My upholstered chair has one leg that will not screw into the chair base because the hole is too big and it looks as though the screw that was in the chair base is gone, making it impossible to screw the foot back into chair.

The other onion-shaped feet have a female screw inserted into the chair base so that the onion feet, with a screw sticking out of it, can screw directly into the base of the chair.

Every time I move the chair the foot falls out.

Is there a way for me to fix this?

  • We really need to see the chair and/or know how it is constructed in order to give an informed answer.
    – Alaska Man
    Oct 23, 2020 at 17:06
  • I would glue it in using Gorilla Glue; an expanding and very hard-curing compound that will leave it very secure. I used it on a wobbly shovel head and it's lasted many years/jobs.
    – dandavis
    Jan 28, 2021 at 21:46

3 Answers 3


Repair it using the same hardware it originally had. It sounds like the chair had a T-Nut inserted: enter image description here

Assuming the "male" screw in the leg still has good threads (you did not indicate that it was bad), buy a matching T-Nut at a good hardware store.

Note- there are quite a few sizes and types of T-Nuts, bring a sample from one of the other legs/chairs.

  • Would that T-nut need to be inserted from the top (upholstered) side of the chair? Nov 23, 2015 at 17:20
  • It would be preferable if the nut was installed from the top, to prevent it from pulling out; however, I have seen them used from below in situations like this (where the weight of the application tends to hold them in). A bit of epoxy glue when setting would help too. Anyway, better than having the foot fall out every time the chair is moved. Nov 24, 2015 at 2:18
  • 1
    @JimmyFix-it - if it cannot be installed from above and has to be from below then a tnut is not the correct fastener, a threaded insert would be better as it threaded into the wood and not just pressed in. A chair leg will most certainly work the tnut loose and even a threaded insert would most likely work loose over time from the forces of the chair leg.
    – Alaska Man
    Oct 23, 2020 at 17:05
  • I agree with AlaskaMan -- I've seen a Roomba knock a support leg out from under a bed because someone had assembled it wrong (the center support was upside down, so the t-nuts were inserted from the bottom). The leg means you have a first-class lever to help you wiggle it loose.
    – Joe
    Oct 23, 2020 at 19:11
  1. Fill the hole with elmers or other wood glue.
  2. Fill the hole with a mixture of glue and sawdust or flour.
  3. Fill the hole with glue and jam a golf tee in it (saw off end of golf tee after its dry.
  4. Fill the hole with wood putty available at big box stores.

Then, depending on your skill, energy, etc.:

  1. Get a double ended screw from big box store
  2. Drill pilot holes and screw your leg back in
  3. Put the leg in while the glue is drying and use clamps or tape or just balance it while the glue sets.
  • I've fixed holes that had been gouged out over time with wood glue & toothpicks. Coat the toothpicks in glue, put them around the edge of the hole, then force the screw back in (so it pushes them against the sides of the hole) and let it cure. But it wasn't for a chair that I'd have to worry about collapsing under me.
    – Joe
    Oct 23, 2020 at 19:15

What I did was peeled back (removed staples) a corner of the liner underneath the chair and closest to the leg. I reached up in there above the diagonal wood brace that the leg is screwed into. I could feel what I think was the t-nut above the brace. It was loose and not seated in the brace anymore. I couldn't reseat it (can't get a hammer in there and no clearance to be able to hammer it back in) but at least I could hold it down and keep it from turning while I screwed the leg into the t-nut. That worked for me. Easy peasy.

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