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Saarinen Executive Chair ... No Legs - Chrome to Wood

- 13 Jan 2018 -
4 posts / 0 new

Hey All,

On a bargain gamble ($20) I bought a pair of Eero Saarinen Executive chairs...with no legs :) I am an architect and one way or another I will find a source for the wood legs.

My question is, has anyone ever put wood legs on a chair that was originally chrome legs? Research from photos has me thinking the pre-drilled holes are in different locations. Can you just drill holes into the shell of the chair if you want? That sounds blasphemous but I'm giving these suckers new life! Better than the trash :)

Photos attached show wood leg configuration and chrome leg configuration. Any advice WELCOME.

Saarinen Executive Chair ... No Legs - Chrome to Wood
United States
chairs & stools


- 13 Jan 2018

There are existing screw holes to explore. You may need to make a small new hole in the black dust cover to determine if the underlying material will hold a screw as well.

Seems simpler than finding two sets of wooden legs to me.

- 13 Jan 2018

Releazer, see if some of these matches with what you have in your chairs. The rigid back & arm part is made of a molded resin/press wood type material while the seat is made of molded plywood. These is what I have in the old examples I own. You will need a nylon or some kind of hard plastic/rubber spacer for the screws that ends up on the plywood seat part to level with the screws on the back/arm wrap around part.

I don't know how old or recent your chairs are but there was also an earlier squarish metal legs similar to the H-base Eames chair used in Hans Knoll office in 1951.

The screw holes of the older several versions of the four star (& newer 5 star) all metal or wood/metal bases are probably easier to re- fit, locate the holes & find replacements but it is not the version you want. These were also used in other Knoll contract/office chairs by other designers for Knoll (also for Art Metal Inc.) These are either swivel or fixed, with height adjustment & with casters or glides.

The only way I could think of sourcing replacement wood legs are from versions that the chair part is in very poor condition to restore.

If we are still in 1991, I will tell you to go to Harvard/MIT junkyard in Cambridge MA where there used to be pilles of these Knoll chairs left outside to rot & were free to anyone who wants to salvage them.

The armchair version with the wood legss are definitely closer to the 1940s Eames/Saarinen organic chair design for MoMA.

- 15 Jan 2018

I'm not sure the exact date on the chairs I have but they are for sure not vintage. They are around 5 years old I'd guess.


Are you suggesting that all of the possible base mounting holes might already exist in the plywood seat/fibre composit armature? I will certainly see if that is the case.

I agree with your hardware suggestiong. I have a trade account at Knoll and have requested they some info from them. Sometimes they are willing to sell parts etc so we will see.

Thanks for the info!

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