The moving parts of a backless swivel bar stool can become worn and damaged by constant use and time. Repairing a stool is easy as the parts can be bought from any stool repair center.
If the swivel is damaged, you will find that the seat is loose, the bearings may be falling out, or there is a rough grinding noise. A swivel plate itself cannot be repaired but it is a simple job to replace it with a new one. Here is the procedure to replace a broken swivel:
Remove the Old Swivel
Remove the broken swivel. Remove the bolts or screws from the swivel plates. If there is a round access hole, you must insert a screwdriver so you can remove the fastener. Occasional stools will require that you give the swivel a 1/4 turn before you can access the fastener. Take the swivel with you when you go to buy a new one as you need to not only know the size but also whether it is a flat or tilted swivel. If you measure the front of the seat to the floor, then the back of the seat to the floor, a flat swivel means that both measurements will be the same. A tilting swivel will be higher at the rear of the seat.
Buy a New Swivel
Check the size of the swivel plate. The plate size is not too important but the mounting screw pattern must be identical. For example, a swivel plate that is 7 inches (usually really 6 3/4 inches) will still fit a 5 1/4 mounting pattern. A smaller plate is usually lighter gauge steel and has fewer ball bearings. This may not matter to you if the stools will not be getting a lot of use.
Measure the holes from one screw to the next, not diagonally. You can find replacement parts from some bar stool sellers or upholstery stores.
Install the New Swivel
Installing the new swivel consists of just screwing it back into place, just as the old one was. There are a number of swivels on the market. You may like to choose one of these while you are buying a new swivel anyway.
Lock in position—this swivel can be locked into one position if desired. This is useful for disabled people as it makes getting off the stool easier than if the seat was moving.
Memory return—this swivel will return to its original position after the sitter has gotten off. This swivel is useful for chairs with backs.
Heavy-duty swivels—if you are replacing your backless seat with a heavier seat if the seat is being used by heavier people.
Outdoor swivel—these are powder coated so they are less likely to rust if your bar is in a room that has some exposure to the outside, or the room is subject to dampness.
Tilt-swivel—This tilts the seat forward a little, often making the stool more comfortable.