A Chic Makeover for Waddell Brand Mid-Century Modern Tapered Furniture Legs

To learn how to prepare tree stumps for furniture, go here and here.

Waddell brand mid century leg makeover. Multiple colors with ferrule.

I love Waddell brand tapered legs because of their shape (Mid-Century Modern), price (low), and availability (Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, etc). In this post, I’ll show you how to customize them using a tube cutter, a coping saw, and paint.


Waddell leg unmodified.
Mid century modern leg with ferrule.

Waddell brand tapered table legs are a great bargain. For instance, the 12 inch legs are only $3 each at Menards. These mid-century modern style legs are available in several lengths from 6 inches up to the 28 inch table height. They come unfinished, just waiting for you to personalize them. My only issue with the legs is the metal ferrule (aka cap, toe, shoe, sabot) and glide at the tip. For some furniture projects the ferrule and glide look great. For others I’d rather not have either, and for some I want the ferrule but not the glide.

If I don’t want either the ferrule or the glide, I just cut them off above the ferrule. Easy enough. But what if I want the ferrule (metal cap) but not the glide? I have tried to separate the two by brute force but no luck. So through some trial and error, I figured out a way to cut off the glide leaving most of the ferrule for a sleeker look.


Waddell Round Taper Quick Mount Table Leg (mine are 12″)
tubing cutter (size: 1/8 inch to 1-1/8 inch O.D.)
coping saw
painter’s tape
paint brush

unfinished Waddell mid-century modern furniture table legs

To cut the metal ferrule, I used a tube cutter.  I positioned the widest part of the tube cutter against the glide, as shown in the photo below, then made the cut.  Alternately, you can measure and mark where to put the cutting wheel.  Tube cutters work in a several different ways so follow the instruction for your tube cutter on how to operate it and make the cuts.  Mine is the style where you rotate it once around, then tighten the knob a little, then rotate it again, and so on.  It took about 6 rotations to cut through the metal.

using tube cutter to cut glide off Waddell furniture table leg
close up of cut ferrule of Waddell leg by tube cutter

Then I cut through the wood using a coping saw.  After this, I sanded it a bit with 100 grit sandpaper to smooth out the wood and metal.

A few notes about this.  Some sort of vise is helpful when cutting the ferrule/wood.  I have a Black and Decker Workmate vise that I used.  You can see in the photo below that I tightened the vise on the wider portion of the leg, then propped the smaller part up under a screw driver to have a better angle for cutting and to stabilize it more.  Also, when cutting avoid cutting into the metal.  Cutting through the wood is easy, so if you are getting a lot of resistance, you might be cutting into the metal.  Do I need to tell you how I know this?  Well, when it happened I took the saw out, rotated the leg, and cut from a different starting point.  After finishing the cut, I smoothed out a jagged spot with 100 grit sandpaper.

cutting end of Waddell leg with coping saw

You can finish the legs however you like. I taped off the metal ferrules with painter’s tape and painted mine a variety of colors.

painting modified Waddell mid century tapered legs with ferrule

Here are some more photos! Maybe you noticed this table top is made of wood shims? Well it is, and it doubles as wall art! You can see the wall art project here.  In the next post, I’ll feature this convertible side table/wall art project.

Waddell legs with wood shim table top
wood shim wall art
Waddell tapered leg makeover
wood shim table top with black mid century modern tapered legs
wood shim side table with multicolor mid century legs

I’ll also have a post soon showing you how to make this stump table with two different types of DIY leg options, including these black modified Waddell legs and new DIY metal legs.

stump table with black mid century modern legs
stump table with black mid century modern legs
live edge tree slice stump table with black mid century modern legs

So hurry back!  Have a great day!