Need thoughts on how to fix wobbly chair legs

gonnabuildApril 2, 2014

Hello all,
I've got a new "honeydo" project.... My dear wife bought a really nice round leather accent chair on a swivel base a while ago. Nice looking chair, nice leather, comfortable, BUT as I've recently discovered, built like CR*P.

After a year or so of kid use, all of the legs got wobbly, so I kicked them off the chair and took it apart. The attached images are of the circular chair base, which as you can see, is not exactly well built. The existing cross brace was well done, but the brace in the other direction was a cheap 1x1 stick stapled to the round frame, which had pulled away from the frame. The legs are doweled into the frame, but then they just stapled the legs to the frame instead of using screws - no sign of glue... It's clear that this wicked combo allowed the round frame to flex, eventually putting too much stress on the legs, which were pretty much about to snap off....

SO, on to the fix. I've already cut a piece of 2x6 and will attach it to the round frame perpendicular to the remaining brace using glue and 4 KREG screws on each end, also screwing into existing brace. THIS will be solid and stabilize the round frame. NOW, my question; how would you all go about fixing the wobbly legs??

My initial thinking was to shoot glue between the legs and round frame, then, then drive a couple of screws on a 45 degree angle through the round frame into each leg. Then I started thinking about fabricating some corner blocks for each side of each leg, or get some metal "L" brackets and bending them to fit....

The complicating factor, as you can see from the pictures, is that the round base cheap, laminated wood, which is easy to split, and the legs are also less than robust, to the degree that I'm almost afraid to pull the old staples out for fear that the legs will split.

I'm up for any fix I need to do to get this done right, but not being a ninja-class woodworker, would appreciate any wisdom you all could share. Thanks so much in advance. My wife is looking forward to getting her chair back....;)

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Can you show some overviews of the base?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 12:37PM
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Will post twice to show top and bottom pics. This one shows the base and legs from the "top", which mounts to the actual chair. You can see the 2x6 I'm going to screw into the base perpendicular to the existing brace off to the right in this picture.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Here's the chair base from the "bottom". You can see where the 1x1 stick that failed was stapled. Hoping to avoid taking the frame apart completely, but need to get the legs locked in solidly. Thanks again for any thoughts.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 2:26PM
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The 4 arches fastened to the legs is about the weakest way you could possible put something together.

I would remove the swivel, cut a 3/4 plywood circle the size of the round part and screw and glue the base and the board to the rigid plywood.

The should prevent wobble

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 3:54PM
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Thanks lazygardens. Yep, when I opened it up, I couldn't believe how this thing was built - it was NOT inexpensive, but clearly a Chinese product stamped out as cheaply as possible. Lipstick on the bulldog if I ever saw it.

So, for clarification on your suggestion; do you think that I should leave the base "as is" and just glue/screw straight into the legs and round frame? I'm worried that if I don't do some work to stabilize the legs first, they will just split out or become loose again, as a single screw would be bearing a lot of shearing force as the chair is used (leaned back in by kids, etc). Let me know what you think.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 12:33AM
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