Notching Out the Top for a Frameless Lazy Susan

Cutting and banding the inside corners for a Lazy Susan can be time-consuming. Here's a spirited technical discussion of various methods. July 31, 2009

Iím just looking for opinions on how you guys cut the notch and band the notch on frameless cabinets. Iím hoping there is a better way than what I currently do which is rough cut the notch with a jigsaw, then clamp a template and use a flush trim router bit to clean up the jigsaw edge and get it square. I use proeglued PVC banding and for these panels, I have to use a heat gun to apply it. Basically, these cabinets are a pain in the rear and I am hoping someone can shed some light on a better way to do it.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor K:
Before I got the CNC I used to do them on the bandsaw. You can make a jig that the piece slides against. Cut one side, then flip and cut the other. It worked good for toe kick notches also. If you don't have a bandsaw large enough, you could make a template from scraps and do a flush trim with the router. You only make the template once and you can use it over and over. Cut it a touch oversize first then to the router template thing.

From contributor V:
You can't beat a tablesaw for clean straight cuts. Set the blade high, stop the cuts short if you can't have any oversaw and finish with a hand saw or jig saw. As far as the banding, I don't see any way around that work.

From the original questioner:
I use to use the tablesaw and stop short but didnít like the tearout. I guess I could use the slider, but the scoring blade will cut past where I need it to go. The bandsaw is a good idea. It may be quicker than with the router as I am currently doing it. As you mentioned, I have a template and use the router. I was just hoping there was a better way.

From contributor J:
We cut our Susan top and bottoms in two pieces. One is a rectangle and the other is basically a square. We can then run them both through the bander, pocket screw them together and build the cabinet. While this does leave a visible line of the two butting edgebanded edges, it is mostly covered by the Susan while it is in use and has never been a concern or problem for our customers.

From contributor P:
I tablesaw almost into the corner, rough cut the corner radius with a sabersaw, clean up with a flush trimmer/template, use spray adhesive on my regular PVC. I don't worry about chipout, as those are the "away" sides that nobody will see once the tops are on.

From contributor A:
If you have an edgebander, use it, engineer and cut your corner cab into two parts and assemble it in the field. Your banded edge quality is much higher sending it through your bander as opposed to some other method, you have saved much time, you can teach a relatively unskilled worker to cut your parts and not have to worry if they will screw it up or worse yet eat the board when it kickbacks on the saw and have a workerís comp claim or worse. As an added bonus to your forward thinking: no more fretting about how to get it through that 30" doorway you forgot to consider when you field measured, and you only need one not two people to tote it in the house and install it. Continuing to do things the same way simply because you donít think there is an option, and not open minded enough to explore them will get you much the same results as much of what used to be Americaís furniture industry.

From the original questioner:
It was suggested for me to use pocket screws as mentioned above, or use mending plates. As far as the strength is concerned, I think if you place the leg leveler on the seam, it would be okay. I am really intrigued by this suggestion and think I will give it a try on my next one. Iím guessing one cabinet is just like a regular cabinet, and the other cabinet is a normal cabinet with a side missing.

From contributor H:
I go the two piece route myself, and have been for years. It makes a lot of sense too - easier to carry, easier to install, nothing shoddy about it, and it just assemble with pocket screws on the job. If done right you have about 1 1/4" of tight joint showing in front of the Susan when it's centered. I steer clear of the handsaws when possible. I have one, and it stays sharp. I only use it as a tool of last resort - usually when I should have thought through how I needed to do something right in the first place.

From contributor V:
I donít use a hand saw. I cut two parts - a top and bottom shelf from the carcass material on a particular job. I raise the table saw blade high and make the two cuts stopped short in both pieces. I finish the cuts with a jig saw and then use a file if need to sweeten the inside corner.

I should probably add that I need to see a drawing of what you guys are doing to understand. I am sure I don't understand because my cabinet backs are fastened to the top shelf and bottom shelf of a pie-cut Lazy Susan so how you are splitting this in two and assembling onsite is a mystery to me.

From contributor H:
On mine one cabinet has two 3/4" sides and the other cabinet is assembled with one side, a top, a bottom and 3/4" back. It is assembled to be flush inside. The last person to see the "1 1/4" of visible pinstripe" will be the cleanup/make-ready person - if they are really observant during the nanosecond between opening the door and actually revolving the Lazy Susan. My banding is wood but I'm also PVC tolerant.

From contributor K:
I can understand the speed and ease of the two piece method, but I'll stick to the one piece version myself. When I have a small entry door, I leave the toe kick off and attach it on site.

From contributor R:
We do the two piece method as well. We lay out the pieces after they are edgebanded and scribe the edgebanding where the joint is. The banding behind the joint is removed and the joint is glued and pocket screwed.

From the original questioner:
Itís not just trying to avoid applying four little pieces of banding. Cutting the notch, and applying the banding disrupts the mfg flow of typical cabinets. Sure it only takes a few minutes to cut the notch and apply the banding, but the disruption to the work flow is what slows the process. Also, I used pre-glued PVC and it does not like to be applied with a heat gun as the banding kind of melts and deforms.