the part of the frame that holds the casters or wheels and up underneath the seat. Secure them into place on the pneumatic cylinder by wrapping them horizontally with several rounds of duct tape. The combination of the wood and the tape will hold the seat of your chair exactly at the height you want it.

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