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Connecting Table Bases To Table Tops


Tables used in the hospitality industry, most of which have pedestal bases, usually consist of two parts – the top and the base. These are often sourced from different suppliers, so it is vital to ensure that they are connected together properly.

Almost all table bases are supplied with a metal cross-piece, known as a ‘spider’ (see photo), which is screwed into the underside of the table top.

If the table top is wooden, with no obstructions, this is a fairly simple job, although making sure the base is centered on the top takes some care.

diagram showing size of a spider on underside of a table

Fixing plates

Many contract table tops, particularly stone and marble and also including solid core laminates cannot be screwed into, though. In these cases, a fixing plate is usually needed. This is a square or circular piece of MDF or plywood (marine ply if for outside use), just large enough for the spider. This is glued to the underside of the table top and the spider is screwed to it.

This fixing plate has to be carefully measured – too small and the spider does not fit; too big and the edges of it are visible.

solid core laminate table top with metal inserts

Metal inserts

Some table tops can have ‘female’ metal inserts added, into which screws can be fixed. Some tops come with these ready-drilled (care has to be taken that they match the holes in the spider) and other tops can have them created (again, the template has to be accurate to ensure the holes are correctly located).


Spiders and wooden table tops with battens

Most solid wooden tops are supplied with battens underneath to stop the wood from warping (example below). These battens are unavoidable on slatted table tops. It is important to specify the table tops correctly to ensure that the battens are located to allow a suitable spider to fit between them – this is particularly important for smaller table tops. It is therefore, paramount to check:

  • There is enough space to fit the spider
  • The spider holes will not fall on a gap between the slats

If there is not enough space between the battens, often a smaller spider can be specified, or it is sometimes possible to remove the battens, particularly if the spider itself would act as a replacement brace – typically on tops of less than 600mm diameter.

For a full guide on specifying table bases, read our blog How to Choose Your Table Bases.

Topics: Table bases

By Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth on 04/07/19 15:47
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