Around the Woods

Making a Lazy Susan Server

"Round and round and round she goes,
where she stops, nobody knows..."

Turning a Lazy Susan can be as simple or as decorative as you wish, but they all follow the same general system. To make one you need
  • a slab for the top
  • a slab for the bottom
  • a lazy Susan bearing obtainable from some hardwares and most craft supplies
  • regular turning tools including a screw chuck
I am using a slab that I cut and roughed some time ago. This is maple with a bit of eye but not enough that I would call it "bird's eyed." If you have no roughed out slabs sitting around, kiln dryed wood will work and one could be glued up. woodturning lazy susan image
The bottom slab is similar. It is seldom seen and need not be fancy. I am making a 12" lazy Susan and want a base about 8" diameter. Here I have glued up a slab. The glue lines will be cleaned up on the lathe. woodturning lazy susan image
We will turn the bottom slab first. Mount it to a glue block with hot glue. I have roughly rounded it on the band saw for simplicity. woodturning lazy susan image
Turn it round and flatten what will be the inside surface, here seen rough on the lathe. woodturning lazy susan image
In order for a lazy Susan to work well the bearing must be centered. The easiest way to accurately center the bearing is to use the lathe. Turn a recess in the center of the bottom plate a little less than 1/16" deep and woodturning lazy susan image
fit the bearing to the recess. Do as many trial and error fittings as necessary. Sand to 400. woodturning lazy susan image
Now dimple with the point of a tool the exact center of the disk. Part from the glue block. woodturning lazy susan image
Here the dimple is emphasized with pencil for better viewing. woodturning lazy susan image
Drill a hole for the screw of your screw chuck. A 1/4" penetration will likely be enough but your disk should be thick enough to easily accomodate 1/2". woodturning lazy susan image
Mount the disk on the screw chuck woodturning lazy susan image
and remove the residue from the glue block, woodturning lazy susan image
round the edges, and slightly dish the surface so it sits well on a table surface. Sand to 400. If you have never used a screw chuck, you may be amazed at its holding capacity. woodturning lazy susan image
The top of the bottom piece woodturning lazy susan image
and the bottom bottom. woodturning lazy susan image
Repeat the procedure with the top. The top can be decorated with beads and coves and such, but I like it fairly plain. woodturning lazy susan image woodturning lazy susan image
Screw the bearing to the bottom using flat head screws. To do this, first position the bearing and mark for the screws, A, B, C, D. Rotate the bearing 90 degrees and mark for one more screw, E. This will give access for mounting the bearing to the top of the lazy Susan. woodturning lazy susan image
Drill a 3/8" to 1/2" hole through the last marked position. Drill pilot holes for the mounting screws. woodturning lazy susan image
Finish both top and bottom. Position the bearing on the bottom and fasten with #5 or #6, 1/2" flat head screws. woodturning lazy susan image
With the bearing mounted to the base, flip it over and position it on the upside down top, an easy maneuver with the bearing just fitting in the recess. Make sure the screw holes in the bearing are over the pilot holes. I put an awl in the fastening hole and rotate until the tip of the awl fits into a screw hole. Fasten the bearing in place through the hole drilled in the base. A flashlight to peer through the hole and make sure of line up along with a magnetic screw driver really help with this. woodturning lazy susan image
Done. woodturning lazy susan image

If you make one please let me know how it turned out.

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