How to Fix a Broken Sofa Leg
In a busy household a sofa can get a lot of use, not just children and adults, but pets too. The constant shifting and moving back and forth can eventually make the legs and/or their mounting points become loose to the point where the sofa wobbles and loses stability. In many cases this leads to a small threaded fitting called a T nut, or a propeller nut, loosening up on the bottom of the sofa. This fitting is threaded with a female thread on the inside and has a flange with four prongs that can be driven into the wood. When a sofa is manufactured a hole is drilled the size of the cylinder of the female thread, and then a hammer is used to drive the fitting into the wood so that the prongs stick. Then the sofa leg, which has a 5/16”-18 threaded stud or hanger bolt in the end of it, is screwed in. If the sofa legs is screwed and tight so that the top of the sofa leg is flush to the bottom of the wood frame of the sofa, it’s a fairly secure fit. However, overloading and use can weaken this connection. Which brings us to the point of how do we take corrective action and what’s the correct action to take?
The first thing to do is to turn the sofa over and unscrew the offending leg. In many cases it’s just a matter of the T nut having worked its way free, in which case a couple of gentle wraps with the hammer will reset it in place. Screw the leg back in, turn your sofa over, and you’re ready to go. But be prepared for the same leg to loosen up again, as once the initial bond of the T nut to the wood has been compromised, it will weaken again more easily.
Assuming that the above mentioned step failed, the next thing to do is turn your sofa over again, unscrew the leg, and remove the T nut. Now at a furniture supply store, hardware store, or online, purchase a replacement T nut with the same internal thread but a larger body. Install this T nut in place of the old one. It may be that you have to drill a slightly larger hole, but this will provide additional support. When you screw the leg in this should fix the problem.
So far we’ve discussed relatively simple and ordinary problems with sofa legs becoming wobbly and disengaging. However, such a simple problem is not always the case. Sometimes the damage is to the sofa frame, and it’s such that replacing the T nut is not going to solve the problem. In this particular situation, we need to use a device called a T plate, which is a roughly square shaped steel plate that is debossed, and has a 5/16”-18 tapped hole in the center of it that’s the same thread as the hanger bolt on the sofa leg. In addition, this plate has four holes in it. The procedure is to first screw the sofa leg into the raised side of the T plate, put the whole assembly over the hole so that the threaded stem on the sofa leg extends into the hole, and then get ready to mount this to the bottom of the sofa frame with four screws. You can certainly see that this will be a much more secure arrangement. However by this point you have noticed that the sofa leg is at an angle. Well this is because typically these tea plates are offset at about 12 degrees and you want the leg to point towards the outside corner of the sofa frame that is mounted to give additional stability. However you also notice that these plates are sold in sets of four with all the necessary hardware and fittings for attaching them successfully. This is because you can’t have one sofa leg pointing out at 12 degrees and the others perpendicular to the bottom of the sofa which means you need to repeat this process for the other three legs. But at the end of the day, this will be a much more stable and secure attachment for your four sofa legs. T plate replacement kits are made by several companies such as Anwenk, Mudder, Pandora, Leg Daddy, and Tech Team https://techteamproducts.com/. We happen to like Tech Team’s https://www.amazon.com/Sofa-Chair-12-Degree-Furniture-Hardware-Included/dp/B07CTXZK1T/ref=sr_1_20?ie=UTF8&qid=1546974517&sr=8-20&keywords=sofa+leg+repair because it’s a complete set with insert nuts, T nuts, and all the other parts that you need to make this successful. In addition, they are heavy gauge steel, which ensures a long successful repair.
The only other situation you might run into is a broken leg. If you’ve broken a sofa leg you can try to cob it together with wood glue and such. Generally speaking this type of repair does not have a long life time, and your most successful and effective repair would be to purchase a set of sofa replacement legs.