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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Question Feet fell off old claw foot bathtub

    Two legs just fell off my old claw foot bathtub. Can they be glued or soldered or welded back on? Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Pacific Northwet
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    Default Re: Feet fell off old claw foot bathtub

    Quote Originally Posted by Molly J View Post
    Two legs just fell off my old claw foot bathtub. Can they be glued or soldered or welded back on? Help!
    Depends on the tub and how they were attached in the first place. The legs on my clawfoot tub are held on by a square-head bolt; the head of the bolt rides in a channel that's cast into the tub, the bolt goes down through the foot, and there's a nut holding the foot onto the bolt.

    If that's the case with yours, it may be a simple matter of reattaching and tightening, but if the casting has broken it becomes more difficult. Because of the weight of the tub (especially when filled), there is no glue or epoxy strong enough to fix this. Soldering, brazing, or welding might be options; I have no experience with doing that on tubs.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    3

    Default Re: Feet fell off old claw foot bathtub

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    Depends on the tub and how they were attached in the first place. The legs on my clawfoot tub are held on by a square-head bolt; the head of the bolt rides in a channel that's cast into the tub, the bolt goes down through the foot, and there's a nut holding the foot onto the bolt.

    If that's the case with yours, it may be a simple matter of reattaching and tightening, but if the casting has broken it becomes more difficult. Because of the weight of the tub (especially when filled), there is no glue or epoxy strong enough to fix this. Soldering, brazing, or welding might be options; I have no experience with doing that on tubs.
    I don't see any bolts on the feet. I can't figure out what was holding them on in the first place.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    1,321

    Default Re: Feet fell off old claw foot bathtub

    Some of these feet were press-fit with a tapered dovetail and popping them back with a rubber or plastic mallet will restore them. It should be obvious how those slip into place and which direction you should aim with the mallet. Cast iron is brittle, so don't hit it too hard or hit it with anything hard or it might crack and break. With the press-fit ones, just seat them back into place till they stop seating- that's enough to keep them there. If you move the tub after this, check them- you may need to give them another whack then set the tub down vertically so they don't loosen again.

    Cast iron can be welded by someone who knows their stuff, but that also weakens it leaving it much more susceptible to damage afterward. Welding should be a last-resort option with cast iron under stress, but it might save your tub.

    Good luck with the fix however they're attached!
    Phil

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Feet fell off old claw foot bathtub

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    Depends on the tub and how they were attached in the first place. The legs on my clawfoot tub are held on by a square-head bolt; the head of the bolt rides in a channel that's cast into the tub, the bolt goes down through the foot, and there's a nut holding the foot onto the bolt.

    If that's the case with yours, it may be a simple matter of reattaching and tightening, but if the casting has broken it becomes more difficult. Because of the weight of the tub (especially when filled), there is no glue or epoxy strong enough to fix this. Soldering, brazing, or welding might be options; I have no experience with doing that on tubs.
    thanks for your nice talk!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,428

    Default Re: Feet fell off old claw foot bathtub

    Did the legs break off or just detach?
    What's left in the space where they were attached?
    Can you upload a photo? You can upload it to photobucket.com and give us the link.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    3

    Default Re: Feet fell off old claw foot bathtub

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Did the legs break off or just detach?
    What's left in the space where they were attached?
    Can you upload a photo? You can upload it to photobucket.com and give us the link.
    Thanks for all the good advice. We were able to put the feet back on with the rubber mallet idea. One leg in the back is broken, actually the track on the tub is broken. We just put a piece of wood under that corner to hold the tub up. All is well now.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    1,321

    Default Re: Feet fell off old claw foot bathtub

    Quote Originally Posted by Molly J View Post
    Thanks for all the good advice. We were able to put the feet back on with the rubber mallet idea. One leg in the back is broken, actually the track on the tub is broken. We just put a piece of wood under that corner to hold the tub up. All is well now.
    A common failure and perhaps the most common fix (with bricks instead of wood being the alternative!)
    The dovetail bracket could probably be welded back successfully but that would require an expensive house-call or your taking it to a welding shop. Unless the tub is in VG+ condition I wouldn't bother. Just make sure that the improvised support will be safe even if the other leg shifts a bit and keep going.

    Phil

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