How to Repair Sofa Legs

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Things You'll Need

  • Hammer

  • Screwdriver

  • T-nut

  • T-plate sofa leg attachment plate

  • Putty knife

  • Wood glue

  • Drill/driver

  • 3/8-inch drill bit

  • Clamp

  • 3/8-by-3-inch dowel

  • Coping saw

  • 100-grit sandpaper

  • Putty crayon

Tip

Some legs use a threaded wooden dowel instead of a threaded bolt. They're rare, but if this type strips or breaks, drill out the old dowel and use a standard dowel with glue on both ends to repair the leg.

Warning

Don't use too much force when removing the bolt from the leg with the pliers. Thread damage can occur. Wear eye protection.

Sofa legs can be delicate.
Image Credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Constant shifting, overloading and abuse can take a toll on sofa legs. The majority of them are held in place with threaded bolts inserted into T-nuts -- which are nuts with teeth. The most common problem with sofa legs arises when teeth in the T-nut lose their grip. Another problem occurs when the leg becomes cracked or split, causing the bolt to loosen. Simple repair options exist to keep your sofa on its feet for years to come.

Going Nuts

Step 1

Tip the sofa on its back. Unscrew the leg and remove it using your fingers with a counterclockwise motion. Tap the T-nut back into place on the couch frame with a hammer. Screw the leg back onto the couch. If the leg remains wobbly or tilted, unscrew and remove it.

Step 2

Pry the T-nut out of the couch frame using a screwdriver. Insert a matching T-nut into the hole and hammer it flush with the frame. Screw the leg back onto the sofa using the new T-nut. If the leg remains wobbly, unscrew the leg and remove it. Pry the T-nut out of the frame.

Step 3

Place the T-plate on the couch frame, inserting the protruding end into the hole from the T-nut. These are special T-plates designed for sofa legs and are square with a threaded hole in the center. Tap the T-plate flush with the hammer. Insert 1-inch screws in each of the four drilled holes in the plate. Drive the screws into the frame using a drill/driver. Screw the leg back onto the frame using the new T-plate.

Cracked Up

Step 1

Tip the couch on its back. Unscrew the leg using a counterclockwise motion.

Step 2

Grasp the base of the bolt with pliers. Unscrew the bolt from the leg.

Step 3

Insert the tip of a putty knife into any crack or split and pry it apart. Apply glue to the crack or split. Rub the glue into the crack with your finger until saturated. Remove the putty knife.

Step 4

Drill a hole through the leg using a drill/driver and 3/8-inch bit. Drill perpendicular to the crack, all the way through the leg. If the crack is longer than 4 inches, drill two, evenly spaced holes.

Step 5

Apply wood glue to the hole. Place a clamp across the crack and apply pressure. Insert a 3/8-by-3-inch dowel into the hole. Tap the dowel with a hammer until the dowel extends equally from both sides of the leg. Allow the glue to dry for at least one hour and remove the clamp.

Step 6

Cut off the exposed ends of the dowel using a coping saw. Sand the ends lightly using 100-grit sandpaper. Color the ends of the dowels with a matching putty crayon.

Step 7

Screw the threaded bolt back onto the leg. Screw the leg back onto the sofa frame.

references

Wade Shaddy

Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.