Turntables also know as Lazy Susans are a great addition to your dinning room table or kitchen. They are also very easy to make for yourself. This is one of those projects that the devil is in the details. They can be a multitude of different designs with most of them being round in shape. I decided I wanted to do something a little different with this one. I wanted a hexagon shape. This six sided shape would keep a somewhat circular design but add a little flare. This Instructable will detail out how to find the proper size shape if you have a board in mind to use or if you have one already glued up. For this particular turntable I had a board that had been glued up previously for a cutting board but had decided to use it for this project instead. One thing to also remember is that due to the shape of a hexagonal board you will need to make the initial board a rectangle to get maximum yield of the width of the board.
Step 1: Layout Shape in SketchUP
For this you need SketchUp witch is a free program you can download online. To find the maximum possible size of the hexagon you first need the size of the board you intend on using. For this project the board I decided to use was 10 inches wide and 14 inches long with a 1 1/4 inch final thickness. To use standard measurements in SketchUp you will have to use inches as a decimal (ex. 1 1/4 inches should be typed as 1.25 inches). To lay this out in SketchUp press the R button to bring up the rectangle tool. Right click on the origin and drag your mouse out until you see a rectangle being formed. Without clicking anywhere on the screen type in the numerical size of the board you are using in this format ( length,width) and press enter. This will properly size the rectangle to the measurements of the board you are using. While looking down on the rectangle press the P button on your keyboard to bring up the Push/Pull tool. Right click and drag the top face of the rectangle upwards. Without clicking the mouse a second time type the numerical value of the thickness of the board you are using and press enter. This will automatically adjust the board in SketchUp to the correct thickness. Press the space key to go back to the cursor. Right click in the empty space to the left of the board and drag the cursor you will see a selection box appear. Drag the box the entire board is within the box selecting it. Press G on the keyboard and press enter to create a component. This will allow you to draw the hexagon shape on the board without changing it.
Step 2: Draw Center Guide Lines
With your board complete in SketchUp you now need to draw the center guide lines for laying out placement of the hexagon. Start with the horizontal line first. Press the L button on the keyboard to bring up the line tool. With the line tool open scroll the cursor along the left most edge of the board the cursor will automatically snap on the midpoint of the edge. Right click on to the midpoint and drag the cursor straight across to the opposite edge of the board. The cursor should identify and snap to the midpoint of the edge. If it does not then scroll the cursor up or down the edge line of the board until it does. Once on the midpoint right click to create the line. Now repeat this process to create the vertical line. These will be your guide lines for creating the hexagon shape.
Step 3: Draw the Hexagon and Find the Dimensions
Time to draw the hexagon shape on your board and find the dimensions of the hexagon. First in the upper right hand corner you will see the draw tab. Right click the tab and scroll down and select polygon. This will automatically bring up a hexagon shape tool. Right click the center point of the guide lines were the two lines intersect. After right clicking the center point drag the cursor along the horizontal guide line until the upper and lower faces of the hexagon are perfectly matched to the outer edge of the board. To get the dimensions of the sides press the T button on the keyboard to open the tape-measure tool. Right click on one corner of the hexagon and drag the cursor along one side of the hexagon until the tool snaps to the next corner. Repeat this on multiple sides. All sides should be the same length.
Step 4: Prep the Board
If you already have the board chosen or glued up it is time to prep the board. Plane the board down by normal means. Router plane jig, planer,drum sander or hand plane. Get the board thickness close to its final thickness. Also size the board to the matching size used in SketchUp to get the dimensions of the hexagon.
Step 5: Mark Guide Lines
With your board to the proper dimensions you will need to find the center of your board and mark the center point of the board. Score lines with a sharp pencil and using a straight edge from one corner to the diagonally opposite corner. Repeat this process from the two remaining corners. Now you will also need to mark a center line on the board vertically. After marking the exact center mark of the upper edge use a square to score a line in pencil the width of the board at the center mark vertically.
Step 6: Mark the Top Width of the Hexagon
To mark the top width of the hexagon you start at the vertical center witch you previously marked. Using the measurements from SketchUp take the exact length of one side and divide it in half. Using a ruler mark that length on both sides of the vertical center line.These marks will be the top corners of your hexagon. Check your measurement from one mark to the other to ensure the side of the hexagon is the proper length. Repeat this process on the bottom edge of the board. Or use a square to mark the corresponding marks on the bottom edge of the board. These marks will be the points of witch you will start marking the sides of the hexagon.
Step 7: Set Your Angle Gauge
To make the hexagon shape all of the sides will be at a 120 degree angle from the next side. This if found by taking the total sum of all the angles (720 degrees) and dividing by the total number of angles (6) This gives you the total of of 120 degrees on each angle. Set your angle to 120 degrees. You will mark 2 sides at a time then adjust the gauge to mark the final two sides.
Step 8: Mark the Sides of the Hexagon
Now that your angle gauge is set mark the first two sides of your hexagon. Make sure that the straight edge is long enough to allow you to mark the entire length of one side of the hexagon. Also remember you will need to align the corner of your angle gauge with the mark on the upper edge of your board. Making sure to go from the very edge of the board at your mark for proper alignment of all the sides. After marking one side flip the angle gauge over and mark the side directly diagonal to the first side marked. Readjust your angle gauge to allow you to mark the remaining two sides. Repeating this process on the final two sides of the hexagon. You will only need to mark a total of 4 sides due to the top and bottom edges being the two remaining sides of the hexagon.
Step 9: Cut the Board to Shape
You are now ready to cut the board to shape. You can do this however you are most comfortable. If you have a miter saw that is capable of doing the cuts I found this making the cuts and angles very easy. To set your miter saw at 120 degrees start with the saw set at a 90 degree angle then rotate the base to right stopping at the 30 degree mark. Cutting with the board on the left hand side of the saw this will give you and obtuse angle cut of 120 degrees. After each cut rotate the board 180 degrees to have the longest available edge against the fence of the saw. Before each cut make sure to properly line up the marks previously made on the board and make sure the board stays flush against the fence to get the properly angled cut.
Step 10: Chamfer the Corners
Now that the board is to its final shape. You can finish the corners. I chose to do a wide chamfer as this went well with the overall look of the turntable. This can be done by hand with a sharp hand plane but if you have a router or router table this will make the process very quick and also will give a consistent chamfer on all corners.
Step 11: Mark Hardware Mounting Position and Drill Mounting Holes
Position the lazy susan hardware in the center of the turntable. Find this position by making sure it hardware is the same distance from the edges of the turntable at a minimum of 4 points. After having the hardware in position mark the points on the turntable that will line up with the mounting holes in the hardware. Mark the points with a pencil then remove the hardware. With a center punch make an indention where the pencil marks are. Using a drill bit slightly smaller than the mounting screws used for the hardware drill the pilot holes for the hardware mounting screws. Make sure not to drill to deep into the turntable and drill all the way through. If needed mark the depth you need to stop at on the drill bit with a small piece of tape.
Step 12: Sand and Finish
Starting with 80 to 120 grit sandpaper sand the entire turntable making sure to round the outer corners on the edge of the board. Work your way progressively from your starting grit up to at least 600 grit. After final sanding wipe all sanding residue from the turntable. To finish the board you my choose one of a variety different finishes. I chose to go with mineral oil and cutting board conditioner due the this particular turntable possibly being used around food. Apply the mineral oil and allow it to soak into the board before wiping all excess oil away. Then apply the cutting board conditioner by first applying heat with a heat gun careful not to burn the board. Spread the cutting board conditioner on the board and with the grains of the wood. Apply heat a second time and allow the conditioner to dry before using a rag or paper towel to buff the board to a shine.
Step 13: Attach Hardware
To attach the hardware use a screwdriver to attach the turntable using the holes that were drill previously. I would not suggest using a drill or impact driver to attach the screws. If the screws bind or you over tighten the screws could break off or damage the the turntable.
Step 14: Take It for a Spin
The lazy susan is now finished. Take it for a spin literally. Test out the hardware. The turntable should easily spin. This over all is a simple project and there are other ways of getting the desired shape like printing out multiple parts of the shape and taping them to the board. The process I have laid out thought is very satisfying and also and you don't need a printer. Also it is always a good skill to develop to be able to lay shapes out directly to a project. These turntables make for great gifts and are a must have for anyone who loves being in the kitchen.
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