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Lazy susan WIP

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Jonzjob

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A while back someone, I can't remember who, sorry, started a thread about a lazy susan he had made. I saw it and though that it was a good challenge!! It was! I have mentioned that I was making one and that I would see if I could do a WIP? I will try...

The first thing was to turn a load of proverbial new balls. These were done in ash as they will take a load of the pressure. I started by cutting 8 or so 3/4” by 6” long blanks. These were turned down to 5/8” dowel. That fits well into my small O'Donnel jaws. The balls were turned free hand from them and as long as I didn't reduce the diameter of the dowel I knew it had to be there or there abouts?

All 37 (!) of them were then put into the little pinch chuck (I think that it's what it would be called?) so that I could remove the knibs from the parted ends.





When I had my eyes straight again I found a pine board, I didn't have anything else wide enough, and cut 2 squares about 18” and glued them together to form a 2 ply board, for stability, cut the 'ply' to a round on my bandsaw and mounted it on a 4”face plate with 4 1”screws and onto my lathe. I had fitted the large bowl kit and it looked enor-mouse! And the headstock had to be turned about 45º for the blank to clear the bars. I trued everything up and turned a dovetail mortice in the base for the larger of my O'Donnel jaws.
I had worked out that 36 X 5/8” balls would need a diameter of just over 7” and I turned the race to that diameter and shaped the rest of the underside. I made sure that the balls would sit properly in the race too. Because of the relatively low speed due to the diameter of 17” I found it difficult to get a good finish from my spindle gouge. No problems though and I power sanded it from 80 to 280 grit and hand sanded to 400.

It was then removed from the face plate and mounted on my K8 chuck with the large O'Donnel jaws and the top was trued. I left a ridge on the outer edge and turned the rest flat. I also turned a 1 1/4” hole through the middle for the center spindle with a dovetail mortice for me chuck, just in case I had to reverse it again. The idea was that a blanking plug would be turned to fill it and cover the spindle. It was then I realised that there was a fault in the wood that meant that I had to turn the recess to a 7” diameter instead. No problems me-thinks.

The base was done from another bit of pine and turned to 8” diameter, this time mounted on a hot glue chuck. Base turned true and round and another dovetail turned into it. Removed from the glue chuck with a gentle WHACK from a 2lb watchmakers hammer, reversed, trued, the race turned into it trying to make sure that it was exactly the same diameter-ish? And test fitted to the top with all it little balls in. I kept it on the chuck to do that as I wanted it to stay central! A socket was turned for the spindle.

The spindle was turned from box because I wanted it to be as stable as possible, oh, and I had a bit the right size. So now I had all but one bit of the lazy s, the filler for the top. Yet another bit of pine was found, mounted on a glue chuck and turned to fit the recess in the top. Once I had as good a fit as I could get the spindle was fitted trhough the top and the filler piece was glued in place. This was done because I now had to turn the filler down to make a top completely flat. The spindle was no problem because it just flapped around in the empty center of the chuck. When I had the top flat there was a very small gap between the top and the filler so I cut a slot between the 2 with the point of my home made captive ring tool, cut a length of ramin, I think, off of an offcut length of moulding I had, soaked it for a few minutes and purfulled it into the slot. It came out quite well.. Back on the lathe and that was turned flat and power sanded. That is my power sander on the right. An Axminster heavy duty flexy drive. Easy to use and VERY quiet, not like a drill :shock:

Then came the lovely task of sanding sealing and melamine laquering everything! Doing the balls was a slippery job and I had more sanding sealer on my fingers than on the balls I think?. When they were dry an even worse job came to mind! De-knibbing the dammed things! I slept on it and in the morning I remembered seeing a rolling drum sander in a pro turners near Stroud. I set about making one with a 4” inline waste pipe fitting and 2 bits of block board

About 1/3rd filled it with sand, chucked the balls in it, put the top on and mounted it between centres on my lathe. Now that I have the 3ø variable speed kit fitted it was a doddle and I turned the speed right down and let it tumble sand the things! Good 'ere init!

I didn't bother de-knibbing the balls after the melamine stuff! The top and bottom were de-knibbed by hand with well worn 400 grit. Not a problem as it is just a very light rub over. The top and bottom were then buffed on my Beal kit.
Everything was now fitted together and I was just about to glue the spindle in when I noticed that the top was, for want of a better expression, wobbly. I have no idea why I hadn't noticed it before but after a while I realised that the 2 races were not identicle diameters and the balls were riding up the outside of the top race!. No real problem, I just put the base back on the chuck and turned the outside edge of the race a little bigger, very slowly and trying it often, until it was a good flat fit!
It's now glued and running really well. A lot of work and thinking, but very satisfying to do and unless someone wants to pay a lot of cash for one it will be a one-off, for now anyway!



I nearly forgot to mention. The only things on this project that aren't wood are the PVA glue, celulose sanding sealer and the melamine laquer...
 

Wood spoiler

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Nice project John

Could the inspiration be this one ... not-so-lazy-susan-t53706.html

Well done for keeping the camera handy. I get to the end sometimes and think ... It would have been nice to do a WIP but of course I invariably forget!

I have a minor criticism, in that the grain of the top insert hasn't been quite lined up with the surrounding wood - is there a reason?

Overall it is a very striking and satisfying piece and having been there done that understand why it is a one off
 

Jonzjob

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Glad that you enjoyed it Ryan. I would have loved to have done it all in hardwood, but a 17" lump of hardwood just wasn't available #-o When do you get promoted from Pvt? :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

That was a strange bit Colin. When the insert was put in there and glued it was from a 1" thick lump. When turned down it is now about 1/8" thick and the grain had 'moved' round! So now is slightly out.

It's really easy to just grab yer camera, well it is for me, I never go very far without it... After that, just a matter of remembering what you did? And it was your 'not so' that inspired it :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I have to say though that if I am doing a project in wood I love trying to make sure that there is nowt else but wood. I like wood :wink:
 

Wood spoiler

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So my screw and washer is "bad form" I will have to make a piece like the airfix kits had to fit the propellors to the planes to get rid of the offensive non natural materials.

I am pleased to see how yours has "turned" out.

Doing balls is just so easy now isn't it. I found having a project involving lots of component parts like you have just done very satisfying but like you I have no plans to do another.... Leastways not this year!

The lazy susan's are certainly a discussion piece, and of course so much more civilised to "pass the port" - well maybe just the cheese - can't have the port flying off at the rate of knots!
 

Jonzjob

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Bad form? No way mate :mrgreen: Yours gave me the idea of doing one and I love the challenge of trying to do anything completely in wood where I can.

If the knut and bolt had been on show then that would have been different, but they are concealed so who knows? Unless you tell yhem of course :wink: :wink:

Keep up the good work mate!
 

Wood spoiler

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I am a bit disappointed for you John,

You have gone to a lot of effort to do a WIP on the project and it seems to have got so few responses.

You have done a great job in presenting a really interesting project and it seemed set to have passed without much comment.

I think WIPs like this are a fantastic feature and resource of the forum.
 

Silverbirch

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Well, I think turning 37 identical balls is a real testament to your copy turning skills. =D>
I was trying to turn a small sphere just the other night and couldn`t get it right even as a one off.
I think I`ll have another go using your pinch chuck method.

Ian
 

Jonzjob

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Thank you SB. Just a load of balls really :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I found that the easiest way to turn a sphere freehand is to first get the diameter that you want on a 'dowel' between centers. Mark of the diameter along that 'dowel', it will look wrong and too long to form a sphere, but it is correct, and work from there.

Remember that there are no flats and start the sweep of the diameter from a marked center on the 'dowel'.

Once you are satisfied with the shape you have you can part it off and then make your 'pinch chuck' (not really sure what the correct name is?) to fit the ball you have. Then when the ball is mounted in that 'pinch chuck' you can turn it to any angle you wish and although it may not finish up exactly the same size as you wished on the first try, you will have a reasonable ball/sphere?
 

PsyMan

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Fantastic WIP, I can't believe I learned so many different things from one post. I will now be out all day attempting to turn spheres. Lovely job jonz, thanks for taking the effort.
 

Jonzjob

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SB, are you being indecisive there? Or are you just not toooo sure :mrgreen: Practice makes lots of shavings and eventually what you want :?

PsyMan, I'm glad I may have helped and thank you for your comments! :D
 

OldWood

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John
I came across your excellent WIP when I searched for Lazy Susan after a command from SWMBO !

I'm going to explore a slightly different construction to see if rollers are possible rather than balls - my quick sketch has 8 rollers which do present a little less of a manufacturing headache than 30 odd balls. I see other problems to be thought out, but my question doesn't relate to this anyway.

The question I want to ask applies to the Box shaft you mention. I can see it on the underside of the top plate, but am puzzled how it fits to the base and is held there. Or is it just running as a spigot on a point in the base and the top can be lifted clear from the base ?

Many thanks
Rob
 

Wood spoiler

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OldWood":34mjq4cx said:
The question I want to ask applies to the Box shaft you mention. I can see it on the underside of the top plate, but am puzzled how it fits to the base and is held there. Or is it just running as a spigot on a point in the base and the top can be lifted clear from the base ?

Many thanks
Rob
If you follow this link you will see how mine joined together. It took a different form from john's so it might be useful to compare and contrast as they say

not-so-lazy-susan-t53706.html
 

nev

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OldWood":3c5porxv said:
John
I came across your excellent WIP when I searched for Lazy Susan after a command from SWMBO !

I'm going to explore a slightly different construction to see if rollers are possible rather than balls - my quick sketch has 8 rollers which do present a little less of a manufacturing headache than 30 odd balls
Rob
just a thought - but will the rollers work? will not one end of the roller be travelling further or faster than the other? :? and therefore possibly jam slightly?
 

gus3049

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Its a bit boring having to lie on the lounge floor, so I've been scanning a few threads to see if I can annoy anyone.

Not much luck so far.

This 'lazy Susan' thing seems anything but - seems a lot of work for a few balls. I have several old record players in the barn. One quick new wooden platter, put it on a pretty stand and it'll spin all day. So much less effort. probably a bit quieter too unless you leave the arm and cartridge on.

Some people just like to suffer for their 'art'. :D
 

Jonzjob

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Hi Rob, not too sure how 8 rollers will do the job, but I'll be interested to see how? Are they going to be tapered and if not how will they work? It isn't that bad to do the balls and if you have a smaller lazy susan you wouldn't need so many. I only made mine that big 'cause I had the pine board to do so and I do like to suffer for my art (I'm sure I've heard that somewhere reciently?)

The box shaft is glued into the base as I didn't relish chasing me balls all over the terra cotta floor tiles :mrgreen: So, pick up the top and the base and balls come with it.

Gordon? Since when have you ever been the quiet one? My mum used to say that the empty cans make most noise and I have always thought of you as being the noisy one :twisted: :twisted: I can say that 'cause I know that i can run faster than you at the mo :roll: :roll:
 

OldWood

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Thanks John - that clarifies, though doesn't help as I was hoping you had some clever trick with a wooden pin or the likes so that it could be dismantled when it goes wrong !! :evil:

Rollers - I'm suffering for my art !! Just another approach worth exploring and playing with. I'll let you know !!

Rob

ps I'm ignoring Gordon's self entertainment - I don't visit here often enough to be aware of why he is lying on the floor, but the indications are that we have to make allowance for the boredom factor !! Certainly not being able to get out and play I do have sympathy for - bad luck Gordon. :(
 

chipmunk

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Hi Rob,
I don't know if it helps but I had to make a revolving platform like a big lazy susan for our local am-dram society for an Alan Ayckbourn play called "Communicating doors".

Rather than rollers, I think something closer to thin square section wheels may be more what's needed because of the differential speed of inner and outer edges when the lazy susan is turning.

The platform in the play took the weight of a person and used two races of small 2" beech wheels rather than rollers or balls. The wheels were held on the end of axles tenoned into a central hub - 6 wheels were on short axles and formed an inner race and 6 were on longer axles forming an outer race. This lot then fitted between two round sheets of 19mm MDF with the hub which was equipped with two stub tenons holding the MDF sheets together and acting as an axle.

Anyway, even taking a person's full weight I found that the axles holding the wheels on-track don't need to be very strong at all. The axles are in effect in tension and since they take no weight I got away with what amounted to 12mm spruce dowels with wire nails and washers to hold the wheels on. The wheel bearings on the axles, since they are not under load, can be lubricated with candle wax.

Incidentally, the two wheel races were needed to provide some support towards the middle of the MDF circular platform to stop it sagging but you probably wouldn't need that complexity.

The other tip is that the wheels need to be almost identically the same in diameter otherwise you'll have non-uniform support.

HTH
Jon
 
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