How do I replace the nut in the bottom of this vintage chair seat?

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There should be an inset nut for attaching the metal legs.
q how do i replace the nut in the bottom of this vintage chair seat
The Damage
q how do i replace the nut in the bottom of this vintage chair seat
My parents' vintage dinette set to which the chair belongs.
  7 answers
  • Ken Ken on Dec 11, 2017
    Doesn't look like the rest of the set. Am I seeing red painted rusty metal? I think the only way that you can make a permanent repair is to have a new insert, or even a nut of the correct size to fit the leg, welded in. It would only take a couple of tack welds.

    If you have it all cleaned up, paint removed to bare metal and anything flammable removed from the other side and a new nut fitted to the space, most welding shops wouldn't even charge you for the job.

  • Sharon Sharon on Dec 11, 2017
    or I would drill out the hole and 2-part epoxy a threaded bolt in the hole and add a nut to hold onto frame.

    • See 2 previous
    • MenagerieManager MenagerieManager on Dec 13, 2017
      I was thinking of maybe putting a large washer behind the damage and a bolt behind that, but I like the idea of putting the bolt into the seat and nut to connect it to the legs. I may try that first and see how much of a lump it leaves under the cushions. Knowing how I am with epoxy, I'm leaning towards welding as my next option.

  • K1f31424571 K1f31424571 on Dec 12, 2017
    There are a few possibilities depending upon how involved you want to be.
    Ken from PA suggested tack welding a nut. That doesn't help much with the condition of the metal which appears to be rusted and stress cracked.
    You would need to put a piece of metal behind the sheet metal that goes at least 1 inch beyond the stress cracks. This could be welded, brazed or blind riveted (pop-riveted) one of the last two would be my choices. They each have difficulties to deal with. Brazing requires an Oxygen/Acetylene torch, or access to one. Brazing can cause metal to warp so you need clamps to hold the two sheet metal together and then to do it properly you should braze all the cracks as well as the edges of the new sheet metal. Then you need to braze the backing nut in place without getting the brass in the threads. This method is probably the best and most secure... BUT it requires a high level of skill and expertise and it is expensive unless you know someone who can do it or at least guide you using .their equipment.

    Blind rivets can be used to attach a metal sheet with a nut welded/brazed in place as a backing/reinforcing plate. Drilling and riveting is relatively easy and inexpensive. Arrow makes a kit for $20 or less. The drawbacks of this method are:
    (1. You will need quite a few rivets and backing washers of the correct size. (2. You should shape the metal to fit the "strengthening" bends/creases.
    (3. You should also drill the end of each stress crack. This stops the crack from continuing if you get the hole exactly at the end. Then you will need a rivet at each.
    (4. You should also drill and rivet the metal ends that were around the original nut.

    There is also a tool, Threaded Insert Riveter, (available at Harbor Freight for $25 or so) that anchors a nut behind the new sheet metal. The largest nut is 1/4" 20 tpi. and the max. thickness is 1/4" (the kit also does smaller sizes). Possible problems:
    (1. If memory serves me correctly, leg bolts are usually 5/16" or 3/8".
    (2. I'm not sure if the nuts threads are strong enough material. Aluminum or Steel?
    *[I would combine this with the blind rivets above.]

    There are a few other options depending upon how you intend using this chair. Using it (them) for your self, for someone else, to sell, etc. For the latter two I would be concerned about liability. Is appearance important? Are the persons intending to use them heavy or is their weight not an issue? How "original" do you want them to appear? These and how much time are you willing to devote to the project and cost are also concerns.
    I will give you the names of some Items that you can find at Lowe's or on-line that may give you some direction you may feel better suited to.
    (1. Brad hole tee nuts
    (2. Waddel, Metal table leg top plates. (replace either in pair or full set of four)
    (3. Steel ceiling flange
    (4. Square washers (or fender washers)

    I have a concern as to the condition of the chair bottoms. there is a lot of rust visible that may well be completely rusted through. Fixing that one area may just make some other area fail, and the next and so on.
    Perhaps it may be better to remove the bottom plate and use it as a pattern for a new piece of metal that a sheet metal shop could fabricate for you.
    I am a tinkerer and have all sorts of skills that I have acquired over my life and all sorts of tools that make for a lot of options. You obviously don't have my experience or familiarity with tools or you wouldn't have asked the question. There is nothing wrong with that. Repairing is becoming a lost art. "Repair Shops" are really parts replacement shops where finding which part

  • K1f31424571 K1f31424571 on Dec 12, 2017
    Oops! Hit the "Answer" by mistake! As I was saying....
    "Repair Shops" are really parts replacement shops where finding which part to replace is the skill required and it is more expedient where everyone wants it fixed yesterday if not the day before.

    If You need any clarification reply with some of my concerns addressed and we can hopefully get you sitting on a safe chair that you will have really repaired yourself.

    • MenagerieManager MenagerieManager on Dec 16, 2017
      Thank you for your thorough response! I haven't absorbed all of it yet, but I'll be saving all of these replies in a doc!

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Dec 12, 2017
    Wow, that set is really a blast from the past!
    If you are successful in your efforts to restore it, post a picture.

  • MenagerieManager MenagerieManager on Dec 16, 2017
    I will. The table is set up already. The chairs are another issue. The entire set spent several decades in the cat room in my parents' basement, but I remember it being in the kitchen from before I started elementary school.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Dec 18, 2017
    Thanks for sharing the story behind the picture. Best of luck to you in wanting to repair and restore the set, especially since you remember it as being part of your childhood home.
    Happy Holidays.