An entertaining companion
by Rob Brown
The practical design of a Lazy Susan turntable is always a welcomed addition when gathering with family and friends. Add inserts of contrasting wood for elegance, or keep it plain and simple in a size, shape, and finish to suit your taste.
• Gorilla glue 2020-823
• tape measure 1048-330
• bandsaw 1345-341
• clamps 1022-478/481/654, 1023-261
• drill 1239-210
• screwdriver 1058-169
• awl 1011-255
• lumber for top
• contrasting wood for strips
• 6" Lazy Susan Swivel 2310-671
• #8 x 3/4" pan head zinc screws (10) 2165-800
• sandpaper 1061, 1078
• interior finish 1878-944
• 3/4" medium felt pads (12) 2346-884
- Glue up 7/8" thick top then square it at 16" x 16".
- With a piece of scrap wood make a small cut with the bandsaw to determine its kerf. (Photo 1)
- Cut a 5' long length of contrasting solid wood the same width as the bandsaw kerf. It needs to be thicker than the top.
- On a piece of paper draw the insert design.
- Transfer the design to the top. (Photo 2)
- Make the first bandsaw cut. (Photo 3)
- Re-glue top with contrasting strip between the two halves. Use scrap wood blocks to make sure the top is aligned square and flat. When it's dry, level the strip flush with the top. (Photo 4)
- Repeat the process for the other two strips.
- Lay out arcs on four sides of the top with a thin strip of wood, and then remove the waste. (Photo 5)
- Smooth edges.
- Centre Lazy Susan Swivel on top of base on a 45° angle, rotate the upper portion of the hardware 45° and mark location of four screwdriver clearance holes. (Photo 6)
- Drill holes in base with a ½" bit.
- Re-centre Lazy Susan Swivel over base, drill pilot holes and attach hardware to base. (Photo 7)
- Centre base and swivel on the underside of the top and mark pilot hole locations with an awl. Drill pilot holes. (Photo 8)
- Fasten base to top.
- Remove swivel.
- Sand top and base.
- Apply a finish.
- Re-install swivel. (Photo 9)
- Apply felt pads to base.
Rob Brown designs and builds custom furniture, and is editor of Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement Magazine.
The perfect size
In order to keep the joints gap-free you must use a strip the exact same width as the amount of material the bandsaw removes. Make a test cut in some scrap and cut a piece to fit the groove.
Transfer the pattern
You could draw directly on the top, but it's often easier to use a large piece of paper. Once you're happy with the pattern transfer it to the top.
In one smooth motion, bandsaw along the line for a smooth, continuous cut. If you go slightly off the line don't worry - just continue cutting knowing the cut doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be even and smooth.
Not only do the two main halves of the top need to be glued back together with their upper surfaces flush, but the two ends need to be flush also. Use notched blocks to apply pressure to the adjoining surfaces in order to keep them even. The notch will fit around the contrasting wood strip.
Clamp two wood blocks equidistant from the edge of the top, and then use a thin strip of wood to create a gentle curve that your pencil can follow.
Mark the clearance holes first
Attaching the swivel to one surface is easy; it's the second surface that's tricky. In order to have access to the screws that will fix the swivel to the top, 1/2" diameter screwdriver clearance holes need to be marked and drilled.
Attach the swivel
Once the clearance holes have been drilled, mark and drill the pilot holes to attach the swivel to the base. At this point you can then drive four screws home, securing the swivel to the base.
Mark the top
Flip the base and swivel over, center them on the underside of the top and mark pilot hole locations. The final step is to drive four screws into the top, securing the three parts.
Once the unit has been put together, disassemble it, apply a finish and reassemble the three parts for good.