How To Disassemble An Office Chair in 4 Easy Steps

Several reasons might impact your decision to disassemble your office chair. Maybe you need to oil the parts, move to another office, or perform some minor adjustments. Whatever your reason, we’ve scavenged the internet to provide you with the perfect guide to help you dismantle your chair the right way.  

Follow these simple steps to disassemble your office chair:

  1. Reduce chair mobility by dismantling the wheels. 
  2. Remove the star base.
  3. Disassemble the armrests.
  4. Unbolt/unscrew the fixtures to separate the seat pad from the backrest.

If you’ve disassembled a chair in the past, you know there’s more to each step than meets the eye. If you want to take your chair apart for the first time, keep reading for an in-depth and straightforward disassembly walk-through. We sure hope it helps!

Repairman disassembling an office chair, How To Disassemble An Office Chair in 4 Easy Steps

How To Disassemble An Office Chair 

Dismantle The Casters/Wheels

It will be quite challenging to get the job done, especially when your chair moves around at the slightest provocation. The best way to limit your chair’s mobility is by detaching the wheels from the wheelbase. 

What you’ll need: 

  • Pry bar
  • Screwdriver

Procedure

  • Turn your office chair to the side or upside down to gain access to the wheels.
  • Hold the leg of the chair with one hand and grasp the caster with the other.
  • Pull out the caster. If it doesn’t budge, use the pry bar to pry out the caster.

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  • Position the nail-pulling end of the pry bar between the caster and the chair leg. Push the pry bar handle downwards to pull out the caster wheel. 

Use this same procedure for each wheel until your chair is no longer mobile. When done with all the wheels, remove the star base. 

How Do You Remove The Star Base From The Office Chair? 

What you’ll need:

  • Hammer
  • 2×4 piece of wood

Procedure:

Step 1: With the chair inverted, have someone else hold down the five-star base as you position the piece of wood right above the gas lift.

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Step 2: Grab your hammer and use the side to hit the wood, so you don’t damage the gas lift. Steer clear from striking any part of the gas lift directly. 

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Step 3: Keep hammering the wood while it’s on the gas lift. The pressure within the five-star base will eventually be released, and the bottom will come apart. 

Disassemble The Armrests

Next, remove the armrests from their current position. What you’re doing here is eliminating the secondary structure so that you won’t have anything getting in your way. 

It’s essential to check if your armrests are removable first. A good number of office chair seats have their armrests built into their structure. If yours is one of them, you need to check how they are attached to the seat structure.

Unbolt/Unscrew The Fixtures

There usually are two ways in which armrests are fixed onto chairs: through bolts or screws. Depending on your screws, you may need to use a cross-head screwdriver or a flat-head screwdriver. For the bolts, you can unfasten them using a Hex key Allen wrench.  

 

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Unfasten the bolts or screws by turning the respective tools counter-clockwise. Each screw/bolt that comes out should be stored safely, in case you’ll need to assemble your chair later on. 

Remove the unfastened armrests from the seat structure and place them together with the caster wheels. We discuss how you can disassemble the central parts of your office chair in the next two sections. 

How To Take The Seat Off An Office Chair?

At this point, what should be left of your chair is the seat pan, the back rest, and the metal cylinder. Focus on detaching the seat first before proceeding to the rest of the parts.

Start by unbolting or unscrewing the fixtures that link the back rest to the seat pan, and gently separate the two parts. Do this using the Hex key Allen wrench and screwdrivers from the previous step.

Furniture repairman working on repairing office chair

If your office chair has a single unit structure, all you have to do is separate the entire body framework from the star base. Perform a quick check to determine if your chair uses hydraulics to raise your chair. This feature is always present in adjustable chairs. 

  • If your chair is attached to the hydraulics, check for any bolts or screws beneath the seat pan. If there are any, undo them and detach the seat pan and the back rest from the base as a single unit. 
  • If your chair isn’t attached to the hydraulics, separate the two parts by pulling them away from each other. Next, remove the cylinder with the hydraulics from the base of the chair. 

We understand that not every office chair uses hydraulics. If yours uses pneumatic technology – i.e., gas lift cylinders – determine how to detach them from your office chair in the next step. 

When you assemble your office chair later on, use a cushion on the seat to make it more comfortable than before. Here’s our post about 8 Types of Cushions [Do You Know them All?] to help you decide which cushion to pick for your chair.

How Do You Remove A Gas Lift Cylinder From An Office Chair?

Detaching a gas cylinder from your office chair is pretty straightforward, provided you have the right tools.

Tools you’ll need: 

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Rubber mallet

Procedure:

Typically, the first step would be to remove the casters and star base from your chair; but since we’ve already covered that in the first step, let’s head straight to removing the gas lift cylinder, shall we? 

Step 1: With your chair upside down, use the adjustable wrench to remove the four bolts that join the mechanism under it to the chair. After unscrewing all the bolts, take the upper part of your chair and set it aside.  

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Step 2: Next, separate the base from the cylinder. Hold the cylinder upright with one hand, and use the other to hit the base downward using the rubber mallet. Hit the mallet close to the cylinder by focusing your mallet on the surrounding area.

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Step 3: Once you remove the base, proceed to release the mechanism from the inside of the cylinder. Do the same for the mechanism as you did when removing the bottom. Hold the cylinder upside down with one hand and use the rubber mallet to hit the mechanism downwards until it comes out.

Step 4: (Bonus Step) If the mechanism doesn’t come out of the cylinder, apply some heat and then gently hit it using the rubber mallet. You can hold it over a stovetop, a candle, or a torch. Whichever heat source you use, be extra careful not to get yourself burned! 

If it still doesn’t come out despite the applied heat, you have one option left: use a unique removal tool. This tool often comes included with replacement gas cylinders. All the included items can help a lot in the cylinder removal process. 

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Watch the video below for more detailed and practical information:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpUJDV9AaMk

Can An Office Chair Explode?

According to officesolutionpro.com, office chairs really can explode. The science behind this dictates that when the air within the gas cylinder gets compressed, it creates just about enough energy to create a massive explosion.

There are three kinds of air-pressurized office chairs in the market today: gas-pressured, mechanical, and hydraulic pressured. Unfortunately, some of the office chair manufacturers today take shortcuts during production. 

You can easily spot poorly manufactured chairs based on several factors. Sometimes it’s their substandard build quality, and other times it’s how worn out their parts and materials are.

There’s no need to fear using an office chair, though. Explosions only happen if the chair’s cylinder comes into immediate contact with a high-impact object, such as a bullet or a free-falling heavy-weight sack.

The type of chair you sit on matters a lot. An explosion may occur if the chair is ancient or if the chair is poorly-made or in terrible condition. Luckily, most chairs we use today are improved versions of earlier types of office chairs in the 90s or early 2000s.

Provided you purchase your chair from a reputable manufacturer, you won’t have to worry about unexpected accidents anytime you sit behind your desk. 

On a side note, if you plan on buying an office chair anytime soon, our post about What To Look For In An Office Chair [6 Things To Check Before You Buy] will be super useful!

How Do You Remove A Stuck Base From A Chair?

If the base of your office chair is stuck, the issue is most likely with the gas cylinder. Accumulated rust within the metallic cylinder hinders the base from smoothly sliding from the joint. 

You’ll need a can of WD-40 spray and a rubber mallet for this procedure. Place your chair in an upright position and spray the lubricant inside the covering of your cylinder. Ensure it reaches the bottom and place a piece of cloth or paper to catch any excesses.  

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Next, place your chair on its side; hold the base as you pound on the cylinder’s bottom with the rubber mallet. Within a couple of strikes, you’ll notice how easy the base comes off from the chair cylinder.  

Conclusion

There you have it, a brief, straightforward post detailing ‘how to disassemble an office chair’. As you’ve noticed, there’s nothing complicated about the whole process. All you need is a little bit of time and the right set of tools. Carry out each step as slowly and as carefully as possible to avoid damaging your chair’s critical component.

We hope this post will help you to piece out your chair in the fastest way possible!

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