Help me dismantle my couch.
December 23, 2013 6:05 PM   Subscribe

How big is the hex wrench needed to remove the legs from a Natuzzi sofa?

I'm moving my Natuzzi leather couch tomorrow, and because of my currently stressed out brain state, forgot that it's just slightly too big to fit through standard doors.

In previous moves, I've resorted to removing doors from their hinges to make enough space, but that might not be possible this time. Removing the legs would make it fit, but I bought it second hand, and did not get the hex key that's normally packaged with it for leg installation. I have an assortment of standard and metric wrenches, but I know that none of them are big enough for these particular bolts.

The couch is in storage right now, and I can't access it until the move tomorrow morning. The Natuzzi store in town is closed for the evening. They open late tomorrow, and I might be able to make a run over there, but it's on the other side of town, and... curse my lack of organization.

The legs are L-shaped, and look like the ones in this photo. If someone has a similar piece of furniture, could you measure the size of wrench it takes? I'm hoping I can pick one up at a hardware store tonight.
posted by bethnull to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
those hex wrenches come in sets like a pocket knife where the different sizes flip out...and are cheap as'll be fine just going to the hardware need to overthink it.
posted by sexyrobot at 6:13 PM on December 23, 2013

One hex wrench at a hardware store will cost you less than a buck. A deluxe set will cost 10 bucks.

Splurge. A renter or homeowner's basic tool box should have a full hex wrench set in it anyway.

I recommend against the folding sets. Individual sets are much easier to use.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 6:15 PM on December 23, 2013

Yes, I am familiar with hex wrenches and own several sets already. The biggest I have is 1/4" which is definitely too small. The sets I'm browsing through appear to max out at 10mm, which I suspect is also too small. I'm hoping to figure out what I actually need before I attempt to buy it.
posted by bethnull at 6:29 PM on December 23, 2013

I do a LOT of work on cars and bikes and rarely have a need for something larger than 8mm, even on stressed members in engines. I'm willing to bet there's a different way to do this, and you might do well to post a picture of the leg in question. You can also measure the space with a ruler to get an idea.
posted by kcm at 6:36 PM on December 23, 2013

The biggest I have is 1/4"

You can also get a set that starts bigger and goes to even bigger. Might not be at an urban corner hardware store, but certainly a Home Despot.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 6:57 PM on December 23, 2013

If you can't get an answer here tonight, maybe call an east coast Natuzzi dealer in the morning? They have a dealer locator on their website.
posted by cecic at 7:21 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

This set on amazon goes up to 19mm, and google showed a bunch of other results, so they definitely exist over 10mm. Also is the bolt countersunk? If not can you just use a locking wrench to get it loosened?
posted by MillMan at 7:33 PM on December 23, 2013

Get in there with a ruler - measure flat to flat straight across. Better yet, make a mark on a piece of paper, and hie thee to a hardware store to match up available hex keys (will probably be a socket for a ratcheting wrench at sizes greater than 10mm.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:55 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I had a friend that was in the same predicament as you. He went to the orange big box store that sells tools. He bought a set like this one. He carefully used the hex key then returned the set the next day. I wouldn't do something like this, personally ;)
posted by JujuB at 8:23 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

It is almost certainly 8mm or 10mm. There is no need to make it bigger- it only needs to hold the leg to the couch & takes no great stress that a larger size would match up to.
posted by TDIpod at 8:36 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tip: You can get a cheap set of larger hex wrench sockets at AutoZone or any similar national auto parts store, where cheap is = less than $10. For example, this five piece set (7 mm, 8 mm, 10 mm, 3/8 In., 1/4 In.) is $9.
posted by mosk at 8:49 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Allen keys are measured across the flats, you could try to find a round object that fits snugly, and then measure it. Or try the - hold a piece of paper over the bolthead and rub with a pencil to get a tracing- which you could measure or take to the store with you.
posted by 445supermag at 8:19 AM on December 24, 2013

Bit of a stretch, but if you have a sink garbage disposal, it may have come with a "key" which is actually a large allen wrench. It goes in the bottom and allows you to apply torsion to the central shaft so you can unjam it. If you have that key/wrench, maybe it'll fit. If not, maybe the one you buy will fit.

You can make a negative mold of the bolt-head with putty, clay, sugru, wax, what have you. You don't need to get a perfect mold, just something you can size off of when you take it to the hardware store. If you can manage a positive mold as well, that would be even better still. And if you can get the couch off its feet and find a loose one that'll allow itself to be removed with a screwdriver jammed in place, that would be a better sample still to take to the hardware store. It's relatively hard to ruin an allen socket with a screwdriver, but relatively easy to ruin a sub-par screwdriver, so don't overdo it. (OTOH, screwdrivers make nice stocking stuffers.)
posted by Sunburnt at 9:10 AM on December 24, 2013

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