How to Tear Apart Desk Chair Casters

Louise Harding

Desk chair casters enable a chair to swivel or roll instead of remaining stationary. The ability to disassemble or tear apart a desk chair caster primarily is based on the original construction of the caster. Many casters are factory-welded for strength.

If you examine your desk chair caster and see no nuts, bolts or screws, then your casters is factory-welded and will be nearly impossible to tear apart or disassemble without destroying the caster. If an examination of your caster shows nuts, bolts, and screws, you can successfully dismantle your desk chair caster.

  1. Hold the desk chair caster in your hand. To tear apart the caster, work from the wheel up. The basic parts of a desk chair caster are the caster yoke, kingpin (nut/bolt/rivet), fastener (post that fits into the chair leg), axle, thread guards, wheel and thrust washers, which may be optional. Grasp the caster by the fastener post.

  2. Turn the caster so the the kingpin nut is facing you. The kingpin is the bolt inserted into the axle within the wheel. The wheel is held between two forks attached to the caster yoke. According to the All Casters website, light-duty casters feature rivets, but heavy-duty casters feature kingpins consisting of strong nuts and bolts.

  3. Squirt the bolt and axle with a lubrication intended for household or automotive usage. Lubrication is sold under many brand names and is available in grocery, discount, home-improvement and automotive stores.

  4. Grasp the nut with a wrench and work the nut back and forth to loosen. Add more lubrication if necessary. Wipe excess lubrication with a rag. The nut may be difficult to dislodge as it was applied by a machine in most cases. Turn the nut until it comes off of the caster.

  5. Pull, with the wrench or your fingers, the axle from the center of the wheel. In some casters the axle may slip over a bolt or screw. In some casters, the axle is the bolt or screw that connected to the previously removed nut. Remove the axle, bolts and wheel. There may or may not be a thrust washer or thrust guard between the wheel and the caster yoke fork. This will slip off of the axle when separated if one is present. Thrust guards or thrust washers are used to protect the inside of the fork legs and keep debris from tangling around the axle and wheel.

  6. Turn the caster, so you can see between the two forks that previously held the axle, bolt, nut and wheel. Your caster either will have a welded, one-piece caster yoke and fastener or your caster will feature a bolt connecting the caster yoke to the fastener. The fastener is the post that protrudes from the caster and is inserted into the bottom of the desk chair leg.

  7. Spray the bolt with lubrication. Use a wrench or Allen wrench to turn the bolt, working it back and forth until loose. Add more lubrication if necessary. Remove bolt.

  8. Separate the fastener from the caster yoke. According to the All Casters website, the fastener can be threaded, square, octagon, round or covered by a tube of plastic or steel. The fastener can be metal or made of plastic.