Lazy Susan dilemma

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Project by Tooch posted 05-18-2013 01:35 PM 1637 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok fellas, I could use some help here.

I’m trying to get some new project ideas ready for next school year so I can get the orders placed in time. One concept for our “Glue-up” unit was to do a lazy susan. Before I start any project with the kids, I like to do one myself to learn where all the trouble areas are, so I put together what you see here. The wood is nothing special, just some scrap maple and mahogany we had laying around the shop… but I do have a few areas that are open for suggestions.

First- the octagonal board measures 16”x16” and the hardware is 4”x4”. The hardware is rated at like 400 lbs or something so it can hold the weight of whatever will be put on it, but will tip onto the table if the weight isn’t distributed evenly. So, do you think I should (A) buy larger hardware (like 6”x6”), (B) make the board smaller (maybe 12”x12”) or© Just leave it the way it is.

Second- I struggled to think of anything to put on the bottom part of the hardware. I didn’t want to leave the metal bare, as I was afraid it might scratch the surface of whatever it was sitting on. I didn’t want to use 3/4” stock underneath because I thought it would be raised to high off the table, and any stock that was thinner would be hard to find screws short enough to attach it. I found some cork that had an adhesive back and decided to go with it. It keeps the low clearance, and also protects the surface under it, but I question the durability of it.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, just remember that the budget is also a concern… if I buy hardware that is only $2 more, when you multiply that by 50 kids that’s another hundred bucks… yikes!

Thanks for looking!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

10 comments so far

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3096 days

#1 posted 05-18-2013 02:33 PM

Put a bigger piece of wood on the bottom and it won’t tip. You have to attach the bottom piece first, then drill a hole to attach it to the top. See here:

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View sras's profile


4883 posts in 3274 days

#2 posted 05-18-2013 03:48 PM

+1 on the base size – that is the key

About the height – lower profile is good.

A few options are:

- Thinner stock – you could use 1/2” plywood for the base.

- Route a recess in the lazy susan – depends on the skill set of the students. may not be a good one…

- Put a lip in the lazy susan – It won’t be any lower, but would look better. Need to consider wood movement – maybe match grain direction.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View oldnovice's profile


7191 posts in 3513 days

#3 posted 05-18-2013 03:55 PM

+1 with Steve’s suggestions.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Sanding2day's profile


1014 posts in 1991 days

#4 posted 05-18-2013 04:04 PM

I am certainly no expert but concur that a wider base is approprate for this project. I also agree that cork is likely not ideal for long term durability. Something to consider given your requirements might be using the 6*6 hardware and gluing 1/2” hardboard for a base… Good luck

-- Dan

View Tooch's profile


1777 posts in 2021 days

#5 posted 05-18-2013 05:27 PM

thanks for the tips and posting the link to that video. definitely gonna try that circle cutting jig.

I really didn’t want to put a base on it, but I think that’s the only way. Thanks again!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View BBF's profile


143 posts in 1984 days

#6 posted 05-18-2013 05:43 PM

Definitely put a base on it will take more time, wood, and skill but that’s what school is for.

-- I've never been disappointed buying quality but I have been disappointed buying good enough.

View robscastle's profile


5313 posts in 2349 days

#7 posted 05-18-2013 07:57 PM


If the Lazy Susan is going to be fixed to a surface permanently You do not necessarily need a base on the project.
Just fit the bearing, (and possibly it may be better for reliability to use the biggest bearing you can get) directly on or in the surface its designed for, and there is your base already.
The access considerations for this process need to be researched first, and I don’t mean ripping the bottom of Mums cupboard out and bringing it to school either!


-- Regards Rob

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 2510 days

#8 posted 05-19-2013 12:10 PM

Take bandsaw or scroll saw and cut a 3/4” square ring of same material and glue to bottom of top plate. Then you could attach a 3/4” base to susan and the ring would hide the base and susan. Only diff is would be 3’4” taller.

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View oldnovice's profile


7191 posts in 3513 days

#9 posted 05-19-2013 04:42 PM

Another possibility is make your own lazy susan mechanism by routing a circular groove into the existing base and make a matching base groove. Get some ball bearings or wooden balls the fit the grooves and screw the two pieces together at the center. Now you can make it any size you want!

Just a trivial thought!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Philzoel's profile


303 posts in 2488 days

#10 posted 05-19-2013 11:44 PM

I use cork with a spray on adhesive and it works great. Make actual board as thin as possible. Start with 1/2 ” and sand to 3/8 is very thick. I like less. When all glued up and ready I make circle cut with router. punch down and center cut. Easy perfect circle.

I use woodcraft mechanism on bottom $6. much larger diameter and no tipping. Yours looks like it needs a bottom plate which increases height,

-- Phil Zoeller louisville, KY

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