My family LOVES game boards. But when little players join in, it’s often hard to reach the table, so we decided to build a game board lazy Susan, making it easy for everyone to reach!
While my Dad was visiting we decided to take a break from making, and play a game of Sorry. But as you can see, sometimes it’s just hard to reach the pieces.
Fortunately for me, my Dad’s full of great ideas. This time he wanted to help me build a lazy Susan for game boards. Something like that would fit great on my bourbon barrel table where we currently meet multiples times a week as a family to play board and card games.
He decided to make a square board out of 1×6 pine. So first he had to cut a few board to length. Then he just had to lay them out to choose which order they’d go in, and which sides were the best looking. How does he get them that accurate without a stop block, I’ll never know.
Then it was time to glue them up. He used a pair of old bar clamps glued up the boards, and them clamped them together. Then they just had to sit for a bit.
When they dried, my dad scraped off the excess glue, and got to sanding. Then a quick run through the table saw to make those edges perfectly even, and a quick sanding of the edges too.
Last of all, he added a round over using a trim router. This piece would be touched all the time so it makes sense to make it nicer to touch.
Then it was time to stain. I chose a dark grey stain, primarily because my wife picked it out. I used a new rag to wipe it on pretty thick, allowing it to soak into the grain, and then quickly wiping off the excess. This color made the wood look old and weathered. Once that dried, I put a layer of lacquer on top, since this top will be around drinks and sticky hands more often than I want to admit.
When the finish dried, we flipped it over, and found the center by drawing a light line in the middle of a yardstick aligned with the corners. Then we lined up the lazy susan disk by getting the lines to show up in each of the 4 holes.
Then we screwed it on! After that we just had to test it out. So we setup a board, and sure enough, with a quick flip of the wrist, I could reach my pieces.
But would it work on my family? Yeah! But after giving super Mario Brother’s Monopoly a try, we ran into a small issue. The corners of the board would sometimes hit knuckles. And when the wife isn’t happy, you make it right! So I ran back down the to basement for a second go.
I quickly found some scrap, cut it to size, and then used my new planer to slim them down to exactly 1in. I wanted this version to be thicker, because the mass and weight would make it spin better. I grabbed a couple of bar clamps like my dad did, glued them up, clamped them down and let them dry.
Then I scrapped off the glue, sanded it smooth, and then headed over to our new CNC machine. I wanted to use it to cut a bunch of small coves that we’d be able to easily grab with our fingers to spin it. There’s no way I could carve them all out, so the CNC was perfect. I needed the board to stay flat during the entire cut, so I used a tape and super glue technique. Essentially I tape up the board and the CNC, and then put super glue between them.
After getting it taped down to the waste board, I started it up. For those of you who care, this is a Shapeoko 4, running with a Makita trim router, and freud endmills.
All of which worked amazingly well. After it cut out the coves, I had it trim the final board into a circle so we wouldn’t have anymore bashed knuckles.
Off camera I used a trim router to smooth the edges, and then a Heart Round over bit to smooth the edge. Then I got to the finish. This time I choose a dark walnut that would better match the bourbon barrel table. I was careful not to get too much in the coves, as I wanted them to remain light. I used our HART rotary tool with a sanding tip to clear out the few drops that got in.
After that, I ran back upstairs to try it out on the family. And this time, it worked perfectly. It’s especially nice for card games where you all need to reach the same pile. And if you’re in a hurry you can use it to deal out cards even faster! Kind of.