Recliner Handle Repair with 3D Printing

An old recliner sat unused in our house for a number of years because the lever that controlled the footrest was broken. The locking mechanism for the footrest actually still worked, it just was the handle that activated it was broken. This past weekend, I decided to finally do something about it to make this chair useable again.

Here is a closeup of the problem: the lever that pulls on the cable that activates the footrest lock broke off rendering the footrest unuseable. The solution was to come up with a way to grab onto the cable end and attach it to some sort of handle.

My first prototype is pictured above. The cable endstop would fit in and settle into a recess on the inside. Then a handle with screws would lock it in place from the opposite side. I couldn’t get the endstop into the tiny hole, so this idea didn’t work.

Next, I tried this design, which worked beautifully! The cable could slot in with absolutely no problem!

Here are the various iterations of my prototype designs. The final handle came from gluing together the two parts on the right.

Here is the full assembly shown together.

Here is the handle attached to the cable end. To see details on how this was installed, watch the video below!

This handle is great for attaching to any cable with an endstop and not just for fixing old broken recliners. If you’d like to print one yourself, I’ve posted the design files on Thingiverse here.

Now the footrest lever wasn’t the only thing broken on this recliner. The back massage mechanism needs some loving too. Stay tuned for the next post in which I delve into fixing that problem!