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How to Mend an Office Chair
When you've had an office chair for years, it might start to let you down. It's quite gentle, and even though you set it to just the right height, after a while you notice you are gradually being lowered, sinking down as far as the chair will go. Sinking, sagging, let-down office chairs are fairly typical, but not to worry, because this problem can be mended.
These office chairs are supported on a cylinder which contains air. It's a pneumatic support system, and it acts like suspension as well as providing adjustable height. The trouble is, eventually the seal fails and then the chair lets you down, slowly.
You might think that as my site has office furniture on sale, I'd be saying "Chuck it away and buy a new one!", but no, I think it's much better to Make-Do and Mend. Besides being ecological, it's also economical, and you shouldn't be expected to waste good money especially in a credit crisis. So, here's how to mend a let-down office chair:
1. First get a Jubilee Clip. These are typically used for holding hosepipes onto taps, other plumbing uses, or as punk jewellery. You need one about three-quarters of an inch across (2cm), big enough to go around the shiny cylinder that supports the chair. Jubilee clips are available from hardware stores, pound shops, and other places. They can even be recycled and salvaged off old gambling machine spares, etc. A good quality one, as it needs to take a lot of pressure.
2. Next, you need to open up the Jubilee clip. This is necessary to get the clip around the stem of the chair. Turn the screw anticlockwise until the belt end leaves the clamp.
3. Now, the clip goes around the chair stem. Sometimes the chair may have a protective telescopic plastic bit around the base which needs to be lifted. However, once you get to the nitty-gritty, and see where the shaft goes into the base, you'll see the shiny cylinder and know where to wrap the clamp around.
4. Reconnect the Jubilee clip so it's a full ring again, around the chair stem. This may seem like hard work, but you've had to open the clip completely and now it's got to be closed again so it matches the diameter of the chair's supporting pole.
5. Adjust the chair to the correct height. Remember, once you've decided to perform this entire operation and clamp the chair, there's no going back to adjustable height gas-lift, as the clamping of a Jubilee clip onto the chair will be the end of the line for the pneumatic integrity of the seal. But, at least it will be the right height for you, and it's better than chucking out a chair whose only fault was that it sagged or sank and you had to keep hitching it up. Anyway, getting the height right, you can then tighten the clip.
6. Tighten the Jubilee clip around the chair stem. It should be done very tight. You might even need to sand the metal to get a good enough grip, but as you've already decided the gas-lift system has failed, sanding the stem won't be any further deterioration of the chair.
7. Test the chair. Is the height right? If not, you can adjust it by undoing the Jubilee clip, readjusting the height, and then tightening up the clip again.
So, there it is. You've saved yourself having to buy a new office chair. Not only that, but you've also saved having to dispose of the old chair as well. There is a certain satisfaction in all this really. The only thing you've lost is the height-adjustability. This is a function which is handy in an office where people of different sizes are moving from one seat to another and adjusting the seat to their height.
Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 3:56 AM
Subject: thank you
Thank you for your How to mend an office chair page. It told me just enough so that I should now be able to fix my 2 home office chairs. I like my chair high, so I dont mind if it stays that way foreverand since I did look into buying a new one when the first one died and found them to be beyond my budget (11 mouths to feed...the second one I got free but used from an office upgrading), it was great to see your honest, open, inexpensive description of how to make it last longer. Thanks again!
Melody, a Happy Family Business Owner
And now the people who sell office furniture might have a grumble because I've lost them a sale, but never mind! I think things can go on for years and years if patched up properly. Make Do and Mend. Enough of this throw-away society. Let's put a cork in it.
Other things: Environment, credit crunch, office equipment, story of an office seat, Your Old 3-Piece Suite is OK, etc.