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The different types of table bases can broadly be categorized into single post, or pedestal, double-based and four-legged. Within these basic style categories are metal or wood, smooth or turned and straight or tapered legs. The type of base used for a particular table depends on the size and structure of the piece.
For example, metal or stone-topped cafe tables are heavy and require a strong base. Typically, these table bases are pedestal styled with slightly curved feet that grip the ground and help keep the top stable. Antique, 19th-century European cafe tables are both strong and beautiful in their black, open-worked wrought iron design. These bases typically have rounded, yet solid furniture feet as well as decorative trim on the lower portion of the table base.
A classic American style of single post table base is often used for metal tables. It features a cylindrical, pipe-like metal piece that attaches into a round or square floor plate. A more elegant take on these table bases is the "wine glass" look which has the metal from the floor plate softly tapered upward into the cylinder section. It does look very much like the base and stem of a wine glass.
Many antique wood dining tables also have a pedestal base. It may be smooth and straight or have a wood-turned style. Most pedestal table bases are cylindrical and solid, but some are straight lined and partly open. These bases may feature a shelf with drawers for holding tableware items such as cutlery or linens. Some wooden pedestal bases on small occasional tables have long, carved furniture feet that serve to be decorative as well as to make the table stable.
A trestle type of table is an example of a double-based furniture piece. This style is found on many antique, long wooden dining tables as well as modern, minimalistic desks. The two bases, or trestles, are spaced evenly under the table top to create sturdiness and support. In addition to the two trestles, which are usually frame-like in structure, stretcher slats of wood typically join each trestle for extra stability.
Double table bases may also be freestanding pieces on which to rest a glass or other kind of top. For example, a simple coffee table may feature a glass top on two L-shaped metal or wood units. Some even simpler coffee table bases are formed with two rectangular side pieces each attached to a plank of wood. This creates a double style of table base with empty space under the tabletop.
Four-legged tables are extremely common. These table bases feature one furniture leg in each corner to support the tabletop. A frame-like structure that links the four legs together may be built under the top of a round or rectangular table. Furniture legs on these types of wood or metal tables may be straight or have a slight slant to them. Modern table base legs often taper from the top down.
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