Wooden kitchen and cooking accessories continue to be highly popular, maybe even more in the past because people more and more are appreciating the values and beauty of natural woods. In this article and associated video we make a natural edge Lazy Susan from a slice from a Black Locust tree that was being taken down because the tree had died. This gave us a perfect opportunity to secure pieces of wood that were already fairly dry, certainly dry enough to use for out purposes here. We also like the fact that the bark was still very well secured. It appeared that the tree had possibly been winter killed which would account for the fact that the bark would not peel off readily.
Our first challenge was to find a short log among all the logs that had been cut that would be suitable. We chose one that looked to have little cracking but that still had a slight angle cut because we wanted the finished piece to be somewhat oval rather than a perfect circle, just to add a bit of character to our build.
On getting 16 inch log into out workshop, the next thing to do was to cut of a slice with our a chainsaw. Working with short pieces of wood is always dangerous, not matter what tool you are using so we needed to make sure the log was fully secured before we sliced off the piece we needed ...
After cutting off the slice and examining it, we discovered that the slice was fairly flat, but that it would still need quite a bit of work to get the chainsaw marks out and a nice clean looking top to take a finish.
We started off with an angle grinder with a very coarse stone, probably equal to about 40 grit sand paper. This worked well but also burned the wood, which at this stage was not a problem but also showed us that burning the wood also gave us a bit of a different look if we wanted to go that route.
After using the angle grinder we moved on to a belt sander with a 60 grit paper. This also worked well and allowed us to get the wood, both top and bottom to a pretty flat consistency. To finish off the top we finally went to our random orbital sander with an 80 the then a 130 grit sanding discs.
Next we needed to find a base for the our Lazy Susan and since the base would be covered with heat-activated oak veneer, we could use anything we had that was flat, and so we found a used piece of MDF that would work perfectly for this. We cut this MDF into a perfect circle on the bandsaw then cleaned up any imperfections on the oscillating belt sander.
Applying the heat-activated oak veneer was pretty easy after we trimmed it to length. We used and ordinary household cloths iron set to a medium heat and the veneer went on with no problems and held fast.
We did not want the base of the Lazy Susan to distract from the top so we decided to paint the oak veneer on the base with a water-borne ebony dye which we simply painted on with a brush. When this piece was dry we coated both the top and base with a spray on Krylon clear finish which gave is a slight lustre finish and looked perfect.
Assembly is pretty easy, but you do have to think about it. We fastened the turning mechanism to the base first of all the made a hole, large enough to allow screws to pass through the base, then be secured in the top, once we turned the whole assembly up-side-down.
With that, the project is finished and looks fantastic, yet another woodworking project that could easily be part of a cottage industry for someone or a simple but highly effective weekend project.
Copyright Colin Knecht