I've got two office chairs, one whose base (the one that is star-shaped, holds all the wheels together and joins them with the bar/gas compressor) is broken, and another that is just fine.

How can I take the other's base out without breaking it (it's plastic)?

3 Answers 3


Ok, I did it.

Just dumped some WD-40 and let it soak for 1 minute, then I grabbed my good ol' hammer (I don't have a rubber mallet) and started gently but commitedly striking the edge of the post, with the chair turned upside down, while I grabbed any of the star's legs. It slipped off and then I just hammered its way in into the new post, good as new.

  • 1
    I found patience was key with this method. I highly recommend a lather-rinse-repeat cycle, with a good hour or so in between tries. It took me three one hour spaced repetitions before finding success! Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 17:58
  • This worked great. I first took the chair off the chair base (if you can) to give easy access to the legs. Then I gave it some whacks with a rubber mallet, which didn't seem to do much. I then applied some oil and tried again, alternating whacking opposite sides of wheeled part (near the base, so it wouldn't absorb the impact or break the legs) really hard, and it came off.
    – drojf
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 0:32

I've had mixed results with using a rubber mallet and penetrating oil to separate friction locked cylinders. Some of them came apart freely, others wouldn't budge.

If your broken base is plastic you can destructively remove it by cutting ~90% through with a hacksaw on two sides and then using a hammer and chisel to split it apart. You don't want to cut into the cylinder itself, so I'd recommend against any sort of rotary cutter.

I've seen suggestions elsewhere to use a large pipe wrench to torque it free; but the one time I tried that I ended up only being able to tighten it enough to scratch the hell out of the surface but not break it loose.


This may not apply to your situation, but when I flip my chair over, I have a clip which holds the rest of the chair to the base. It is located in the cylinder at the center of the star which attached to the pneumatic stuff.

If I pull that off, it enables me to pull the chair off of the base. I performed the same operation on my chair recently and it worked great. I did notice that when spinning in the chair it started creaking a bit. A little WD-40 over and around the clip took care of the problem.

I think I jimmied it off with a pair of needle nose pliers and a flat head. I was super careful although it may not have mattered as it appeared to be a pretty sturdy metal.

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    I've seen people that just hammer gently their way out, but I'm sure it will break in this case. Also, what kind of clip? Any photos please?
    – ppp
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 5:46

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