Motorized Lazy Susan – Heavy Duty
August 12, 2011
A project I worked on a while back when I was requested to spin a person around with a green screen background. I needed a Lazy Susan that could carry a large amount of weight and still flow like butter, or actually flow better than butter. Maybe flow more like ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter’. Sample video of what rotating a model on a green screen looks like (not my video) http://cheesycam.com/rotating-video-shot-with-model/
Having some experience with cars, front wheel hub bearings are the stuff of dreams for spinning heavy loads. Small, cheap, and can spin hundreds of pounds with ease. Sorry I don’t have the full breakdown of how I assembled it piece by piece, but I never intended to show this DIY. It was a rush job I needed to put together a few days before the shoot. But since there’s a trend lately around motorized Lazy Susan tables, I thought I’d share my front wheel hub bearing concept.
You can find a way to mount a table directly to the top, and a platform below and you’re all set to spin a large amount of weight slowly and smoothly. If you want to motorize it, I stacked round tables to create a type of ‘spool’. The center table is smaller in diameter and created a grooved area for a belt to be wrapped around. By using the outer circumference of the large table a small motor has much more leverage, so it doesn’t require anything heavy duty. In fact the DIY belt i’m using is just an old bike tire inner tube. Without having to do direct chain drive to the motor or belt tensioners, you can see how very little force is required to spin the table. You gotta love these wheel hubs. I used one under my heart shaped vibrating spinning bed.
I kept it battery powered in case I need to move it around. For this I just cannibalized a very cheap 12V drill. I kept the speed controller (trigger) to operate the motor at slow speeds. I used L brackets to prop the motor up, and 2″ pipe clamps to attach to the L Brackets. You could replace this with many other speed controllers if you wish to go hands free – just set it and forget it. I might do that soon. The motor is not attached to the table, so it’s easier to transport. If you guys want to look into building heavy duty spinning tables, Buick has some cheap wheel hub bearings following the link (click here).
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