Friday, October 18, 2013

Remove The Wheels Of An Antique Dresser

Antique dressers frequently have tiny wheels attached to the bottoms of their legs. Called casters, the wheels are both functional and decorative. The earliest casters were made from leather, during the Queen Anne furniture period of the early 1700s, according to "Antique Furniture" (see References). You may also find antique casters made of wood, metal or porcelain. When you need to remove the casters from your antique dresser -- for cleaning, repair or replacement -- the removal process depends on the type of caster you have. Does this Spark an idea?


Screw Plate Casters

1. Turn the dresser upside down on a folded quilt or blanket.

2. Attach a screwdriver bit to a power drill, and set the drill direction to reverse. Unscrew all the screws in the screw plate; there are typically three or four. Pull the screw plate from the bottom of the leg, which will pull the attached stem from the hole.

3. Insert the tip of a small, flat-head screwdriver under the rim of the screw plate if you couldn't remove the caster during Step 2. Pry up the edge of the screw plate slightly, and then repeat on the opposite side. Rock the screw plate -- and thus the stem -- back and forth to enlarge the hole. Pull the caster and stem from the leg.

Saw-Tooth Socket Casters

4. Lay a folded blanket on the floor. Turn the dresser upside down.

5. Push the tip of an awl or icepick into the crevice between two of the socket's teeth. Push through the surrounding wood, if necessary, at a 45-degree angle. Pry the teeth from the wood. Move a few teeth over and repeat. Continue until you've pried the entire saw-tooth rim from the bottom of the dresser's leg.

6. Grip the saw-tooth rim with a pair of pliers. Rock the rim back and forth a few times to loosen the socket. Pull the socket from the dresser's leg; the ball-tip stem will emerge still inserted into the socket.

Cup or Ferrule Casters

7. Place the dresser upside down on a thick quilt or blanket.

8. Look for one or more screws around the sides of the cup or ferrule, which encases the end of the dresser leg. Turn the screws counterclockwise with a screwdriver, typically a flat-head. Remove the screws from the cup or ferrule.

9. Twist or rock the cup or ferrule to loosen it from the leg; heat and humidity can swell and warp the wooden legs. Pull the cup or ferrule off of the leg, which also removes the attached caster.

Plain or Serrated Stem Casters

10. Fold a thick blanket and place it on the floor. Turn the dresser upside down, with the top resting on the blanket.

11. Twist the caster housing -- or the base of the stem if the caster swivels -- to pop a glue bond or loosen a serrated stem. Twist the stem base with pliers if you can't budge it with your fingers. Pull the stem straight out, if twisting loosens it enough to remove it.

12. Hold the stem base with pliers, if Step 2 didn't loosen it enough for removal. Wiggle the stem to enlarge the hole; serrated stems bite into wood and the wood expands into the stem grooves after years of heat and humidity. Wiggle the stem in every direction until the stem comes loose from the hole.

Tags: dresser upside, dresser upside down, screw plate, upside down, Turn dresser, Turn dresser upside