VICTORY! A rare and wonderful sight. We did not emerge unscathed – the chair bruised, our noble companion Ser Pipe of the Wrench – spine snapped like a twig… but victory was ours. Tell the noble tale!

I Shall!

If you haven’t read about the first part of the battle... do so now!

Based on suggestions from YT, I laid down some DubD Forty. This video captures some of the Thrill. Be sure to put down a towel … that DubD is gonna drip through the plastic ring and onto the chair.

Then it was left to sit overnight. And today Ser Pipe of the Wrench Jr rode into the field.


I then proceeded to slam The HammaR down upon Ser, over and over. Slivers of metal stripped off the Gas Cylinder, and Ser took a savage beating:

IMG_5976-500Every few hits, Ser Wrench would need to be reset, but after about 15 strikes, the Cylinder turned – it then just lifted right out. I wish I had filmed it – you really need to watch someone beat on that thing to appreciate how hard you are going to be hitting it. WARNING! lots of metal slivers around afterwards – I grabbed the base of the cylinder and got myself a handful of metal needles.


Project Completed: +20
Money Spent: +10
Fallen Allies: -5
Damaged Chair: -10
Time Taken: Too fucking long for what should have been a simple switch

Protip: I got a cheap gas cylinder on eBay – it isn’t an exact match but it only cost me $30.00 shipped and works perfectly.


Now there is a chair that say “Look at me! I’m a 90’s web developer!” and says it with authority.

From the comments….:

Conclusion : Called Hermann Miller Customer Service. They were kind enough to send me the Lift-Off tool (if I promised to send it back. It’s actually quite expensive.) It arrived two days later.

Here is a link to a guy explaining how to use the Lift Off tool. He makes this look easy, but if it’s really stuck in there you’re going to have to hit it again and again and again.

It took about 500 hits with the hammer on the Lift Off tool, (while holding the chair in the air with my other hand and the rubber strap wrench.) I was ready to give up… when the cylinder just popped out. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Triumph!

Thanks Larz – here is the video you linked!


    • Hey that is a great deal, I’ll keep them in mind next time. I’m 100% sure I will have to do this repair in the future at some point.

      BTW checked out your photos – Come watch me break a speedlite flash in my next update!

  1. Well done on getting your cylinder out. I’ve beaten the shit out of mine and it’s not budged, but having found your page I’m taking heart that the solution is more WD40 and bigger hammers.

    I started, like everyone else, thinking that a DIY job for 20% the price of a professional repair was worthwhile, but right now I’m thinking that it’d be worth the money just to see someone struggle like I have.

  2. Pingback: So many projects… so little attention to detail | HeavyMod

  3. Thanks for posting this. My pipe wrench took a beating but the cyllindar came loose. It helped to tap the hammer on the mouth of the wrench a few times to give it a good grip. Also, when in doubt, add more wd40.

    • Ah good tip. Glad the post helped. I wish I had made a video – it’s really hard to appreciate how much force is needed!

  4. Just wanted to say thanks for posting this, I was sure I had fucked up somehow until I read others had an issue. I tried relentlessly and never thought to use wd40. That really was all that was needed, and good leverage. I wound up doing this on carpet (I’m moving and changing carpet), but using a foot to hold the back and then just twisting hard gets the cylinder out.

  5. Also wanted to add, do NOT take the cylinder out if you are trying to pack the chair up. If possible just leave it in and remove the base only. This would have been much easier for me…

  6. Your example and determination kept me going. Finally, after
    bashing the damned tube with 12 lb. dumbbell against a 14 inch
    crescent wrench for about 20 times (after 2 days of Liquid Wrenching
    and futile hammering), success!

      • How hard, heavy, and often! The real videos would be
        days long. I came across one guy who was bitter about
        how the youtube videos make it so deceptively easy looking.
        Quoth him, “It took 3 guys two days and two 5 foot cheater
        bars on a curved mouth pipe wrench to remove mine”.

  7. I watched the video on YouTube (that makes this look easy) and embarked upon this journey experiencing the exact same set of frustrations. My cylinder broke in two parts. The bottom was lodged in the wheel base. I tried hitting the bottom with a mallet as shown in the video but that didn’t work. So I soaked the cartridge in WD40, took off the castors and smashed it on concrete. It came loose! However, as I sit here typing, the top aluminum half of the cylinder remains stuck in the seat base. I’ve lubed it up with WD40. I’ve tried loosening it up with a pipe-wrench (which can’t get a good grip on the smooth aluminum.) I’ve tried banging on the seat bottom with the hammer, which is only damaging the plastic. I tried using a “rubber strap wrench” to get a better grip on the pipe, and it’s not budging (meanwhile beating the hell out of the rubber strap wrench.) My question is this: Is the canister supposed to pull straight out of the seat base, or is it supposed to twist out? Do you turn the pipe clockwise or counterclockwise? Does the WD40 actually seep into the shaft if you leave it overnight? Answers to any of these questions would be appreciated. Thank You.

    • If I recall, I made sure that I was trying to loosen in the same direction as he did in the video.

      However, I don’t think it matters – once it drops out it isn’t threaded or anything. ( I think you can confirm this on your replacement piece, right? ) I think it just pulls straight out. The rotation is basically to break the “seal” that has been formed by sitting on it for years.

      I do think the WD40 seeps in a bit. Just remember to cover the area , and not to get let it get on the rest of the chair ( upholstery, etc )

      I actually broke a wrench trying to rotate it. so dont underestimate the amount of force you will need. It would actually be awesome if you could record yourself trying to get it off ( and then post it here ). It is a serious bitch.

      Why can’t your pipe wrench get a good grip? Shouldn’t it be clamping down while you tighten? I had to take a hammer to my pipe wrench and banged the shit out of it in the process.

      anyway, all I can say is good luck, and let us know how it went afterward!!!

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