How to Reinforce a Loose Wood Chair Leg
A loose wood chair leg is a scary thing. With a loose leg, you can never be sure when the entire chair will collapse under pressure. Follow the simple steps below to effectively reinforce loose chair legs without draining either your energy or finances.
Step 1: Initial Steps
Place a cloth on the floor, and overturn the wood chair on it. Use a measuring tape to determine the length of each leg. Now find which leg is a bit loose or wobbly, and separately note its length. Mark this length on the other legs of the chair with a marker.
Step 2: Sanding
If the chair leg is making a problem by being wobbly, then the simplest solution is to sand the other 3 legs to make them the same length of the loose leg. For this, get some rough 80 grit sandpaper and wipe the legs all over. When the legs gets a bit shorter, use a finer sand paper that is of 220 grit to sand until you see that the legs reach the length that is marked on them. Now, all the 4 legs will be of equal length and the chair should not wobble.
Step 3: Placing Glides
Another problem that makes a chair leg seem loose is that the glides placed at their bottoms go missing. The glide is generally made of cork or metal and can be located at the base of the legs. If any glide is missing, then you need to insert a new glide or sometimes replace a broken glide as well. For the former, simply buy a chair leg glide from the hardware shop and place it at the centre of the base of the chair leg. The glide already has a small pre drilled hole. Align this to the leg base and make a hole in the same place on the base. Next, insert screws and tighten it up to the leg. If however, you need to replace the glide, loosen the screw by which the old glide is fixed in place. After this comes off, screw in the new glide as instructed.
Step 4: Doweling
The best way to reinforce a loose chair leg is to drill in a dowel rod. This is available at a hardware store. For a standard chair leg, a rod that is ¾-inch long and about 1/8-inch in diameter will suffice. Place the chair in an upside-down position, and pull off the leg that is cracked and become loose. Make a hole using a drill bit in one leg piece. The hole must be of the same diameter as the dowel rod and should be 3/8-inches in depth. Put a nail inside this hole so that the pointed part faces upward towards you.
Align the two pieces of the leg to each other firmly so that the nail makes a tiny impression on the other piece of leg. Take off the nail, and drill in a hole in the place of the impression. It should be of the same depth and diameter. Use pliers to hold the rod firmly. Apply wood adhesive to either ends of the dowel rod, and insert it into the holes made in the pieces. Fix a bar clamp to the leg so that it stays in place while the set up dries.