Caster Dining is a great way to promote conversation around the room. An elegant approach to a set of kitchen furniture, consisting of a round dining table made out of dark walnut wood with a shiny polish and a frame made out of wrought iron, fitted with four matching dining chairs on wheels.
Dining chairs with casters move easily across the floor, allowing you to quickly rearrange seating and slide to and from the table with little effort. But as the dining chairs glide across the floor, food particles and dirt build up on the wheels, eventually limiting movement and turning your functional piece of furniture into a source of frustration. Most casters can be fixed with a thorough cleaning. If the casing or wheel is actually broken, the simplest solution is to replace the casters.
Remove Dirt and Debris
Turn the dining chair on its side or upside-down. Position a scrap piece of cardboard or old towel underneath it to protect your floors.
Snip pet hairs, carpet fibers and other strings wrapped around the caster wheel to loosen them, turning the wheel as you work. Pull off the fibers with your fingers or a pair of tweezers. Depending on how tightly the fibers are wound around the wheel, this may prove more difficult than it sounds. Use a utility knife to cut across the fibers if necessary, taking care not to scratch the chair’s base or the wheel.
Scrape buildup off the wheel with a butter knife. Push the end of a pipe cleaner between the wheel and the casing, using a back-and-forth scrubbing motion to loosen dirt and crumbs. Hook an angled vacuum cleaner attachment to your vacuum hose and suck away the debris.
Spritz the caster with a degreasing cleaner. Clean the wheel and the casing with an old toothbrush, turning the wheel as you work. Wipe down everything with a damp rag and let the caster dry.
Apply a lubricant to the wheel base and turn the wheel to ensure an even coating. Remove the protective floor covering and clean the floor thoroughly before returning the dining chair to its upright position.
Measure the wheel base of the casters and procure replacements. The manufacturer of the dining chairs may offer the same type, or you can purchase stock replacement casters based on the width of the existing part. If you’re buying a replacement, ensure you choose a style that installs the same way as the old one. Swivel casters typically snap in place or twist into the chair leg with a bolt, while stationary casters are installed with screws on the leg of the chair.
Pry or unscrew the casters from the chair’s base. A small crowbar works well for dislodging swivel casters. Loosen a twist-on caster with a wrench or by hand, and unscrew a stationary caster with a screwdriver.
Secure the new casters to the base of the chair. When installing snap-in swivel casters, hold the stem portion at a slight angle against the socket in the chair’s leg or base. This compresses the seal so that the caster slides in easily. Push the caster in while simultaneously moving it to a vertical position; listen for a “snap,” which indicates the new caster is locked in.
- If you’re tired of rolling dining chairs, remove the casters and replace them with chair glides, rendering the seating stationary
TYPES OF CASTERS
Before purchasing casters, make sure you’re purchasing the right kind.
Most swivel casters fall into four main groups:
- Plate Caster: good for carts, dollies, and heavy-duty equipment
- Expanding Stem Caster: seen on shelving, carts and work tables
- Threaded Stem Caster: used for the same applications as a plate caster, just a different installation
- Push-In/Friction Caster: carts, dollies and mop buckets
When shopping for casters, take into account load height and capacity. When a caster is installed, the height on your equipment will increase; may seem like common sense, but just a few inches of added height can really affect your commercial kitchen layout. And load capacity, well, what good is buying a set of casters that could prematurely break because you put something too heavy on them?
Industrial casters are one of the unsung heroes in your kitchen. These ubiquitous restaurant parts are found on everything from ice machines, to griddles and fryers all the way down to your mop bucket.
Why? Swivel casters make it easy to move large equipment around, enabling you to properly clean your restaurant kitchen (earning you some bonus points from the health inspectors) while also making the equipment itself easily accessible for any service repairs. Though most heavy-duty restaurant equipment do not come with casters installed you’ll be happy to hear that installation is easier than you think (and can save you the cost of a service call).