Wobbly Dining Chair Legs: How to Correctly Level Them

30th October 2017

A quick guide to fixing wobbly chairs

It’s not uncommon to have wobbly dining chair legs. In fact, it’s more common than you might think. Wobbly chair legs can be caused by manufacturing defaults, during the assembling process or after a long period of use. However, don't worry. We're here to help you solve the problem!

Things you’ll need:

  • your dining chairs (the wobbly ones, of course)
  • a small coping saw
  • masking tape
  • chisel
  • a hammer
  • hand block
  • sandpaper
  • stain marker

First step: gauging the size of the problem

Place the chair on top of a table or counter so you can easily spot where the legs make contact with the surface. Then, rock the chair from side to side. You should, at eye level, note which legs you are able to see daylight underneath. Don’t forget to note the size of the gap underneath the chair leg (probably between 1/16 and ⅛ of an inch).

Second step: identifying further issues

Continue the rocking motion, but harder. Now you need to pay close attention to your dining chair legs. One leg should be stationary, whilst two of them will get gaps. The last leg will probably bounce a little bit. Mark the leg that doesn’t move with a piece of masking tape as this is the one you’ll need to cut down.

Tip: if two legs don’t move, you can trim either one.

Third step: preparing to cut

Turn the dining chair onto its side, with the marked leg on top. If there is a metal circle on the bottom of the chair leg, you can remove it with a hammer and chisel. Wrap masking tape around the entire end of the leg using the measurement you noted down earlier (the gap showing daylight).

Fourth step: solving the problem

Cut the leg off up to the masking tape with the coping saw. Use short strokes to ensure the cut is even. You can then use your sandpaper and hand block to perfect the trim. Use the hammer to tap the metal circle back into its original position.

Fifth step: Testing, testing!

Move the chair back into its upright position and rock it back and forth again. If it still rocks, repeat the above steps but trimming 1/16th of an inch at a time. Keep retesting until the chair doesn’t budge.

Final step: perfection

Sand and round the end of each of your dining chair legs with a hand block. You can then use the stain marker to colour each area.


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