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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

How to Add Casters to a Chair

Having casters on desk chair legs is almost a necessity, especially in a carpeted room! Without casters, certain types of chair legs can scratch flooring and make it difficult to move the chair out from a desk especially when sitting in it! It is really, really easy to add casters to a desk chair leg. The casters used for this tutorial have a flat, square plate on the top and are secured using screws with pre-drilled holes in the ends of the legs. These casters are better suited to square chair legs.

Install Casters


Chair with square legs
Twin wheel casters, set of four
1-1/2” wood screws, #8
Drill with a 9/32 bit (for pre-drilling the holes in the legs)
#2 Phillips bit

On the chair in this post, casters (with a metal post and sleeve) had been previously installed. They worked great for awhile but the chair was used on a carpeted surface. The holes in the chair legs that housed the sleeves were worn and enlarged from scooting the chair on the carpet and the casters need to be replaced. (On carpeted surfaces, it is best to use one of the plastic mats specifically designed for chairs with casters – they are generally available at office supply stores.)

How to Install Casters

The holes in the chair legs were filled with Water Putty which when dry, is very hard and will make it easier to add new casters to the chair. A product such as Bondo or Plastic Wood can also be used.

New holes will have to be pre-drilled in the bottom of the chair legs to accommodate the screws. When the holes are pre-drilled, this keeps the wood from cracking and splitting which will cause an entirely new issue!

The plate of the caster will be aligned on the bottom of the chair leg and the holes in the plate are marked with a pencil. Place a piece of masking tape on the drill bit at the length of the screw to eliminate any guesswork as to how deep the pre-drilled holes are. 

How to Install Casters on wood

Install Casters Install Casters

Drill the holes for the screws at the marks. The pre-drilled holes should be slightly smaller in diameter than the screws used to fasten the plates. This will ensure that the screws will not eventually work themselves out of the holes!

drill holes, Install Casters

Once the holes are drilled, position the casters on the bottom of the chair legs and drive the screws though the holes in the caster plates into the pre-drilled holes in the chair legs.

Install Casters - D. Lawless Hardware

Not only can you add casters to desk chair legs but casters can also be added to the legs of benches, cabinets, bookcases, or dressers for added portability. (For cabinets, bookcases, or dressers, using at least two locking casters is recommended for safety reasons!) Casters can also be added to a footstool or ottoman, even tables, desk, or kitchen islands (with the proper locking casters where needed). This is a quick and easy project you can definitely take on yourself!

D. Lawless of course carries a large selection of casters for any project!

1 comment:

Brian @ caster wheels said...

Awesome idea! So simple, yet it really makes a huge difference! I want to do this exact project, but I need to find some casters small enough to go in the legs of my dining room chairs .. Thanks for sharing.