The focus of my business is patio umbrella repair. This has not always been the case. I have made a good many repairs to patio furniture as well.
This article tells you how to replace worn out glides in the bottom of your swivel rocker base. Swivel rocker bases are typically made of cast aluminum. Casting creates the complex shape needed for the curves in the base without requiring a lot of assembly to put the parts together. The glide is the plastic button set into the bottom of the base. It protects both your chair and patio surface from unwanted scratching.
This photo shows a worn out glide. The scratches in the bottom of the chair are plain to see. Bare metal is capable of scratching flagstone and stamped concrete patio surfaces.
Begin by placing a furniture blanket or an equivalent on the ground to keep from scratching your chair. Upend the chair on the blanket. Lay the chair down on its arms and back. Now you have ready access to the bottom of the base.
Tools: An electric drill, a 7/32″ drill bit and a 1/4″ drill bit
The standard diameter of the stem area of the glide is 1/4”. We will use a 7/32” drill bit to cut the worn of stem out of the base. A variable speed drill you can run slowly works best.
Tools: An awl
I like to put a guide dimple as close to the center of the hole I want to drill as possible. The notion here is simply that I want the hole to wind up where I expect it to be. If I leave the dimple step out then I might as well be happy to drill a hole wherever the bit will make it after it stops drifting away from my spot. Cast aluminum is a soft metal and drill bits are hardened steel. The bit could easily ruin the existing hole in the base if the bit drifts off to the side of nylon plug.
Put a dimple in the center of the nylon plug using an awl or scribe. A center punch will do, but those are typically used for metal and other harder materials. As a last resort you could use a nail or drywall screw for a punch.
The heart of the job
Slowly run the drill bit down the center of the plug. It will cut a neat spiral right to the bottom, and when you pull the bit out, it will take what’s left of the nylon post out with it.
Turn the base around in front of you as you work to drill out all eight glides.
Now replace the 7/32” bit with a 1/4” bit to clean up the holes. Carefully run the bit down into each hole. Be careful to hold the drill as straight as possible to keep from enlarging the hole.
Your new glides
I like to replace the glides with Tropitone® swivel rocker glides. They are very strong and durable. They really do wear like nobody’s business!
You can buy these glides from me. Visit the How to Order page to contact me.
Drive each replacement glide into its hole with a small hammer.
This photo shows you the finished result.
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