Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Clawfeet mystery solved! Now what?

If you remember last year we had to remove the claw foot tub from the bathroom to put down new tile. We were shocked and dismayed when the feet FELL OFF the tub and the terrifying realization sunk in that for a hundred years or so this several hundred pound behemoth of cast iron was delicately balancing on four unattached feet that collapsed as soon as the weight was shifted.

Remember this?


And this?


Yeah, those are memories I’d like to forget.

Anyway, I don’t know if I ever told you the story of how we put the feet and the tub back together. After having several friends, including a mechanical engineer and some other house fixers, look at the detached feet and the bottom of the tub and express dismay that there seemed now way to hold them all together except by gravity and prayer, we just decided to put things back the way we found them and hope it lasted another 100 years.

So we had a couple of strong friends assist Brandon in lifting the tub while I scrambled underneath placing the feet one by one and shouting instructions from under the tub as they lowered one corner at a time onto the feet I was balancing. It was harrowing, but we did it successfully and the tub has been resting comfortably on the feet ever since.

Well, except one. There’s one foot that I’m SURE is slipping. It makes me nervous every day. I sit on the toilet looking at that foot and I just know it’s moved another millimeter while I was sleeping. I know it! That stupid sneaky foot. And then I give it a look and shake my fist at it. Like this:

Evil Monkey

Anyway, I’ve been looking around online for solutions that might work better than bubblegum, plumbers putty, and upside down welding. (All suggestions offered to me by well-meaning but ultimately cracked individuals.) Today I found this and I think it’s the right answer!

claw foot tub feet brace

Sadly, the picture’s not great, but this makes perfect sense! The feet have bolts attached so they can screw into SOMETHING but there’s nothing to screw them onto on the bottom of the tub. Okay, you need more pictures.

IMG_3835 cropped

IMG_3845 cropped

If the feet were screwed into a brace that would hold them all together and the tub rested on the brace and the feet, then that would be super stable and I could sleep a whole night through not worrying about one of the cats getting squashed under the toppling tub!

I doubt such a thing is available ready made, though I’m planning to check out American Plumbing, the awesome store I went to for my previous plumbing conundrums. I might have to have someone fabricate what I need from metal straps. The search begins.

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