Repair wood swivel chair


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Old 08-02-14, 11:56 AM
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Repair wood swivel chair

I have a kitchen table and chairs set made of an indeterminate "hardwood". The chairs have no padding, have casters and swivel. The swivel mechanism connects to the chair section via a metal plate and is secured to the chair by four wood screws. #1 Son (6'5") tilts back in his chair such that the two wood screws towards the front of the chair have pulled out of the wood and won't catch in their holes anymore. We're a family of five and we started with six chairs; now we're down to four. I'm ok with making him sit on a milk crate, but no, Mom insists he still deserves a chair. (Added benefit of the milk crate: I'm taller than him when he sits on it!) So I am looking for options to repair these chairs. My ideas:

1) Remove the plate, fill in the holes with wood putty or some other magical substance, redrill and replace screws.

2) Drill new holes through the metal plate into the wood chair bottom.

Any other ideas would be most appreciated.
 
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Old 08-02-14, 12:04 PM
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I'd fill the holes with wood dowel instead of putty - you may have to drill them out a bit for the dowel to fit exactly. Then with the dowel glued place, you'd have something which could hold a screw once you drilled new holes.
 
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Old 08-02-14, 05:47 PM
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@mitch17 - Glue dowels in the existing holes with yellow wood glue, then drill the hole again? The existing holes are less than 1/4".
 
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Old 08-04-14, 06:19 AM
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You nay have to drill out the existing holes a little larger to get them the right size to stick a dowel in there.

Just did this over the weekend on my old man's screen door - had to fill two holes with 5/16" dowel and one with 1". In my case, I lucked out and did not have to drill anything as these were drilled holes, not where screws had pulled out.
 
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Old 09-01-14, 05:04 PM
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Thanks, mitch17, I did just as you suggested. Drilled the holes out to 3/8", glued in hardwood dowel from HD, redrilled 9/32" pilot hole and reinstalled #14 screws. Seems nice and tight. Now if I can only train #1 son NOT to tilt back on his chair, I'll be good to go.
 
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Old 09-01-14, 05:45 PM
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Give him a Jethro Gibbs to the back of the head every he does. Or have him fix the chairs when they fail. Fixing things that you caused to break teaches you not to break them in the first place.
 
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Old 09-02-14, 08:07 PM
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I spoke too soon. Last night at dinner, just tilting the chair with all four casters on the floor, not all the way back, caused a screw to rip out. Any other ideas?
 
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Old 09-03-14, 03:38 AM
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How deep did you drill the holes for the dowels? did the glue have plenty of time to dry? or did the dowel stay in place but the screw came out of dowel?
 
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Old 09-03-14, 08:40 PM
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@marksr, the screws were 3/4" and I drilled the holes just that deep. The glue dried for 24 hours, Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. The dowel came out of the hole. Maybe a different adhesive next time? I used yellow wood glue.

Thanks for your help with this.
 
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Old 09-04-14, 12:25 AM
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Any chance you could use machine screws or bolts and t-nuts?

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Old 09-04-14, 02:09 AM
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use some gorilla glue and follow the directions.
 
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Old 09-04-14, 04:10 AM
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Since the dowel came out of the wood, either the glue wasn't strong enough or the hole was too big for the dowel - maybe both.
 
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Old 09-04-14, 09:42 AM
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A good glue bond shouldn't break like that - I agree with Mark's assessment.

Titebond II would be my choice of glue for this.
 
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Old 09-04-14, 08:34 PM
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@ray2047: Thanks, but I can see those pulling straight out of the wood. The chair seat sits on a metal plate which is connected to the pedestal. The wood screws connect the plate to the chair bottom. I think the force applied would pull those straight out.

@mitch17, @marksr, @pugsl: I concur that the glue failed me. I'm going to drill out the dowels and re-do it with liquid nails (I have a tube of it in the garage).

Thanks, everyone, it is great to have a sounding board like this.
 

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Old 09-04-14, 08:40 PM
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T- nuts go in from the top. There are others that thread into the holes. The name escapes me, but you turn them in with an allen wrench.
 
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Old 09-05-14, 01:55 AM
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Old 09-05-14, 03:38 AM
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I don't know if liquid nail would be strong enough, it would be better to use gorilla glue ... or the bolts that Ray post a pic of.
 
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Old 09-05-14, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45
...There are others that thread into the holes. The name escapes me, but you turn them in with an allen wrench.
There are many varieties generically called threaded inserts. A Google image search will turn up plenty. They screw into the wood like a Heli-coil--large sharp threads on the outside, smaller standard bolt threads on the inside. Might be strong enough if the wood around it isn't damaged.

Strongest would be a T-nut as suggested but you either live with being able to see it in the top of the seat or you set it in a counterbore and glue in a wood disk of the same type wood to conceal it. That part gets very tricky.
 
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Old 09-05-14, 05:18 PM
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Liquid nails is very strong. If you are going that route, apply it to the metal plate. Scuff any of the finish on the bottom of the seat with some rough sand paper for better adhesion.
 
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Old 09-05-14, 06:55 PM
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I'm sorry I didn't post a photo of the area, that might have helped, but I didn't look to see how until just now.

I think the t-nuts are a no-go. Don't want to drill all the way through, since the seat is really a solid piece of wood, no upholstery between it and my big behind. I've seen the other threaded inserts (a good video here) and I think that would work, but I'm going to try gluing it again. Since it's wood on wood, Titebond sounds about right. I should know by dinner time Sunday if it worked. Thanks, everyone!
 
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Old 09-06-14, 07:19 PM
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Keep in mind adding wood glue to a hole already sealed with glue won't hold anything. Wood to wood, cLean and tight-- no gaps -- for strong bond.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 12:56 PM
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Got it, good tip, thanks. I sanded the area lightly and it's still tight enough that I have to tap the plugs in. I was able to yank the plugs out with a long nosed pliers, so I'm betting it was a yellow glue issue. Tried some titebond premium this go around, so we'll see.
 
 

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