We’re believe that using what you already have is one of the best ways to make hairpin leg furniture. An old door, free pallets, or a yard sale find can all make amazing furniture. Elbow grease and a set of modern metal table legs make virtually any old wood into amazing furniture. Here is how Ryan saved a discarded coffee table and turned it into reclaimed furniture:
Someone was throwing out a trashed cafe table and I took it for the base. I decided to sand down the top and realized that it was solid mahogany. So I threw the hairpin legs on the table top to make a coffee table.
A piece of the original table he wasn’t even planning on using turned into a work of art! Finding a mahogany tabletop may sound improbable, but treasures like this abound. It is amazing what can be found when we keep our eyes peeled. Reclaimed wood can be used in its current state.
Sanding old wood or running it through a planer reveals the next layer that can look young and beautiful. Wire brushing old wood can keep its rough used appearance, it that appeals to you. Reclaimed wood can also be a raw material. Old tables and doors can be cut up or otherwise shaped to create a new tabletop. Your new tabletop can be left untreated if that’s your preference. It can also be oiled, waxed, clear coated, or painted for added appearance and protection. The possibilities are endless and we’re glad Ryan shared his story for inspiration. There are many treasures just waiting to be turned into hairpin leg furniture!
Hairpin legs came out in the middle of the last century. They were the perfect mix of form and function; they combine minimal materials with maximum of strength. The style took off and there were hairpin legs on everything. Hairpin legs were used on anything from dining room sets to birdcages. Hairpin legs really do go well on endless amounts of home furniture. We love seeing imagination bring these metal legs to unique projects.
Hairpin legs on a lamp is a great example! This desktop-style lamp from Amsterdam Modern utilizes three light hairpin legs as its support system. Brilliant! Our hairpin legs are designed with a plate at the top for easy attachment to the underside of things like tables and desks but don’t let that dampen your imagination. Different designs and lighter materials mean anything can have the attractive hairpin leg look.
The shorter hairpin legs used on this lamp is a great example of the importance of different sized legs. Our 4-inch hairpin legs can easily support larger or smaller projects. They work well on large pieces of furniture like a bureau. They can also be used on something small like a footstool…or lamp. We love seeing what types of hairpin leg projects folks come up with. Send us a picture of your next project!
Should I color my hairpin legs? It’s a question we’re often asked. For the most part, that answer depends on you. If you’re wondering about the durability of the hairpin legs, worry not. Our hair pin legs are made of thick durable steel. They do not need to be treated in any way and will still live long healthy lives supporting your furniture. But you are certainly welcome to add a finish if you want.
Finishing your hairpin legs will keep them looking just the way you want them, especially if you’re using them in a high moisture environment like the back porch. But treating hairpin legs does not necessarily mean coloring them. Treatments can be clear or otherwise maintain the original steel color of the legs. Adding color is one of the many ways hairpin legs can be treated. Coloring them protects the hairpin legs while simultaneously adding a new dimension to the furniture. Color can bring out otherwise hidden colors, add a new color to the environment, or act as a unifying agent.
We’ve seen customers match the color of their hairpin legs to a swath of color on the furniture’s tabletop, for example. But maybe you’re not ready to take the plunge and add a lot of color to your hairpin leg furniture. Ryan has the perfect solution – he colored only part of his hairpin legs! It’s a great solution. The color accent adds another facet to the furniture perfectly. Thanks for sharing Ryan! If you live anywhere near Burlinton, VT and you’d like to chat with Ryan about his furniture, drop him a note.
Making a piece of hairpin leg furniture to suit your needs in your own home is endlessly rewarding. If the thought of making your own furniture seems overwhelming, you needn’t worry. It can be very easy and we’ll prove it! We engineered our hairpin legs to make sure it easy for you!
All you really need is the tabletop (benchtop, desktop, etc.), a set of hairpin legs, and a few screws to attach them. That’s it! Check out these simple yet elegant project customers have created. A tabletop can be quite easy to come by; many things make good tabletops.
The only requirement is that it is a solid surface. An old door, for example, is a great option. This can be anything from an old door at an antique store to a closet door your replacing in your home. One customer used an old wire reel for a hairpin leg table. You can use dimensional lumber from the hardware store. There’s something about combining wood with our hairpin legs that makes it into a beautiful table.
You don’t have to stick with our hairpin legs for that matter–any of our metal legs will do. We have a nice variety of hairpin legs from the original hairpin legs to our Just the Tip hairpin legs. But we also offer tapered angle iron legs and bench legs. Check out our many options to give you an idea what you want for your upcoming metal leg project! It really is that easy…modern furniture is all about simplicity!
Michael at Woodshed Production in Issaquah, WA has done it again! Here is another beautiful product – stools built with angle iron table legs. These stools are just beautiful. The variegated coloring of the wood is eye catching. The tapered angle iron legs are stable and bring a classic look. The long tapered angle of these legs is perfectly highlighted on a tall stool.
The addition of the cross bars on the legs makes a lot of sense. Not only do they add stability but it is nice to have the option to rest your feet on the crossbar of a stool. We offer our variety of styles and sizes of metal legs to be sure you can have the metal leg that is perfect for your project. The tapered angle iron legs Michael used for these stools are quite versatile.
Like our hairpin legs, the angle iron table legs work well on tables and desks as well as stools. We can build them in 4” – 30” heights to ensure there is a height that will fit your project. You may want a simple desk with just angle iron legs and a tabletop – perfect for the taller hairpin leg heights. Or if you’re looking to add smaller legs to a large-bodied desk, our shorter thicker table legs will work perfectly. Of course, if you don’t see the perfect style or size for you – just ask! We are always happy to entertain custom requests. Chances are we can come up with something that will work for you.
Pallets are a great source of wood. First of all, they are usually free for the taking. Ask around at your local stores if they have pallets to give away. Sometimes you’ll see piles of pallets out behind businesses – this is a good place to start when asking around for free pallets! Secondly, pallets often end up being thrown out so you’re saving them from being used once and heading to the dump. Finally, pallets are usually made of high quality wood. After all, they do have to support the weight of all they are carrying.
How much work does it take to turn pallets into furniture? That depends on the final look of your furniture. Pallet wood also offers a range of options for use. They can be used as-is or cleaned up to create finished wood. For the simplest usability, keep the pallet in its current shape, add additional slats to fill in any gaps in the surface, screw on a set of hairpin legs and, voila! You have a finished table!
You can take it a step further and deconstruct the pallets to make something more customized. Taking the pallet apart will give you raw stock to work with. Once taken apart, this wood can be kept as it is if you’re looking for a rough and rustic look for your finished product. If you want something more refined – no problem. Plane and sand for a finished wood product ready for a high-end piece of furniture. Then all you need is a set of hairpin legs to make yourself a beautiful piece of furniture! Pick out the hairpin legs that you want to go with your project. Screw them to the underside and you’ve got yourself an upcycled DIY table!
The most common building material we see used with our hairpin legs is wood. Do hairpin legs have to be used with wood? Absolutely not! Wood is a great option and many of us are comfortable with woodwork, but don’t be relegated to it. Other materials that make hairpin leg furniture as well!
Hairpin legs need to be attached to the underside of whatever piece of furniture you’re making. That could be a tabletop, desktop, bench, stool, bureau, etc. Typically, our metal furniture legs are screwed to the underside, but that doesn’t need to limit you either. All you need is a firm attachment so the piece of furniture will be sturdy and stable for all its intended uses.
Past customers have used materials such as melamine, glass, and even marble. Keith found the melamine table he made to be the perfect surface for his two young daughters to use for projects. Glass is a tabletop material we’ve seen used multiple times with our metal legs. You could top a wooden table with glass or make a wooden frame and let the glass itself be the tabletop. And Kristi had a great idea for a bedside table. She used adhesive to attach the hairpin legs to the underside of a large marble tile. There are lots of ways to utilize the materials you love with the hairpin legs they deserve!
Slab wood and hairpin furniture legs are a very popular combination in DIY furniture making. Why is slab wood so frequently used? First, each piece of slab wood is unique. That gives you a one of a kind hairpin leg table no matter how you go about it.
Second, slab wood is a substantial piece of wood that makes a substantial table. Slabs really are just a plain sawn section of the tree. Slabs are typically live edge pieces meaning the natural edge of the tree has been kept intact and may include such natural features as bark, knots or burls.
Third, for such a substantial and beautiful piece of wood, slabs are relatively easy to come by. They may not be at your local hardware store, but local sawmills are a great resource. There are also specialty lumber dealers that sell uncommon slabs such as rare woods and burl woods. And finally, slab wood can be a great way to use or give a second life to a tree of your own. If a tree needs to be taken down or has fallen, it can be cut up into slabs and made into amazing furniture that lives on in your home.
Hairpin leg slab tables are a work of art but they are not a lot of work to make. In fact, it may be one of the easiest hairpin leg tables to make. You can finish the wood any way you want—including no finish at all! Then you’re ready to screw on a set of hairpin legs. Four hairpin legs is the standard, but don’t be held back by convention. If more or fewer legs works best on your table, go for it – that’s why we sell them individually!
Do hairpin legs need protection? It is a question we’re often asked. The simple answer is, ‘No’. But you certainly can add protection if you’d like, and it’s simple to do.
So…what are you doing with the hairpin legs? Are they going to be used in a protected or harsh environment? If you’re looking for a leg that will do its job for a long time without much care or hassle, go ahead and use them just the way they are. But if you want to be assured that your hairpin legs will not tarnish or rust and will remain just the way you want them, perhaps protecting your hairpin legs is for you. It’s not necessary to protect the legs, but there is certainly no harm in doing so.
Protecting your hairpin legs can be as easy as applying a clear coat intended for metal. Or you can use gun blue to coat them or paint them if you’d like them to be a brighter color. We know that our hairpin legs often offer a silent partner to a showy tabletop and they are happy to do so. But if you’d like to bring a little more attention to the legs themselves, color is a great way to do so. Matching colors bring the legs into the table whereas contrasting colors will highlight the hairpin legs themselves. No matter what you decide, we know your custom hairpin leg furniture will turn out to be one of a kind! In fact, we’d love to see what you come up with so send us a pic of your project!
We love knowing our hairpin legs, bench legs, and angle iron legs do such a great job our customers come back for more. Todd is one of those repeat customers. This time he came back for another set of tapered angle iron legs. His new table is made from reclaimed old growth California Redwood. Todd let us know how well he things our legs go with the table:
Three hand-forged metal angle iron legs give this table a contemporary and even mid-century modern look.
We’re glad you chose those legs, Todd, nice job!
As if the gorgeous redwood was not enough, Todd added inlay to this table. The dark colors of the metal legs and the inlay complement each other perfectly and play nicely off of the dark highlights of the wood. Here is what Todd had to say about the inlay:
We inlayed this table with Black Schorl Tourmaline, one of the most aesthetic black minerals known. Ancient magicians relied upon Black Tourmaline, known as Schorl, to protect them from earth demons as they cast their spells. Today this stone is still revered as a premier talisman of protection, a psychic shield deflecting and dispelling negative energies, entities, or destructive forces.
The black tourmaline clearly spoke to Todd, and we think it came out looking amazing! Whether you’re using our hairpin legs or other metal legs, we love seeing your final products. Thanks for sharing Todd!