How to Remove Antique Furniture Casters

A century ago, furniture makers attached small wheels, also referred to as casters, to the legs of furniture. Casters make furniture easier to move and prevent scratched floors. The passage of time has wreaked havoc on them. Many of the casters have ceased to function or have become chipped or broken. A faulty caster creates a gouge in wood flooring or leaves a drag mark on tile surfaces. You can remove casters yourself, with tools you may already have around the house.

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Casters make furniture easy to move.

Stem Type

Step 1

Remove all loose items from the piece. Tape drawers shut and cupboard doors closed. Large pieces of furniture often consist of two, or more, separate sections. Take the piece apart before working on the casters.

Step 2

Place the tip of a screwdriver between the top of the caster plate and the bottom of the furniture leg. Gradually twist the screwdriver until the stem of the caster begins to withdraw from the leg. Continue prying, until you expose a 1/2-inch of the stem.

Step 3

Grasp the exposed stem with a pair of channel locks and slowly pull it out of the leg. Hard to remove stems loosen easily with a squirt of lubricant. Spray the lubricant directly on the stem and allow it to sink into the leg. Wait a minute or two and try again. Keep pulling with the pliers until it comes free.

Round Ferrule

Step 4

Locate the screws that hold the round ferrule to the bottom of the leg. Remove accumulated dirt that may conceal the screw heads. Use a wire brush and brush across the ferrule, not up and down. This prevents scratching the wood above the ferrule.

Step 5

Turn each screw slowly to the left. For screws that won't budge, apply two drops of penetrating oil around the screw head. Wait for the oil to penetrate, approximately 15 minutes, and remove the screw. Repeat the process for each screw; with all the screws removed, the ferrule should slide off the leg.

Step 6

Check that no screws remain in a ferrule that refuses to come free. Wrap masking tape around it, so as not to damage the finish, and grasp it with your pliers. Apply gentle pressure and slowly turn the ferrule to the right and then to the left as you ease it from the leg.

Square Cup

Step 7

Look for the screws in the sides of the square cup that attach it to the leg. The caster is affixed to the square cup and the square cup is fastened to the leg. Remove accumulated grime with a wire brush to expose the screw heads.

Step 8

Back each screw out with a screwdriver. Avoid damaging the slot in the head. Turn the screw slowly to the left. Screws that turn with difficulty may need two drops of penetrating oil.

Step 9

Grip the square cup with your hand and remove it from the leg. If it won't budge, place the tip of your screwdriver on a top corner of the square cup and tap the handle with a hammer. Tap each corner of the cup until it comes free.