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Assemble a Serving Turntable

Customize a swiveling tabletop server to the size and style you like. It’s a project you can turn around in only a few hours.

Turntable with woodburning design

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Carpenter’s square
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Drill and bit set
  • Screwdriver


  • 1 x 15 pine round, #114105
  • 1 x 18 pine round, #1016
  • 6-in x 6-in turntable swivel, #383402
  • #8 x 3/4-in sheet-metal screws

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market.

Missing anything? Shop Online


Prepare the Disks

Step 1

Turntable bearing assembly
Note the larger outside holes on this turntable bearing assembly.

Study the turntable bearing assembly and note the locations of the holes. The four holes on the corners of one plate will be slightly closer to the center than the holes on the other plate. We’ll describe one plate as having the “inside holes” and the other having the “outside holes.”

Step 2

Mark the center of a disk
Mark several lines near the estimated center to find the center of the circle.

To make a simple tool for finding the centers of the disks, first cut a cardboard rectangle at least 16 inches long and 12 inches wide. Cut a 45-degree angle on one end and tape the opposite end to one leg of a carpenter’s square so that the 45-degree angle falls on the inside corner of the square. On the underside of the large disk and top of the small one, draw at least four lines that intersect in the middle. If all of the lines don’t intersect in the same place, draw enough lines to form a rough circle and mark the center of that circle.

Good to Know

Select a bottom disk that’s at least three-quarters the diameter of the top disk. Otherwise, heavy objects could cause the finished turntable to tip.

Step 3

Divide the disk into quarters
Don���t worry about the wood grain direction when dividing it into quarters.

Use a pencil and carpenter’s square to divide the disks into quarters.

Step 4

Mark the mounting screw locations
Each hole on the bottom plate should be centered over a pencil line.

Center the turntable bearing assembly on the top disk with the outside hole plate against the wood. (Check that the metal corners on the dividing lines all measure the same distance from the center.) Mark the mounting screw locations.

Good to Know

To center the bearing assembly, line up diagonal holes on one line and slide the assemble along that line until the other two diagonal holes become centered on the other line.

Step 5

Mark the access hole location
Tape the bearing assembly to keep it from accidentally shifting.

Flip the turntable bearing assembly upside down, with the inside-hole plate against the wood, and center it on the bottom disk using the pencil lines. Mark the mounting screw locations. Then, without moving the bottom plate of the bearing assembly, turn the top plate 45 degrees to the bottom and tape it in place. Push a pencil through one outside mounting hole and mark its position on the bottom disk.

Good to Know

It’s essential that the roller bearing assembly not be bumped out of position while you mark the outside hole location.

Step 6

Where you marked the outside hole location on the bottom disk, drill a 3/8-in hole through the disk. Drill 3/32-in pilot holes 3/4-inch deep for the mounting screws on both disks.

Step 7

Apply the paint, stain, or clear finish of your choice to both wood disks. For another option, create a woodburning design like the one shown.

Assemble the Turntable

Step 1

Screw the bearing assembly to the bottom disk. Avoid overtightening the screws or you’ll bend the plate.

Step 2

Use an awl to find the pilot hole
Drop the point of awl into a pilot hole as you lower the small disk onto the large one.

Pass a small screwdriver or scratch awl through the 3/8-inch hole in the bottom disk and place the tip in one of the outside holes in the bearing assembly. Rest the bottom disk and bearing upside down on the underside of the top disk so the screwdriver or awl connects with one of the pilot holes.

Step 3

Screw through the bottom plate to fasten the bearing
Place a screwdriver through the hole in the bottom disk to drive screws holding the bearing in place.

Pass a screw through the 3/8-inch hole in the bottom disk and drive it into a pilot hole in the top disk -- leave the screw just loose enough to adjust the plate. Rotate the small disk to align the 3/8-inch hole with another hole in the plate and drive another screw. Repeat for the remaining two screws. Then tighten each screw only enough to keep the plate from moving.

Step 4

The 3/8-inch hole in the bottom will not be visible while you use the turntable, but you can hide it completely by covering it with adhesive-backed felt pads.