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There are times I am asked to solve a problem and of course, as a turner every problem starts with how I
can do that on a lathe. However, in this case the lathe was the best tool for the job.
This was a simple project with a few requirements; create a small stable base for a point of sale credit
card reader. It must rotate, blend with store fixtures and be mobile.
The size limitation was the real factor in this build. The retail counter was small and narrow. My
solution was to use an incredibly tiny
. This swivel base would allow me to keep
a very small footprint yet still function as required.
The wood had to be maple to match the store fixtures. Fortunately, I had a small maple blank. This blank
was already very thin which required me to use caution while turning.
Holding the Stock
Since I could not waste any material, I used
double stick tape
to hold the blank. I began with a block of
wood attached to a
. I trued the jam chuck then applied the double stick tape.
I carefully mounted the rough cut blank and used a piece of osage orange to provide
clamping pressure to ensure good adhesion. It also provided support for the initial turning.
Once the stock was trued, I removed the tailstock then hollowed out a recess to accommodate
the Lazy Susan. Keep in mind I had to keep this as small as possible. I sized the base and recess to
just barely fit the swivel base. I proceeded cautiously and removed enough material to accommodate
half of the height of the Lazy Susan.
Once I was happy with the depth, I reverse mounted the blank and cleaned up the outside.
Then I repeated the process for the other half. I left some wood proud in the center on the second
piece. My hope was to avoid making it too light weight. In retrospect, this was not necessary because
the base is heavy enough for the intended purpose.
Layout the Holes
Next, I marked out the holes for mounting the plate to the base. Then I marked for a larger access hole
90 degrees to the base.
It is important that this hole be large enough to allow access for a
screwdriver and be in alignment with the predrilled holes on the metal plate.
The larger hole is drilled through the base while the other 4 holes were only predrilled for the small screws.
Then I mounted the Lazy Susan to the base.
The challenging part was attaching the top. This required a bit of patience on my part to keep the top aligned with the base and install four tiny
I am happy with this solution.
The customer is pleased and reports the base works perfectly.
Curtis was a former President of
Central Texas Woodturners
, is a member of the
American Association of Woodturners
, and is a member of
Fine Woodworkers of Austin
. Curtis teaches and demonstrates nationally for Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. He also teaches for TechShop. He owns a studio where he works and teaches. Curtis lives in Central Texas with his wife and four young children. Take a look at his website at
or visit his Instagram:
The Highland Woodturner