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Couch Sofa leg removal and install

Mid-Century Modern Chair Bases


 See all Couch Legs

There are basically two types of attachments being used:

  1. The leg being a part of the frame assembly using wooden dowels, wood corner blocks, and glue with screws
  2. The leg is attached to the couch frame using a bolt and tee-nut assembly, or a dowel screw.

• Discussion here will be limited to item #2, as #1 requires various woodworking skills found at a furniture repair shop.
• Only 1 bolt and tee-nut kit is required for any multiple leg quantity. See kit below.
• Virtually all screw-in couch leg bolts and tee-nuts or dowel screws being used, are 5/16" diam.
• Most other sizes encountered on your couch will be Metric. See How to remove metric and change to 5/16" diameter commonly used in the USA..
• Grasp leg and twist counter clockwise. It will remove.
• Make certain the bolt is 5/16" and not metric (which almost measures 5/16" but has a different quantity of threads per inch), by trial installing a known 5/16" nut onto the leg. A trip to the hardware store with the leg can save a lot of frustration. If the bolt is 5/16", so is the tee-nut.
• Installation is the reverse of removal. That is, grasp the replacement leg and turn it clockwise until flush tightened against the frame. A leg that is not flush against the frame is weak.
• If the original leg has a dowel screw (a screw that has a point at both ends) and screws into the frame, it is suggested to install the replacement leg with a dowel screw again (How to remove a leg bolt). A tee-nut could be installed so that a bolt could be used, but it is difficult to access on items that are already upholstered. Never-the-less, if that is wanted, call our technical department for instruction.

How to remove/install bolt or screw from a Couch leg Sofa leg or Ottoman leg

In most cases a pliers is not recommended as it will slip and damage on the threaded portion of a bolt making removal/installation difficult. Instead, use either method below.

Bolt removal
• Use 2-5/16" nuts. It is helpful if one nut is larger or different than the other as in our kit shown below. Place both nuts on the bolt about halfway down. Then, jam tighten both nuts against each other. This is done by using two wrench's, turning each wrench in an opposite direction. After tightening, place one wrench on the nut closest to the wood leg and turn the wrench counter clockwise to remove.
If you have a machinist vise handy, place the threaded portion into the vise jaws and tighten securely. Grasp the wood leg and turn counter clockwise to remove the bolt.

Dowel Screw

Bolt Removal

#1109N Nut Removal Kit... $1.35

Dowel Screw installation

• Hand turn and finger tighten the dowel screw into the leg. Then, start the leg containing the dowel screw into a pre-drilled (1/4") hole in the couch frame where the new leg will be. Begin to hand tighten the leg clockwise. As you turn the leg, the screw will enter the couch frame and will take turns tightening into the leg and then back into the couch frame as you turn tighten. Turn the leg until it is flush up against the frame. Remove if necessary any staples or fabric which would prevent the leg from touching wood on the frame.

Metric leg bolts and Dowel screws

• Hanger leg bolts are what is commonly used on screw-on couch type legs. If the threaded portion protruding outwards from the old leg has Metric threads, none of our replacement legs will fit.
You will know if they are metric while attempting to replace, as the fastener hole in the couch/sofa may seem a little too large and will not screw in properly. You could replace the leg U.S. standard 5/16" hanger bolt with a metric sized one...if you can locate one.
A more simpler option is to remove the 5/16" hanger bolt from the new replacement leg and replace it with a dowel screw dowel-screw  (the same hole will work). Then, after predrilling a 1/4" hole in the couch frame 3/4" or more away from the original hole, simply screw in the replacement leg. When tightened up flush against the couch/chair frame, it will be strong.
This is how to remove any hanger bolt. Do one of the following. 
Place the threaded portion into a machinist vice and tighten vice. Then twist the leg counter clockwise. Discard the hanger bolt as these methods will permanently damage the machine screw threads.
To install the new dowel screw into the leg, see Dowel Screw installation within.
Use a Vice grip pliers and twist the bolt and the leg in opposite directions. To install the new dowel screw, see Dowel Screw installation within.
Discard the hanger bolt as these 3 methods will permanently damage the machine screw threads.