DIY Legs That Let You Transform Any Flat Surface Into a Table

Slate’s design blog.
Feb. 5 2014 9:00 AM

DIY Legs That Let You Transform Any Flat Surface Into a Table

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Made in Detroit from cold-rolled American steel, Floyd Legs clamp onto any flat surface to make a DIY table.

Courtesy of the Floyd Leg

The world is full of discarded building materials waiting to be reclaimed and reborn. But not everyone has the tools, know-how or confidence to turn that cool door, vintage floorboard, or old window into a console or desk.

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Floyd Leg, close-up

Courtesy of the Floyd Leg

Enter the Floyd Leg, a set of four clamp-on, steel legs made in Detroit that allow you to turn any flat surface into a table. Available in 29-inch table and 16-inch coffee table height, the Floyd Leg was invented by Detroit-based designers Kyle Hoff and Alex O’Dell, who are running an already-successful Kickstarter campaign that has earned $211,931, significantly more than its $18,000 goal, to produce an initial run of the legs.

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Anatomy of a Floyd Leg

Courtesy of the Floyd Leg

The simple, ingenious idea to build a set of good-looking reusable table legs came to Hoff when he found himself moving from city to city in the space of a few years, buying and throwing away furniture as he went.

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“To solve this problem, I was looking for a work desk that was easy to pack up and move around with,” he said in the Kickstarter pitch. “It occurred to me that if I built a set of legs with a minimal and functional design, any surface material could be changed out; simply pack up the legs and then find a flat work surface in the next city. It wouldn’t require any building knowledge and only a few minutes to set up. Searching out material palettes would be an interesting and low-cost endeavor. It was sustainable because no alterations to the surfaces were being made.”

Named after Hoff’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfathers Floyd, all steel mill workers, the legs will be produced in local Detroit machine shops, in powder-coated black or white finishes. The makers suggest that the leg is best for “medium and light” uses—meaning desks, coffee tables, and consoles, not heavy-load dining tables—and estimate the legs can support up to about 75 pounds, depending on the material used to make the table.

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Hoff's great-grandfather Floyd (far left) overseeing the first strip of cold-rolled steel produced at Republic Steel, Youngstown, Ohio, 1937.

Courtesy of the Floyd Leg

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.