Tag Archives: Repair


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SBW#55 – Fix a Loose Towel Bar

So I ended up less than 1 year out of the hardware that came with my towel bar before it started wobbling. I was disappointed in this but hey, it was still under the contractor’s warranty that remodeled my bathroom so I called them up. They sent someone out to make the repair and it appeared to last for about another year and then was wobbling again to my disappointment.

This would be the first time I’ve had the same thing fail from this contractor that has always done top-notch work for me. So, I decided to tackle it myself. Towel Bars are not that hard to install, after all, I had updated the ones in my other bathroom several years before this remodel so they were no longer outdated.

Bring out the tools one by one because for some reason, I’ve misplaced my tool belt and I didn’t want to dig out my tool bag. I only need a half dozen items to make this repair so I could easily carry them in hand.

My first thought is perhaps the set screw is loose. This is the little screw, typically an Allen screw is located on the underside of something that had maybe come loose. I grabbed the appropriate size bit and attempted to tighten it up with my magnetic bit handle screwdriver, however, the towel bar stem was still loose. Okay. so not this issue, I’ll need to dig deeper.

I unscrewed the Allen screw and took the stem and bar off the wall. This is when I discovered the screw holding the hardware to the wall was actually loose. So, I attempted to tighten it with my screwdriver it but it just spun and figured, yeah, it is just stripped out in the wall because it’s not into a stud and only in drywall. I pulled the little plastic wall anchors out with my needle-nose pliers.

I procured some hollow wall anchors. I knew these would do the trick. So, the next thing I needed to do was drill out the hole to the diameter according to the hollow wall anchor instructions with my cordless drill. I hammered them in and feed the screw through the towel rack mounting hardware screwing it into the wall anchor. Once I had both screws in I tightened them down so they were sturdy and the hardware no longer wobbled.

Bingo! This took care of the problem.

I notice the other side had a slight wobble so I did the same for that side as well.

Now, all I had to do was reinstall the stems ensuring that I put the rod back in before securing the last stem with the set screw.

I cleaned up the mess from drilling out the plaster/drywall (as my walls are 1/2″ plaster over 1/4″ drywall). I put the towel back on the towel bar so everyone would be happy when washing their hands and the project was completed.

And for those who want some stats, the video below is a result of 19 videos totaling 13 minutes, 26 seconds edited down to 6 minutes, and 54 seconds. You may notice in my videos some elements are changing as I learn what works best.

As always if you have any questions or comments post them below or on my YouTube video comments section and I’ll do my best to respond.

I’ve included a few Amazon Links below for the equipment and materials I used.

Equipment and Materials

I hope you find this video useful and can use some of the tips presented. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or experiences you have had below.

Some of the links in my video description and article above are Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to make a different purchase from Amazon, you can also use the storewide link.

SBW#48 – Herman Miller Aeron Armrest Repair

My Herman Miller Aeron Chair looks like this! How did this happen? No, I did not take my armrest off, it broke! The bolt in the arm bolt assembly sheared the head off and the arm fell to the floor.

Notice the missing right armrest

I went to push up on my armrests, after all, who does do that to get up and bang. There was a loud bang and the armrest dropped to the floor. Looking at it I only see the bolt stud sticking out with obviously something broken off. What was it? After taking the assembly apart it was the head of the bolt. However, this bolt is unlike most bolts, it is only a pan head torque bolt. There’s not much metal there and with 20+ years of fatigue, the metal gave in and broke.

So, how much is a new one? $90 is a little steep for me but was to be expected given how much this chair cost in the first place. There has to be a cheaper way to fix it right? Maybe a standard bolt or something. Yes, you guessed it, that’s the route we’re going.

Complete Arm Assembly

The first thing is to remove the old bolt stud from the armrest. I did this by using my channel lock pliers to get a grip and spin the bolt out. Hold the thumbwheel while turning the stud and it will come out. Just be careful to pay attention to the parts in the thumbwheel as there is a bearing assembly and washer on it and you’ll want to get those back in the same orientation when reassembling your armrest. If you don’t, turning the thumbwheel is nearly impossible.

Now, you might need to make a trip to the local hardware store and get a 1/4″-28 x 2.5″ grade 5 bolt. I took the stud and thumbwheel down to the home centers. However, all they had were 2″ and 3″ lengths. I ended up finding one at my local hardware store and matched up the threads to their thread insert to tell me which bolt size I needed. Then I chose one with the correct length and grade 5 because this bolt takes a lot of stress from pushing down on the armrest and I didn’t want it to break again.

Then you need to remove is the chair back. This can be done by removing the 4 torque screws holding it in place. I accomplished this using my Craftsman magnetic screwdriver and a torque bit. When you get the four screws out just lift the back straight up and out. Broken hardware from the armrest is likely to shower out on the floor so I recommend doing it in a place where you can see what falls.

I used a T30 torque bit for screw removal

I inserted all the components back together (see image below) and put the bolt into the chair. I then spent some time getting the bearing assembly, thumb wheel, and washer to alight just right so I could get the bold back through and into the armrest threads. I tightened it down and spent some time readjusting so it was not wobbly but loose enough to adjust while using the thumbwheel.

Correct hardware orientation. The chair armrest support goes between the end of the bolt and the 3rd component. Old broken bolt below for reference.

Then, I reinserted to back into the chair and hand tightened all four torque screws before tightening them down with my Craftsman magnetic screwdriver and torque bit.

hand tighten screws back in before tightening them down

My chair is back to normal and good to go again. I’m glad I spent a few dollars rather than $90 because you really cannot tell the difference other than if you look closely you can see a shiny bolt rather than a flat black bolt. I could of course painted it but in this case, functionality over aesthetics will win. I’ve included a link to the original part on Amazon below if you want to check it out.

Ironically while writing this article the left armrest bolt broke for me nearly a year later. Yeah, I’m backlogged on articles and videos. So, I get to repeat the same process with the other armrest.

As always if you have any questions or comments post them below or on my YouTube video comments section and I’ll do my best to respond.

I’ve included a few Amazon Links below for the equipment and materials I used.

Equipment and Materials

I hope you find this video useful and can use some of the tips presented. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or experiences you have had below.

Some of the links in my video description and article above are Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to make a different purchase from Amazon, you can also use the storewide link.