Custom Lazy Susans

A family member almost ordered some Lazy Susans from the local BORG, but I intercepted the project since it presented some challenges I had not yet faced.   This was a time-consuming mistake worthwhile learning experience.

The requirements were: 3 18.5″ Lazy Susans with a lip that extends upward to prevent things from sliding off (I guess they plan on spinning them super fast?)

The lip was a huge challenge.   There will be a $450 price increase for anyone who wants a lip on their Lazy Susan in the future.  Ok not that much, but I’ll at least do it differently and/or put up a fight.


The bottoms were easy.  Maple edge banding around maple plywood.  Done.

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Here’s my circle-cutting jig.  (technically a circle-truing jig, since I rough cut the circles on the bandsaw)  This was to create the 2 sizes of circle templates, which would then be taped to the actual wood for the lazy susans.
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For the edges, I tried steambending the wood to see if they’d bend easier.  An experienced woodworker tried to talk me out of it, saying that with Kiln Dried Hard Maple, the lignin has really been permanently set during the kiln-drying process, so steam bending won’t work.  As expected, he was right; it didn’t work at all.

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So, making the strips thinner on the drum sander allowed for a little bit nicer of a bend, but there was still tension at the ends.   I ended up going much thinner and doing 2 layers of solid edge banding, but the up-close results were “meh” at best.  IMG_2337 (Large)


Here are the completed Lazy Susans.  With the small size of this picture, you can’t notice the imperfections.  Up close, the top looks good, but the lip shows the problems I encountered.

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Lesson learned:  In the future, I’ll either:

  • Try to convince buyer to use anti-slip mat rather than lip
  • Use solid wood as base (instead of plywood) and use a router to recess inside area (will be more expensive)
  • Use beeswax as a finish for the top – it provides a slightly tacky surface
  • Find air-dried lumber to steam-bend for lip surround.