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O/T - Need Help with Furniture Legs

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by GBatch_25, Jun 8, 2009.

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  1. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    A few years ago, we bought a sleep sofa for our son's apartment at college. Last year after he graduated, we put it in storage. We're about to move it.

    The sofa legs are stained blocks of wood approx 5-6" tall and 5" x 5". Each leg has a 5/16-18 threaded insert which screws into the bottom of the sofa at each corner. When we put the sofa in storage, I mistakenly unscrewed the legs and whatever those threaded screws were screwed into has fallen away from the wood on the inside. I have tried finding those inserts, but they are just not accessible. The 5/16-18 threaded inserts in the legs are approx 2-3" long.

    As a possible remedy, I found some insert nuts that are hammered into wood and have sharp prongs on one side and are flat on the other side. These have a threaded hole in them which accepts the leg screw. Unfortunately, the prongs on these are only about 1/8" long and they just do not bite into the wood sufficiently to hold.

    So, my question to you all is how can I fix this problem? The base frame of the sofa appears to be made of 2x4s with a hole at each corner that measures probably 3/8" diameter. I need something that would go into that existing hole and allow me to then screw the 5/16-18 screw in the leg into it, bearing in mind that once screwed in, the weight of the entire sofa is resting on these 4 pieces - so they have to be stable and not wobble.

    I hope I have described this sensibly. Any questions, PM or email me. (Xgbatch3@Xgmail.com) - delete the Xs.

    Thx in advance.

    Gene Batchelar
    Wheaton, IL
     
  2. Dahaub

    Dahaub Active Member

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    Gene, some of those sofa's actually had wooden dowel wedges in the holes so the screws would bite in that. Without going to a greater expense try using a dowel rod and elmers glue to fill the holes and then the second day run a pilot hole with drill and use the screw in feet again. That would be the cheapest fix I can think of. Dan
     
  3. bocephus

    bocephus Member

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    could you post some pictures? that might help
     
  4. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    Dan:
    The screw protruding from each leg is a machine screw type or bolt type thread. I can't imagine screwing that type thread directly into wood. If I had a wood type thread on each leg, your solution culd work.
    And, now that you mention it, maybe that's a possible solution - remove the screw inserts in the legs now and get new inserts that have a wood thread on them, eh?

    bocephus:
    I never even thought to take pix. If I have time this week, I'll try and then post them.

    Gene
     
  5. Joe G. NJ

    Joe G. NJ TS Member

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    Gene, Those inserts with the prongs are called T-Nuts. They are supposed to be tapped into the inside of the couch sandwiching the wood in between the t-nut and the screw in leg of the sofa. Those little prongs are only meant to stop the t-nuts from spinning while you tighten the feet on to the sofa. Hope this helps you. Joe G.
     
  6. Bernie K

    Bernie K Member

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    If it's what I think your discribing the leg has the screw threads on it the type that fits a 5/16s nut. Go to the hardware store and get a bunch of 5/16 nuts to fit the leg. stack the nuts on the leg screw to the top. Drill new holes in the sofa to except the nuts very snugly. Apply a real good coating of Gorilla glue in the holes and on the edges of the nuts drive the legs into the hole this should work.
    P>S> be sure to wet the wood in the hole before you apply the Gorilla glue as it needs water to activate it.
     
  7. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    Remove the exsisiting fastners and mark and drill for doll rod glue with a good amount of wood glue and let it set up for 24 hrs. wipe away and excess glue immediately and you should be good.
     
  8. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Gene:

    Couple of thoughts... contact either Toms Price in Wheaton or maybe PM Bedroom Gallery In Naperville - they manufacture and service furniture - might have what you're looking for or something easily adaptable...

    Also speak with Buikemas Ace - if they haven't got it, I'm sure they can locate it...

    Jay Spitz
     
  9. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    Jay:
    Hadn't thought of Toms Price or PM. Thanks
    The insert nuts I referred to were in fact "T-nuts" as I've now learned and I found them at Ace.

    I'm getting some good ideas here. I'm going to take a few pix tomorrow and post them.
    Thx again.

    Gene
     
  10. TEXASZEPHYR

    TEXASZEPHYR Member

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    some T nuts have small holes instead of the little spikes. A small wire brad can be used to nail the top of the T nut in place to keep it from spinning when tightened. fortunately with the hidabed if is fairly easily accessed without having to take any upholstery off. An used furniture store would likely keep these things in stock or have easy access to them. if all you can get is the prong type you might want to drill a hole in the flange and use a small nail to keep the thing in place while putting the legs back on. Do not put pressure on the leg until it has been tightened onto the couch. tighten the leg enough and it will pull the prongs into the wood. these are also sometimes called a Blind nut.

    Best

    Bob
     
  11. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Two thoughts...

    1) A GOOD hardware store should have a selection of 'furniture nuts & bolts' (yup, they actually have a selection of these things in one of those boxes you find stacked with 'O' rings and the like).

    2) Wood Workers Supply, or maybe Grizzly should have a selection of wood fastners so I would check them out.

    I suspect you had a wood anchor that had machine threads on the inside and course wood threads on the outside. These are typically made of brass. As the wood dried they could have easily fallen out.

    Good luck,

    David D
     
  12. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    OK guys, here are some pics for those who asked.

    If you want to see blown up versions of these, click the link above and open the "Sofa" album. Click on each photo and it will resize.

    First one is the hole in the base. It's hard to see, but trust me there is only wood inside the hole, which is approx 3/8" diameter.:

    [​IMG]


    Second one is the leg with the threaded screw on it:

    [​IMG]


    And here's a pic of the T-Nut I tried, but would not stay put.

    [​IMG]


    Keep the suggestions coming or just ditto what you may have already posted.
    And thanks again for all the help.
    Gene
     
  13. bocephus

    bocephus Member

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    If you use a tnut it has to go on the opposite side of the hole so when you tighten it up it draws together, that is usually what is done. If there isn't one at the other end of that hole then it is possible there are nuts and washers floating around on the inside of that fabric.

    Most likely the original tnuts fell out-on the inside of the fabric during storage or when you reinserted the bolts you knocked them out.

    You can purchase threaded inserts from the bottom and reattach the legs, make sure the hole is correct size for the threaded insert, thread a spare bolt into the insert with with a nut to lock it in, then use a ratchet to run the insert in.

    click here to see threaded insert
     
  14. turmite

    turmite Member

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    I can't tell from the little pic, but are the threads on the leg, machine, or wood?

    If machine, there are companies that make a helicoil type insert for wood that allows machine threads to be used in wood. Some of them lock in with a little metal bar that is driven in and broke off, and some are split and during insertion the insert compresses to go in then expands again locking the insert into the wood. If nothing else works you can also mold threads by using bedding compound! I've done it and it works.

    Mike
     
  15. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Hey Gene:

    Unconventional thought... what about a molly anchor, similar to what one might do with a hanging ceiling fixture. Thread a spring loaded pair of wings onto your machine screwed foot compress the wings, insert into the sofa and rotate until tight...

    a possibility?!

    Jay Spitz
     
  16. schockstrap

    schockstrap Active Member

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    Gene,

    Threaded inserts are probably your best shot for this:

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=364

    They also make T-nuts that are anchored by screws and can be mounted from the outside of your sofa (they use these to mount pool table rails to the top of the table, so probably strong enough for the legs on a sofa). If the current holes in the sofa are too large for threaded inserts, I would go this route:

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=1641

    If you need something right away, Rockler has a retail store in Schaumburg that's not too far from you. Ace might also have these, but I've never seen them there.

    --Dan
     
  17. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    Good thoughts. In the end, I'm going to wind up taking all of these ideas and working through them to do the one I think is easiest and has the greatest chance of success.

    turmite - Mike : the threads are a machine screw type.

    Gene
     
  18. Hemlock

    Hemlock Member

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    I used to have a bad case of furniture legs. But I got a massage and then a suntan and their alot better now.

    snicker...snicker

    Later, Ken
     
  19. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    Must be why you go by "Hemlock", eh?

    Gene
     
  20. magnumshot

    magnumshot Active Member

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    Have you opened the bottom of the couch, or can you see the area where the legs bolt on from inside the couch? Maybe just a nut and lock washer would suffice.
     
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