Table Lazy Susans are a fun and easy shop project that make great gift ideas for friends and family. Since I built my first one a number of years ago, I've gotten a lot of requests to build more.
In this latest version, wavy stripes are added at the request of the recipient which I think add a really nice look to the pieces!
What follows is a detailed video of this build to show you step by step the process I used to get these great looking Table Lazy Susans. As well, there are pictures of each step along the way.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Table Saw
- Drum Sander (Optional)
- 4/4 Lumber of choice
- Lazy Suzan Hardware
- Tool box tray liner (or other similar material)
- Wood Glue
- CA Glue
- Finish of Choice
Step 2: Lumber Prep
Starting with 4/4 lumber, you only need to mill it until it's surfaced and flat. Try to keep the material as thick as possible but, there's no need to be overly concerned with the overall thickness. Anything in the 3/4" range will work fine for this project.
Step 3: Panel Glue Up
Once your material is milled flat and square, the next step is to glue up the panel ensuring that you'll end up with a panel wide enough to get the desired size of Lazy Susan you want to make. Mine are 16" in diameter.
I used a drum sander to assist with cleaning up the panel but, it's not required for this build.
Step 4: Adding the Stripes
Adding the stripes is fairly simple. You'll need thin strips of material that are approximately 3/32" in thickness and similar in width to the thickness of your panel. The thinner the strip, the easier it is to bend to the curves you chose. The downside to thinner strips is that they may not be as prominent in the overall look. Long gentle curves allow for thicker material.
Mark the stripes on the panel in the desired locations. It's important that the curves be long and gradual so that the strips can flex when being glued into the panel. Tight curves will require thinner strips.
The panel is cut per the layout line. It's not important that you stay dead on your line but, it is important that you make a smooth consistent cut at the bandsaw. Being smooth and consistent will mean that you can go straight to the glue up ensuring a good fit with no gaps.
Re-glue up the panel with the strip in place ensuring that everything lines up right. Adjustments can be made while the glue is still wet.
After the glue on the first strip dries, locate and install the second strip exactly the same way as the first. You'll notice that I actually cut through the first strip so that the 2 stripes actually cross in the panel.
Step 5: Cutting the Circle
Each of the circles are cut at the band saw using a shop made circle cutting jig shown in the pictures. There are commercial options available if you don't wish to build your own. This can also be accomplished using a router and a router circle cutting jig.
My jig has several holes in it that are for various different sizes of circles. I use a 5/16" hole and a short 5/16" diameter dowel rod on the jig and drill a 5/16" hole in the center/bottom of the work piece. Be sure to not drill all the way through the work piece! The work piece then simply turns on the dowel cutting the circle.
This small hole will be covered by the Lazy Susan hardware covered in a future step.
Step 6: Round Overs and Sanding
I prefer to do the initial sanding with 80 grit sandpaper on a random orbit sander prior to doing the round overs. This helps me ensure that the panel is flat and fairly smooth and won't cause me any issues at the router table.
I set up a round over bit in the router table with a guide bearing on the top. Because it's a lot of material to remove, this process was done in a couple passes adjusting the height of the bit between passes. This helps prevent chip out and burning.
Once the round over's are complete, the panel was sanded to 180 grit in prep for finish.
Step 7: Finish
My finish of choice was General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Satin. I applied approximately 5 coats allowing to fully dry between coats and block sanding with 400 grit paper between coats. This removes any dust nibs that may be on the surface.
Step 8: Installing the Hardware
With the work piece flipped over, center the hardware, pilot drill for #6 x 1/2" wood screws, and fasten the hardware. Be sure not to drill all the way through!
The final step on the hardware is to install a pad to protect the surface the piece will be on from the metal hardware. I like to use Tool Box Tray Lining material purchased from the big box store. It cuts easily and holds up very well. The material is attached to the Lazy Susan hardware using CA glue.
Step 9: 2 Different Table Lazy Susans.
This project lends itself well to batching out multiples. As you can see, I made 2 at the same time.
Because of the way that the stripes are added, no 2 are ever alike and really personalizes each one made.
Step 10: Closing
Including cure times for glue and finish, these were completed in about 2 days. The cost will vary depending on choice of lumber and finish. Mine were built with stock on hand so, my only purchase was the hardware which was about $15.00.
I still have the very first one I built many years ago on our table and it looks as good today as the day I built it. It sees daily use and still functions incredibly well.
Since I built the very first one, I've gotten several requests for more. They make great gift ideas and lend themselves well to batching.
Thanks for viewing!