Lazy Susan

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Blog entry by Grumpy posted 12-05-2008 05:01 AM 16871 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project had more hickups than an old drunk in the park but thanks to three of my buddies who gave some excellent advice I was able to straighten (I do mean straighten) things out. Our Kitchen table is an 8 seater. Reaching items in the middle was a bit of a nuisance unless you stood up. A lazy Susan was the answer, but what size?.
I drew the whole thing on sketchup but that did not give a satisfactory idea of proportion. I then cut two 8mm (5/16”) plywood templates, a 500mm & 600mm diameter (19 1/2” & 2’). It was then very obvious the 600mm would be the right size.
The kitchen table is 1500X1500mm (just under 5’X5’) & is constructed from 90mm (3 1/2”) pieces so it was obvious to use 90mm boards on the lazy susan.
Thats where the fun started & mistakes were made.

Problem 1
Rather than lay the 90mm boards with the radial ends in opposing direction (as I recently saw Norm do) I did not give it a thought. I used biscuits to align & glue the pieces & that was not a problem but I could have paid more attention to the clamping. Everything looked straight but when the clamps were released I had a 1/4” cupping over the width of the boards. Not obvious in the photo but a definite no no for a lazy susan.
Rather than throw it away & start again (typical woodie) I thought of straightening it out. This is where my buddies came to the rescue. Many thanks to Todd Clippinger, Lee Jesberger & RusticElements who all gave similar advice.
The real key was to wet down the cupped (concave) side . The result was almost instantaneous but did not last long. So I kept on repeating the process & eventually after 3 or 4 attempts & some heavy weights over a few days I ended up with a very satisfactory result. Thanks to my 3 buddies.

Problem 2
How to make a perfectly round lazy susan. I could have used the bandsaw & made a jig to suit or used the outrigger on the lathe but decided a circle cutting jig for the router was the easiest particularly if there was to be any further circle cutting feature work.
The jig is not my design, I saw it in a magazine. It was not difficult to make & worked very effectively even using double sided tape over the centre of the susan. I will post another blog on the jig.
After two or 3 passes I had a perfectly circular joined piece of wood.
I then routered out a shallow circular feature on the top just for visual effect. The base was firstly a template cut out on the bandsaw then later cut down to size, again on the bandsaw.

Problem 3
After sanding with the belt sander & fine manual sanding I came to the colour matching part of the exercise, a part I am not particularly good at. The first attempt with wood stain was a disaster. I ended up with something much too red. Sand it back Grumpy & try again. This is where the colour wheel & the colour triangle came to the rescue. I used the base colours of yellow blue & red.

I started with yellow & after some experimentation I had an approximate colour. I still needed rub with a thinning agent to lighten the colour. The end result was satisfactory & perhaps a bit of luck was involved as well. Finished with 4 coats of poly then buffed.
The base is 8mm (5/16”) X 380mm (15”) ply with black felt glued to the bottom. The underneath side of the top is stained black with poly finish.
A metal roller bearing mechanism was purchased for the local timber supplier
That’s all folks. Sorry to be so long winded but there where some lessons I learned on the way that were good to share around.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

15 comments so far

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3784 days

#1 posted 12-05-2008 05:06 AM

Great story with a happy ending. Thanks for the full scoop on how this came to be.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Karson's profile


35126 posts in 4429 days

#2 posted 12-05-2008 05:10 AM

Grumpy: A great trial to get to a great product.

Nice job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3625 days

#3 posted 12-05-2008 05:32 AM

Lookin good Grumpy

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4092 days

#4 posted 12-05-2008 05:46 AM

Great job, and nice sharing the steps to overcoming your “hiccups”. It all came out nicely.

Spin that wheel over here and pass the taters…

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3619 days

#5 posted 12-05-2008 05:51 AM

Looks great Grumpy!

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4128 days

#6 posted 12-05-2008 06:27 AM

Perfect – I was just thinking about you today and here you are!

Thanks for sharing the project and the lessons learned.

The experience that you gained from this one will be drawn on for the rest of your woodworking career.

Your project looks great on the table!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View RusticElements's profile


167 posts in 3754 days

#7 posted 12-05-2008 02:32 PM

Great post Grumpy. Glad things worked out, and glad this amateur could help.

-- Michael R. Harvey - Brewster, NY - - -

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4008 days

#8 posted 12-05-2008 11:58 PM

Hi Grumpy;

Nice job on your project!

Glad to here you were able to “straighten” things out.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Grumpy's profile


24000 posts in 3880 days

#9 posted 12-05-2008 11:58 PM

Thanks for looking Jocks & thanks again to my buddies for helping out.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Sir_Robert's profile


51 posts in 3780 days

#10 posted 12-07-2008 05:16 AM

Fantastic, Grump.
Personally, I would have opted for an O-gauge toy train with flat cars to deliver food ‘round the table, but I guess to each his own taste.
It’s too cold right now for me to work in my garage workshop so I’m turning to my other pasttime—writing novels. Hopefully, I’ll have my next one cranked out by February. Happy Holidays in the meantime!

-- Sir Robert

View woodman488's profile


16 posts in 3609 days

#11 posted 12-30-2008 04:38 AM

I too am looking to build one. Thanks for the tips on cutting the circle. Yours tuned out nice.

-- woodman488

View dustygirl's profile


862 posts in 3757 days

#12 posted 12-30-2008 05:15 PM

It ended up to be a beautiful piece Grumpy.Nice job.

-- Dustygirl..Hastings,Ontario.. How much wood can 1 gal chuck if 1 gal can't cut wood?

View Grumpy's profile


24000 posts in 3880 days

#13 posted 12-31-2008 02:59 AM

Thanks Dusty, Sir Robert & Woodman

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Chipmonk's profile


6 posts in 3822 days

#14 posted 01-08-2009 12:13 PM

Thanks for showing all the steps. I really like the finish. This will be one of my next projects once the warmth returns.

-- I need more tools...and a place to put them!

View Grumpy's profile


24000 posts in 3880 days

#15 posted 01-09-2009 01:59 AM

Thanks for looking Chipmunk. Good luck with your project.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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