How to Replace a Stem Caster

How to Replace a Stem Caster. A stem caster is part of a swivel wheel system that is attached to the legs of furniture or shelving. Often, the stem on older furniture will break off from the wheel or loosen, causing the swivel wheel to malfunction.

If this is the case, the caster can be replaced so a new wheel can be attached.


For antique furniture, try to salvage the old wheel casters to keep the piece in its original state. You will probably need to tighten the existing casters by using tiny wood shims and some wood glue to make the hole tighter. For cracked furniture legs that have casters, use wood glue to glue the 2 pieces back together and insert a dowel into the existing hole. Clamp together and let dry. When dry, drill a hole into the dowel and reinsert the old caster.

  1. Turn your furniture over so you can inspect each wheel. See which need to be replaced. It's a good idea to replace all 4 casters so your chair or shelf will roll properly.

  2. Slip the old wheels out of the caster and discard. If the wheels are threaded, unscrew and then remove.

  3. Use a screwdriver to pry the old caster out of the leg. Grab the end with pliers and pull the caster out.

  4. Check the hole in your chair or shelf leg to see if any debris has been left behind by the old caster. This is important for making sure the new caster fits properly.

  5. Purchase wheel casters at your local home supply or hardware store. They come in a variety of sizes.

  6. Insert the new caster into the old hole. If you can't find an exact fit, either drill the hole bigger or insert a dowel rod drilled to the size of the new caster. Use a rubber mallet to hammer the dowel into place before drilling the new hole.

  7. Attach the new wheels to the stem casters by inserting them into the hole or threading them, depending on their design.