Motorized Lazy Susan – Heavy Duty

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/

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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.

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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.

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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).

front-wheel-hub-buickfront-wheel-hub-buick-lazy-susan
find-price-button Front Wheel Hub Assembly





40 thoughts on “Motorized Lazy Susan – Heavy Duty

  1. Chris

    Hi, very interesting post - Thank You.
    I'm wondering if you could suggest something that may hold the weight of a couple of thousand pounds.
    I'm trying to turn an object about 180-270 degrees and came across this article

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @Christina - I disassembled this one and was working on improving it. I have nothing to rent at the moment.

  3. Christina

    I'm so impressed that you put this together! It's exactly what I will be needing for an upcoming video project. Have you made any other ones to sell or rent? I'm in the Bay Area also. Thanks!

  4. Hey Emm, I need something like this to slowly spin a 6' tall wrought iron candle stand that I am making miniature wedding cakes to sit on it for an upcoming wedding show. If you could give us a little more info, such as plans, I would be most happy to compensate you for your time.

    We have several drills we can cannibalize, but how would we make it hands-free? Obviously I would look like a fool trying to operate it while answering questions and handing out samples.

    BTW, I found you on YouTube.

    Thank you.

  5. Emm,
    Was this a driven hub ('serrated' inner diameter) or non-drive (smooth)?
    What did you use for an axle and how did you fix it to the rotating bearing?

    Thanks,
    Dave

  6. Pingback:

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @Mark Samuelson - Those wires were from Radio Shack and I just soldered them to the trigger.

  8. Mark Samuelson

    Emm, what were the extension wires you connected from the trigger to the drill? and how did you connect them? solder?

    Thank you!!

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @Mark Samuelson - I don't think a fan motor has enough 'torque' power. You're better off with a drill type motor. If you're looking for a speed controller, make sure you choose one that's designed to handle a lot of amps or it will burn out. I'm not sure where you can find all this information, i'm not super savvy myself.

  10. Mark Samuelson

    Yes Emm, exactly what I was thinking! though it took me about 2 days for the support rollers to dawn on me , you're the better man.

    Thank you for your response.

    I'm completely green to electronics, do you think a regular household fan would be able to rotate such a load easily, and would it be possible to modify it to use with a set and forget it speed controller? Is there any links or pages you could recommend to show me how to connect a speed controller to a motor? Is there added difficulty to connecting a speed controller to something that runs on AC current directly from an outlet (not a battery)?

    Don't want to be a bother with all these questions, . I appreciate your help very much though.

    Mark

  11. Emm

    Post author

    @Mark Samuelson - I used a complete hub assembly with has holes pre-made for mounting to a car. If you plan on using a 6 foot table, I would recommend using some type of support rollers on the outside. Possibly steel posts with roller skates at the top to support the weight better and keep the table level and spinning freely.

  12. Mark Samuelson

    Emm,
    I'm so fortunate to have come across this page. I'm trying to figure out how to spin a 6 foot table at 33 rpm.

    Question: How did you securely mount the front wheel hub bearing to the base plate?

    I'd deeply appreciate your response.

    Thanks,
    Mark

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  14. Emm

    Post author

    @Alexey - These are round wood tables you can find at the lumber store. They are pre-made and in different sizes.

  15. Rabby

    Thanks Emm,

    This is exactly What i was looking for, need this for a model shoot down in Phx. Now how should I carry this on the plane hummm..

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @Marco - A hub bearing is indeed super super strong with no 'lash'. The easiest way to use this is to order the complete assembly giving you mounting points. It's a pressed in fit bearing, so you can also buy the hub in a few pieces.

  17. Hey Emm

    I'm building a diy jib and i'm was looking into an alternative bearing system for it. You think this wheel hub would act better (smoother and more stable) than the usual lazy susan bearing?

  18. Peter C

    Emm, if I'm correct you live in Orange County. I will buy this Lazy Susan off of you if your interested in selling it because I have a project coming up I need something like this for.

  19. COLLIN

    when you going to show us how you built that thing, piece by piece Emm. i'm really intrested in what you used to assemble the hub to the base and such

  20. Emm

    Post author

    @Marcus V Warner - Are you F-N serious? You actually picked that one out pretty good. Damn you've got an ear for beats even when the tempo is dropped.. LOL

  21. Marcus V Warner

    As always great info Emm... Is that a remix of "World in my eyes" or you just drop the pitch and loop the intro?

  22. Emm

    Post author

    @Brendan - Actually my table design with this hub will support that treadmill and someone on top of it too. I would just have to build a larger base for it and a larger table top.

  23. Emm

    Post author

    @Brendan - I'm confused. A lazy susan spins in a circle, and a treadmill only goes in one direction. Are you talking about a treadmill on top of a lazy susan? These wheel hubs could easily carry an entire treadmill.

  24. Emm, this was awesome! However, I was wondering if you might be able to post a follow-up to this because I've had a hell of a time finding any good tutorial online: a lazy Susan treadmill for green screen work.

    I have an idea that I really want to flesh out, but can't act on it until I understand how to create one completely from scratch (they're rentable, I know, but it would be sweet to just own one for all kinds of use!)

    Brendan

  25. Emm

    Post author

    @Dave Dugdale - I'm just using random softboxes. I'm pretty lazy with my videos. I think for the past month all my videos are shot only on the Sony HX9V point and shoot camera (including this one). LOL.

  26. Very cool Emm, that is another way I didn't even think out. I have a few old drill motors I could have use.

    So far mine is working pretty well, I just need to give it a lot of WD40 before I use it.

    Your lighting looks similar to mine, are you using one softbox and a bounce board?

    Dave Dugdale

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