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Storing Hairpin Leg Furniture for the Season

just the tip hairpin legs

When the cooler weather hits some of us have the urge to tidy up outdoors and get ready for the winter—which is a good idea and could likely extend the life of your outdoor furniture. If you’ve enjoyed your hairpin leg furniture outdoors during the warmer seasons and are thinking about what to do with it for the cooler months, here are some helpful hints.

First and foremost, all of our metal legs – both hairpin legs and bench legs – are durable and long-lasting. If you are short on space or in an area that does not have a long cold season, you can definitely leave your furniture outdoors. Your hairpin legs will be just fine! You can always leave your outdoor furniture under cover right where it is as well…other than picking up covers, it’s a pretty simple solution.

metal banded rustic table with hairpin legs redwood-benches-with-flat-bar-bench-legs

The most ideal location to keep your furniture is a dry storage location – like a shed or garage that stays dry. A helpful tip to keep in mind however, is that the metal legs themselves are unlikely degrade over time. All of our metal legs are made of incredibly durable steel and are thick – 3/8 to ½ inch for the hairpin legs. What will most likely break down first are the wooden parts of the furniture, or the connection between the wood and the hairpin legs if not properly cared for.

If you love the look of unfinished outdoor furniture…you can leave it as is and just inspect it each year for wear from the elements. Repair any sign of damage before storing it and should be all ready to use again in the spring. Untreated wood will fare best under shelter. If you have treated furniture checking it for weather wear will also benefit it. Perhaps a quick layer of oil or sanding and refinishing will help it get through the winter in great shape. And if you’re really lucky, you already have hairpin leg furniture indoors too, so you won’t have to miss your patio furniture as you spend more time indoors!

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Choosing a Tabletop for your Hairpin Legs

square coffee table with hairpin legs

There are endless options for table tops to accompany the hairpin legs you’re looking forward to using. Making a tabletop can be as easy as finding a piece of reclaimed lumber and attaching a pair of metal hairpin legs. Or you could reuse an slats from an old pallet and fashion the wood into a tabletop. Some customers use an item that could be repurposed into a tabletop such as an old door. Or maybe a more personalized piece is what you’re looking for.

diy chest with hairpin legsRough sawn lumber, an old butcher block, or another table you’d like to retrofit. One idea that we think looks great is a useable top surface with an underside to which metal legs can be attached – an antique cabinet door, the top of an old trunk – or the whole trunk itself. Our hairpin legs are made to order and they are available in a variety of sizes so choose the thickness of your tabletop and we’re sure to make the legs in a size that works perfectly for you. Once you know how tall you want the overall height of your table, just subtract the thickness of the table top from the overall height and that will be the leg size you want. Not a standard size we’re offering? We can custom make any size between 4 and 30 inches so drop us an email if you think a custom size would work best for you. All of our metal legs are made of 100% recyclable steel right here in the USA!

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Using Hairpin Legs Outdoors

closeup painted table with hairpin legs

We often get questions from customers asking if hairpin legs can be used outdoors. Yes, they can absolutely be used outdoors! Our metal hairpin legs are made from 100% steel. Therefore, they are durable and able to withstand a variety of conditions. Some customers choose to add a protective layer to their metal legs for use outdoors. Check out Aileen’s beautiful table made with our 3-rod hairpin legs; her table is a perfect example. The table itself is a beautiful herringbone design highlighting the natural wood. She has chosen to paint the hairpin legs to give them added color, fashion, and durability for use outdoors. The legs take on a whole new personality with the added color. Notice how the leg color is accented with a splash of color in the triangular table pieces.

patio-table-with-3-bar-hairpin-legs outdoor-patio-table-with-hairpin-legsHairpin legs work great on exterior tables. It makes the table less bulky than heavy wooden legs – very accommodating for moving furniture around as needed. The metal legs are also simple, clean and they leave more room for feet, kids and pets. Metal legs nicely match common outdoor furniture like the chairs used here. The metal frame of the chairs goes well with our metal hairpin table legs. Just imagine all the fun Aileen will be having this year with all that space around her hairpin table leg outdoor furniture! Great job Aileen – thanks for sharing!

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What Types of Floors Work with Hair Pin Legs?

All our hair pin legs are strong and sturdy. After all, they are made of metal! Some are made from round bar metal, some square bar metal, some are even made of rebar. We get questions from customers regarding their suitability for different floor materials and floor coverings. What floors do hair pin legs work best with? Hair pin legs work with any floor. The strong shape and simplicity of the hair pin leg goes well with those same features a wood floor portrays. The clean curve at the base of the leg nestles nicely with a rug or carpet and compliments the softness of floor coverings. Hair pin legs work with tile and other floor types as well. The type of floor and use for the furniture will determine how the legs and the floor should best interact. The deciding factor will be determined by your floor, the finish used, the use of the furniture containing the legs, and the amount of weight and motion that will go along with the furniture use. Use your best judgment to decide what feels most comfortable for you. But know that hairpin legs can be used with any floor type.

On hard floors with light use furniture, the metal of the hair pin leg will likely work well without floor protection. However, customers have let us know that with heavier use furniture on softer floors, they like using pads and protectors. There are lots on the market but customer feedback has indicated good experiences with Dura-Grip furniture leg pads. No matter what hairpin leg and floor type you’re combining, you’ll love your hairpin legs! And send us a picture when you’re done!

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Bent Hairpin Table Legs – What Do They Go With?

hairpin legs with feet

Looking for a do-it-yourself furniture project with components that will blend the design aspects in your home? Bent hairpin table legs are a classic furniture style. The hairpin leg style originated at the turn of the century as a functional and fashionable option for furniture. They offer a classic look matching and complementing many interior design looks and come in enough different styles and materials to match any décor. The raw unfinished metal can subtly complement and support louder colors, textures, and materials in the home. They can also draw attention to themselves in a complementary setting with their clean lines and solid structure. The shape of the metal and the twist of the design all offer numerous choices to optimally combine styles and textures in the home.

hairpin legs ready to ship squarebarhairpintableleg2 rebarhairpintablelegsmain

Bent hairpin table legs can certainly blend with their surroundings or hold their own (literally as well as figuratively). Our numerous offerings ensure the right option for your design style. The original bent hairpin table leg comes in both our classic round bar, as well as our square bar hairpin table leg style. The square bar offers a slightly different look – adding an angular aspect to the rounded hairpin design. For a more textured look the rebar hairpin table leg is the go-to metal table leg. The twist hairpin legs offer a modern shape to the standard bent hairpin table leg. They infer a softer and more curved aspect to the furniture. All of our bent hairpin table legs come as a single unit that includes the bracket for attaching to the tabletop. You will find that our different hairpin table legs offerings will match and blend your home designs wonderfully. As always, we’re interested in seeing what our customers dream up, so be sure to send us a photo!

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Are all Hairpin Legs Created Equal?

Choosing the right metal legs for your project is important. You want to be sure your finished piece will be strong and sturdy. Here are some tips to help you get the best product.


Who is selling the legs?

Is the seller the manufacturer or a retailer? If the seller is not involved in the manufacturing they may not be able to verify quality or answer specifics about manufacturing. Modern Legs sells their products themselves so each product is verified for quality.

Who makes the product?

Are products hand-made or machine manufactured? Is the product made in the USA or imported? Every set of metal legs we sell are hand made right here in the USA; every set of legs are made to order for every customer.

What are they made of?

What material is used to make the legs? Is it a strong material? The materials we use for all of our metal legs are sturdy and long-lasting. We offer a wide variety of metal legs from the original hairpin leg made of steel to a rebar hairpin leg to tube steel bench legs. Sounds durable, huh? We choose the appropriate material for each style of leg – just look at the tapered angle iron table legs and you’ll see what we mean.

What are the style offerings?

Having a piece of furniture look good is important. A good set of metal legs will compliment the other components and bring its own style to the mix. We offer a wide variety of styles from Just the Tip to a square bar hairpin leg. Or check out our modern twist (literally) on the hairpin classic – the twist hairpin leg.


All of these questions will help you determine what metal legs are best. Answers should be made clear by the seller of any product – but especially a component like legs that will support a larger structure. You’ll want the finished furniture to last a lifetime and give you peace of mind that you have used the best components possible.

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Need Furniture Legs? How About Mid-Century Metal Legs?

As our customers know, we’re big proponents of the ‘builder culture’ which is making a comeback these days with those looking for custom furniture, locally made goods and a higher level of quality. But what happens when you find a table design you like and turn to the search engines for help? You’ll find a huge number of options for metal table legs, rough cut or finished wood and plans to choose from. Today we thought we’d address the range of options you’ll find if you start looking for ‘metal table legs’.

We took a quick survey of the results which show up when you search for ‘metal legs’ or ‘metal table legs’, and we turned up everything from our own hairpin and tube steel legs, to gold plated metal legs, which sell for $2,000 a piece! And if you’re thinking those legs must have come from an exclusive boutique, think again. They’re being sold through a very recognizable home improvement store with locations all over the country.

Most of the metal legs we found were priced between $25 and $50, which means building your own table might be a bit more expensive than some folks were planning on. If you’re thinking of building your own table and you’re just looking for a clean, understated metal table leg…we’d like to suggest mid-century modern table legs. Almost all of our legs are priced below $20 a piece and they are all built from durable steel right here in the USA. So if you’re building your own table and need some legs that won’t break the budget, consider our mid-century modern legs. If you have questions about an upcoming project, get in touch.

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What is Mid-Century Modern Furniture?

“Mid-Century Modern” is a big category, and refers to a sweeping design movement from the 1930s to the 1960s. This movement and the aesthetic it created can refer to architecture, product design, industrial design and furniture design. The term itself was used during the 1950s, but was brought back to the forefront by Cara Greenberg, who used the term in her book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s. The movement is often overshadowed by the giants of the time, including Frank Lloyd Wright and Oscar Niemeyer, but many of the lasting objects and ideas from the Mid-Century modern movement are found right in the homes and offices around us, and were created by less well known designers.

The look of the furniture being created during the Mid-Century movement was more simple and sleek than previous designs. Designers also branched out into a variety of materials. Plastic was the new medium of the day, but many furniture designers were created beautiful, clean designs from wood, metal and fabric. Popular designs which originated in Scandinavia, Europe, South America and North America used minimal decoration and smooth curves to create new furniture sets and standalone pieces.

modern hairpin legs with feet vintage door coffee table with tapered angle iron legsSo what is a Mid-Century modern table leg and how does it tie into the theme of Mid-Century modern furniture? There are many styles of modern table legs, and there are a few big groups when it comes to the Mid-Century modern category. Many of the furniture from the Mid-Century period was set on tapered wood or metal legs, sometimes featuring feet on the bottom of the leg. Hairpin legs were also created during this period and have been an enduring symbol of Mid-Century modern design. All of these modern furniture leg designs have been used for tables, chairs and furniture. The defining feature of these modern leg styles was the consistent simplicity and clean design of the finished pieces, and the legs were an integral part of the modern furniture movement.

Needless to say, our product lines are all based on this Mid-Century Modern aesthetic, and are born from the modern furniture designs of last century. We’re proud to keep the tradition of Mid-Century modern furniture and hardware alive in the 21st century. If you have a furniture style you’d like to see made by the craftsmen at Modern Legs, let us know!

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Where Did Hairpin Legs Come From?

Hairpin legs for chairs and tables have been around for over seventy years and we get asked all the time where the design came from. There is sometimes a bit of confusion about the origin, so today we’re addressing the question: Where did hairpin legs come from? The story begins in 1941, when a young designer named Henry P. Glass agreed to create a line of outdoor furniture with Russel Wright, an established industrial designer. Wright was launching a new collection called “American Way”, and the two teamed up to create something new. The furniture was to be made from wrought iron and Glass created a set of designs that were simple, fresh and caught the eye of many in the furniture world.  The line gathered accolades in furniture trade magazines and Alfred Auerbach, editor in chief of Home Furnishings, referred to the collection as: the “Hairpin Group” because of the unique legs found on the tables and chairs. The hairpin legs designed by Glass marked the beginning of a trend, and many pieces were created with the hairpin style incorporated.

designer of hairpin legs henry p glassoriginal hairpin leg patio furniture

Although Glass patented over fifty of this designs, the hairpin leg style was not patented and has been used by Hans Knoll, Charles Eames and other renowned furniture designers over the ensuing decades. For those of us who are passionate about mid century modern furniture and home accents, we consider this an enormous gift. Henry Glass created a simple, modern design and whether it was by happenstance or with clear intent, the design is not the property of one man or corporation. Here at Modern Legs, we’re still paying homage to the original design, and we’re proud to see so many beautiful pieces of furniture include the hairpin leg style.

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State of the Union

Modern Legs started up as a side show to a welding business just over one year ago. I had seen some of the other table legs being produced and I thought to myself, “With a degree in metalsmithing and 17 years of professional welding experience, I can make this product better!”

I had all of the tools and expertise required to build the legs, but I just needed a venue to get them to the public. The first thing I did was to build a storefront on Heck, it was free and it only costs $0.20 to list a product. I started out with a single listing that had all of the pricing information for the various sizes of hairpin legs I built. Before long I was spending way too much time answering questions and creating custom listings for every single purchase so I hired someone to build for me. My business exploded and was even mentioned on

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In an effort to keep up with customer service, I am proud to say that Modern Legs will be responsible for 5 new part time jobs to the American workforce! Invisible Window is now my on call web developer (with design services provided by Angry Bovine) and Eastern Star Marketing has done a wonderful job getting our SEO tightened up this spring. I have brought on an apprentice metalworker to assist with prep and clean the legs during the production process so my focus can stay on laying down the pretty welds that make my product superior. I’ve also been able to help a friend’s son pay for his first car by hiring him to help package and ship orders. The next addition will be a customer service rep / bookkeeper.

I am extremely excited about these changes that will allow me to spend more time on product development and innovation. Until next time, keep on reclaiming, upcycling, and DIYing!