office chair fix
January 4, 2006 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Office-chair-filter: Does anyone know how to remove/replace the pneumatic height-adjuster thing that connects the base of an office chair to the seat (and seat mechanisms)?

You know, the thing that goes up and down when you push/pull that lever on the side.... Its pneumatic power has disappeared. I've hammered the base off, but am having a hard time pulling the seat and upper mechanisms out. I also have a replacement pneumatic tube-thing at the ready.... Many thanks!
posted by rumbles to Technology (9 answers total)
More information needed. Make of chair, etc. Otherwise, all advice will amount to "Hammer some more, in other places."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:48 AM on January 4, 2006

hmmmm.... there don't seem to be an identifying marks on the chair, but the chair looks exactly like this and this.

The "hammer some more" advice might be correct, but it seems a bit severe.... Nonetheless, there doesn't seem to be anything to unscrew. I suppose if it's press-fit it's press-fit....
posted by rumbles at 10:09 AM on January 4, 2006

Are you certain the replacement hydraulic cylinder is the same? If it is, look at its ends for attachment method.

Does it have a ball-socket, like a car's hatch gas spring? If so, that may just pry off, or there may be a thin wire clip that locks it on the ball-stud.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:24 AM on January 4, 2006

The replacement hydraulic cylinder is the same as the old one. It seems to just shimmy into the upper mechanism and plop into the plastic base--the whole structure then being held together by gravity. Thus, it would seem that a hammer might be the best solution to this pressure-fit problem. But, having worked as a bike mechanic and seen people try to hammer their cranks off their bottombrackets (instead of using an appropriate tool) I know that hammers are not necessarily the best solution to all problems....
posted by rumbles at 10:33 AM on January 4, 2006

I've got a chair like that one (I think). The cylinder fixes to the base via a taper-fit, so the only way to get it out is to whack it. Take the metal support that screws into the wood seat off, then put the base on its side. Put a piece of wood (or something else softer than metal, but hard enough to hit) against the bottom of the cylinder where it comes through the legs and hit the wood with a hammer until the cylinder comes out.

I haven't tried to remove the cylinder from the metal seat support, but it looks like a press fit as well. Unfortunately you can't access the top of the cylinder so knocking it out is going to be tougher sorry!
posted by Popular Ethics at 12:45 PM on January 4, 2006

Thanks PE, here comes the hammer....
posted by rumbles at 12:55 PM on January 4, 2006

Gah! Now I'm all nervous. How did the hammering go?

Anyway here [pdf] is an assembly diagram for your typical pneumatic office chair. As you can see, the cylinder just presses into the legs and the seat support. I think they're generally intended to be "install once".
posted by Popular Ethics at 3:54 PM on January 4, 2006

Thanks for your concern.... No worries. I'd already mutilated the pneumatic thingy before posting.... Back to work!
posted by rumbles at 3:59 PM on January 4, 2006

Here's some tips from a company that sells replacement cylinders. There's also a tool that is deisgned to wedge under the seat pan and then be struck with a hammer to dislodge the cylinder.

Doing this without one of those tools is not fun. Excessive force will likely be needed. Wear safety glasses!
posted by bitmage at 7:41 PM on January 4, 2006

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