I have a set of mid-century modern dining chairs. The seat is supported in four corners by four metal dowel pins that insert into the legs, but have a hole in them for a screw to pull the seat down against the metal dowel pins. We're missing several of them and I'd like to repair each chair with similar parts if possible. They're about 8mm in diameter and maybe a few centimetres long.

I've added an image of the part, but I have no idea what it's called to search for replacements. I've tried searching for metal dowel pins, but none seem to have any holes in them through which a screw could pass. Is there a special name for this part? I'd love some links to a place where I could buy them online (in Canada if possible!).

Metal Dowel Pin With Hole

  • This question is likely to be closed because it is presented as a "shopping question". You may have better luck if you were to take on making your own from some type of existing part that you can purchase, cut to length and drill the cross hole. That would make it a true DIY project. – Michael Karas May 28 '18 at 10:17
  • Do the metal pins just slide into the hole of the wood piece that you show in the picture? Or are they some how screwed into place? I am guessing slide in due to the fact that you are missing some. – Michael Karas May 28 '18 at 10:21

If these chairs are from 50 years ago or so the metal pins may very well be 5/16 inch diameter. It turns out that 5/16" is 0.3125" and that is very close to 8mm which is 0.3149". If the peg is a nice fit an 8mm size would not fit into a 5/16" hole. If your pegs are indeed 5/16" in diameter you could try making your own pegs.

  1. Go to the home store and find some 5/16" bolts that have a smooth shank that is of sufficient lentgth to yield the peg length. Such bolts would look like this:

enter image description here

You can cut them with a hack saw without too much effort. A vice to hold the parts can be very helpful. Then use a file to smooth the ends and taper the end corners a bit to get rid of sharp edges.

A center punch and a hammer can then be used to make a divot into the side of the rod to make a place to start the drill bit to make the cross hole. With a properly located center punched guide it should be relatively easy to drill the hole with an electric drill.

It is possible to also purchase an eye bolt that looks like the following that would also have a smooth shank. With this you would only need to make one cut per bolt and then use the eye for the screw to secure the seat. Since the hole is going to be larger it may be necessary to use a pah head screw and a small washer on the screw.

enter image description here

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  • Great suggestions. Sounds like there's no special name for this thing. I like both options you presented. I was hoping this thing had some particular/special name, but I guess it's just a piece of custom hardware that's not really used anymore. Your eye bolt idea is neat and might work quite well. Thanks for your ideas! Assuming nobody chimes in with any other great ideas, I'll mark this as the answer. – aardvarkk May 28 '18 at 17:19

I believe you can find solid metal stock in mild steel of the correct diameter that you could cut to length. You could drill a hole through it or use a strap over it to secure the seat.

Are the existing pins aluminum or stainless steel? If you tried to use stainless steel, cutting and drilling would be more difficult. In my experience--most stainless is very hard to drill or even cut.

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