Custom Metal Bases for Tables: What's Available?

Metal Bases for the tables we make at Cannon Hill Woodworking are in three general categories, but there are other types available as well. Generally, our clients have gravitated towards three types of bases, and the vast majority go with a custom base built by Cannon Hill Woodworking. 

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Our custom metal bases are made with steel tubing or flat bar steel. The seams are welded and the welds are cleaned up nicely. The bases can be made in any shape that involves angles and straight pieces. Some of the flat bar bases can involve curved pieces. Our most common shapes are the “letter” shapes. These include bases that are in the general shape of a A, a capital I, an H, a U, a trapezoid, and X, etc. We aren’t limited though. There are some very cool shapes that exist and we are open to trying anything new as long as we deem it to be structurally sound.

We can use any size steel tubing to make our metal bases, but typically our table bases are made from 1.5” square, 1 x , or 1 x 3 stock. We bolt our metal bases to threaded inserts that we embed in the underside of the table. The metal to metal connection is much stronger than screws. It allows us to give a large table two individual bases that don’t require a cross bar for stability because that connection is so rigid.

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Speaking of cross-bars or full frame metal bases, we can make those as well, but we typically only make them for commercial projects where the client thinks the table will be dragged around constantly over an uneven surface. For example, if a commercial space moves their tables every day when going from the dinner crowd to the night bar crowd, and they drag the tables across a tile floor, that connection between the bases and the top, even if metal to metal, is going to take a beating over the years. In this case, a full steel frame is a good decision.

Another advantage to buying the frame custom from Cannon Hill Woodworking is that we don’t work out of molds or off of templates. So if a table is exceptionally wide or thin, we can achieve the desired shape in the size that’s needed. This is HUGE! Most steel bases that can be purchased through online vendors are made in large quantities in a specific size that may not work for the given project. Another downside to online vendors is that the steel is often a thinner gauge and therefore less heavy and less durable. It’s virtually impossible to tell from photos, but when it shows up, you know it’s crap.

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All of our steel bases are sandblasted and powder coated. The sand blasting cleans the base of any mill scale residue, that is invisible to the eye after the welding process but that could potential clump up to the size of a grain of sand and be visible and felt after powder coating (when it would be too late to do anything about it). The powder coating is a process where the color is sprayed thick onto the steel and then the base is baked to harden the finish. This is far more protective from rust and durable long term than a spray paint finish out of a can. There’s no comparison. We have literally hundreds of colors and spray textures available. 

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The two other types of bases we sell are through reputable vendors and craftsmen with whom we enjoy working. The first type is a “cast” base. These are solid bases where the iron or bronze is melted down and cast into a form. Some of the wishbone shape bases that we purchase are cast. 

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Another type is hollow sheet metal that’s cut with laser cutter as put together to build a 3d shape. These can be curved and really beautiful and can be made from expensive metals without needing to be outrageously priced because the metal is thin gauge. They aren’t as heavy as our steel bases, but they work for most table tops.

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Give us a call to discuss a custom project. 857-576-2089 or email info@cannonhillwood.com. We look forward to hearing from you!