How to Fix a Broken Chair Foot

Introduction: How to Fix a Broken Chair Foot

Something I come across a lot is a broken chair or table “foot”.  This is usually caused by a wheel getting stuck and snapping the wood as someone tries to roll the chair.  The example I have is such a chair.  The man has a regular poker night.  One of his guests got stuck in the grout line between tiles and snapped off the wheel.

Wood scrap (preferably a hard wood)   I used Oak
Jig saw or hand saw
Wood file or rasp
Stain and finish
Toner Spray (optional)

Safety 1st.  Always wear goggles, a dust mask, hearing protection and even gloves if needed.  Take your time. 

Step 1: Step 1

The bottom of the chair leg was partly snapped off.  Fortunately a piece of the very base of the foot was still intact.  The wound was jagged.  I used a hand saw to cut away the damaged area and to give me a level surface to clamp to.  I think the chair was maple.  I didn’t have any.  Pine is okay but a soft wood and may not hold up well.   I took a small piece of scrap oak at minimum the same thickness as the leg (you may have to glue a couple of pieces together to get the proper thickness) and glued and clamped the oak to the leg.  Depending on the size of the wound, you may need to pin it with screws or nails to help hold it together.  I prefer not to if possible but sometimes it is necessary.  Just make sure to countersink and fill the holes.  The scrap should be slightly over sized length and width.  Let the leg dry overnight. 

Step 2: Step 2

Unclamp the leg.  If necessary, fill any small cracks with wood filler and let dry.  The block of oak was larger than the piece needed.  I used the good part of the leg as a guide and used a jig saw to follow the original curve as best as possible.  Because the original leg still had some of the bottom attached I could use it as a guide to cut across the bottom to keep the chair level and flush.  I then used a hand file or rasp to finish shaping the leg to match.  I followed this with sanding to get it nice and even.  If possible, on the flat areas, sand with a block so you don’t misshape your leg repair.  Once you are satisfied with your repair, turn the chair upside down and find the center of the leg by crisscrossing lines corner to corner with a ruler.  Drill a new hole for the wheel in the center.

Step 3: Step 3

I stained the repair with some walnut stain.  I gave it a couple of coats followed by some poly.  The color was pretty close but not quite the same.  I used a walnut colored spray toner to help blend the areas together.  If you do repairs often, you have to get you some spray toners.  They are great for spot repairs and blending areas together.  Mohawk is a good brand.  There is every color under the sun.  They are usually laquer  based  in different sheens, they dry quickly and can go over most any other finish.   

Well there you go. I am sorry I don’t have more photos.  I have dozens of projects done and take photos often.  However, it never fails that I will get caught up in my work and forget to photograph a step or not even take pictures of the final product! I’d have more Instructables on if I could just remember to take all the pictures!   I hope this was helpful.  I look forward to your comments and feedback!

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    2 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Looks great. What are you using the band clamp for (red strap) that's on the chair? Part of this repair or were you tightening up the supports?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! Yeah the strap was used to tighten up all the joints. I overhauled the whole set of chairs. All needed attention to some degree.