Lazy Susan with Inlay

  • Advertise with us
Project by Douglas posted 207 days ago 605 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had wanted to try my hand at doing simple inlay, and had a few pieces of 4/4 walnut lying around that I thought would be a good candidate for the experiment. Also, we had a need for a place to put serving dishes, hot things, and salt & pepper sets, etc, on the kitchen table I finished this summer. So the idea for this simple project was born.

I started with the design, a simple cluster of ginkgo leaves…

I printed out the image, made a master on tracing paper, and then transferred the various shapes to my inlay material with carbon paper. What was not so simple was trying to cut out the ginkgo shape with bench chisels, or even a few carving gouges. And I don’t have a chevalet. I opted instead to try it out on a newly acquired tool, a scroll saw that I bought from my woodworking pal David…

... it’s an old dog, nothing fancy, but after cleaning it up, trying out a few blades and tweaking its setting, it worked pretty well.

For the inlay materials, I used curly maple (leaves), elm (stems), and poplar (branch). And for cutting out the shape in the walnut, I used a plunge router with either a 1/8” straight bit, or a tiny 1/16” straight bit. I also used caving tools to tidy things up as needed. The whole exercise was a lesson in patience, and learning how much hand-eye coordination I needed to acquire for this sort of thing.

After the first attempt, I stopped at the leaves, realizing this pass was a wipeout. So I flipped the board over, and went at it again, and got much better results…

... not perfect, but acceptable. After that, I made a simple base, and applied oil, then blonde shellac and some spray lacquer. Finally, I used an old lazy susan hardware ring that was laying around, and voila.

This was a simple throwaway project where failure was probable, and a good “skill builder” to try a new technique. I’m now much more confident that I could apply this to something bigger or more prominent in the future. Definitely a lot of fun, and I’m happy that I got to terms with the scroll saw. Luckily, it turned out well.

Just another reminder that there are a million branches and rabbit holes in the world of woodworking, and you can (and should) get lost easily following new technique and methods.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

7 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile (online now)


3270 posts in 1411 days

#1 posted 207 days ago

Great looking inlay. I like the varied colors of the ginko leaves, stems and branch.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View BigRedKnothead's profile


4404 posts in 580 days

#2 posted 207 days ago

Well, well, well….trying to leave me in the dust are ya? I thought we were buds…lol.

Good job man. That must have taken some patience.

-- Red -- "There's nothin' in the world so sad as talking to a man, who never knew his life was his for making." Ray LamMontagne

View shipwright's profile


4842 posts in 1396 days

#3 posted 207 days ago

Looks pretty good to me. If you want to build a chevalet, it’s not hard and they are an amazing tool.
I have a couple of construction blogs and a sketchup if you are interested. Start here.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

314 posts in 229 days

#4 posted 207 days ago


-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

View deon's profile


2154 posts in 1624 days

#5 posted 207 days ago

Looks great!

-- Dreaming patterns

View Douglas's profile


284 posts in 1158 days

#6 posted 206 days ago

Thanks for the comments.

Red – hardly, mr blanket chest!

Paul – I’m trying to reconcile “it’s not that hard” with your chevalet build … Come on! That looks very cool, but I’d have nowhere to put it.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View majuvla's profile


3223 posts in 1466 days

#7 posted 205 days ago

Looks very ellegant!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase