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I have an heavy duty office chair for my work-from-home (I am very obese). About every month, one of the bolts falls out of the arm. You can reattach it with a hex-head allen key, although it takes a bit of effort and fiddling, as often the bolt seems to rotate without 'binding'. The bolt is circa 30mm long.

I am wondering what options I have for fixing this in the long run? I think eventually it will be unfixable because I will have damaged threads. If the arm can't be fixed to the chair then the chair is useless as the arms hold the back up, and the chair was quite expensive.

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    a picture of the threads of the bolt would help us determine where the damage is that's causing it to come loose.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 9 at 12:17
  • Does "rotate without binding" mean you have trouble getting the thread started or does it mean after the thread is engaged it can turn without advancing the bolt? If it's the second, you already have damaged threads and a couple of options.
    – jay613
    Mar 9 at 13:05

2 Answers 2

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If the threads of the bolt and in the hole are still good, you can screw the bolt in by hand and tighten with hex/allan wrench, then a simple lock washer or thread glue(locktite) should work.

If threads are damaged, then the hole probably needs to be drilled out and threads tapped for next bigger size of bolt.

Threads might just need to be cleaned up with a tap if only slightly damaged/dirty.

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If the threads are stripped (to be confirmed) you can either:

  1. Buy a larger bolt and tap a suitable hole. If the bolt is the damaged part, you can buy a higher quality one than what came with the chair. If the chair body was damaged (the hole), you might find the problem recurring. Then choose option 2.
  2. See if the metal plate to which the bolt is threading has an accessible "back side", where you can install a nut. If so, you don't need to rely on a tapped integral metal plate. Drill out the hole and buy a high quality set of nuts, bolts, and lock washers to solve this problem more robustly.
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  • Probably tube steel and the threads are gone. Re-threading that is going to be hit or miss no matter what. Through bolt, as usual, +1
    – Mazura
    Mar 9 at 23:43

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