The cabinet to organize by using a lazy susan

Difficulty Level: Easy (if you can figure out the instructions)

Materials used: Lazy Susan hardware 6″, Four #6 Sheet metal screws (had to be bought separately!), Wood circle base (8″ diameter), 1/2″ wood dowel, power drill with 1/8″  and 1/2″ drill bits

So I thought this would be a simple project. Get some wood, put some hardware on it drill a hole in the top so I can center it and turn it from the top, and voila!

Not so. This was deceptively easy, and it all had to do with reading instructions. I always tell my students when teaching “how to write instructions” that you MUST let someone else read them, especially someone that wouldn’t know the topic. Because if they can’t understand it, then you know you’ve got to start over. This is what the Home Depot* should have done.

As you can see these instructions look deceptively simple–only a few steps. But it’s what those steps say, and what the diagram shows that got to me. The top was supposed to have 4 holes, the bottom has 8–see diagram. Not so, China! The top and bottom in this diagram both had 8 holes. There was confusion with what holes you’re supposed to use to fasten the hardware to your turntable. There was even confusion on what the metal part was called. Sometimes they called it lazy susan, then lazy susan turntable, then lazy susan hardware. It was much more complicated than it should be. And to top it off, it did not come with the screws I needed to attach the hardware onto my turntable.

The turntable on my lazy susan looks like Swiss cheese after I tried to drill holes per the instructions.

The most fun I had was drilling the hole in the top for the dowel rod, and staining the lazy susan (Staining is optional, but it’s always recommended to protect raw wood with some kind of sealant, protectant, lacquer or paint.)

After the shenanigans, I finally managed to get the hardware attached, dowel rod in place, and the lazy susan in operation. I did not attach it to the base of the cabinet (wasn’t intending to), but it does work without it. I have a gripping contact paper in the cabinet that will keep anything from tipping over or sliding all over the place.

The finished product (I love a deep stain that takes like this!)

Lessons Learned:

  1. Not all instructions are created equal
  2. Be ready for anything

*I bought a Home Depot brand, but I suspect that no matter where you buy this hardware the instructions are just as messy. I suspect the same company makes this hardware for multiple chain stores. This hardware is also sold in Lowes, and I assume other hardware stores as well.

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