Fixing CHEAP Computer Chair Arms

I have a bad habit of leaning back in my chair when I’m sitting at the computer. Sometimes I lean back so far that the crappy arms on the office depot chair snap and I perform what looks like the butterfly-stroke as I try not to fall backwards. It’s a graceful scene.


After not learning my lesson FOUR TIMES I decided to stop buying the crappy replacement arms and try to reinforce them so this doesn’t happen again (because god forbid I buy a decent chair made out of respectable materials.)


The arms of the chair are made out of plastic, with a flaired out section for the arm rest, and are attached to the base and the backrest by four bolts each. The arm rest flairs out so much that I figured I could cut out a piece of plywood that would, when bolted beside the arms, take the strain from the weight being applied to the backrest. I found a few scraps that used to be bookshelves and cut them down to size, sanded them, and added a few coats of polyurethane to make them classy enough to match the exquisite office depot chair. The original bolts weren’t long enough so I took one of them to the hardware store and matched them up with longer bolts.


After attaching the plywood “strain-reliefs” with the new bolts I took a step back to enjoy the new tank-of-a-seat I just modded. This thing has been going strong for six months now and shows no sign of strain!



2 Replies to “Fixing CHEAP Computer Chair Arms”

    1. Hey Marcos! Grab at least 3/4″ plywood for real strength and you might also need to buy some longer bolts too. Post a pic here when you’re done. I’d love to see it!

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