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  • 1.  Turntable/Revolve stage plans

    Posted 05-22-2015 14:50

    Hello all,

    I'm looking at doing a fairly large show in two years, and I'm thinking that a manual revolve would be the best solution for the many sets we'll need. Has anyone built their own turntable that can be dismantled and reused? Are you willing to share your design plans? Or, Has anyone in So Cal rented a revolve from a company they'd recommend?


    Nicole Pedroche
    Drama Teacher
    Covina CA

  • 2.  RE: Turntable/Revolve stage plans

    Posted 05-23-2015 07:50

    Here are a few options.  We built one this way a number of years ago and it worked well.  Just make sure the casters are good and are all at the correct angle.

    How to Build a Revolving Stage |

    This version looks pretty cool also.  

    Make a Revolving Stage

    Building Revolving Stage

    Good luck.

    Phillip Anderson
    Director of Theatre Ed
    Plainfield IN

  • 3.  RE: Turntable/Revolve stage plans

    Posted 05-23-2015 13:00

    Hi Nicole,

    I have done Les Mis twice, and, as you know, it usually involves revolving the barricade and the garden gate; however, building a giant revolve is not only expensive, but it also ends up limiting your stage usage, unless you build it flush with the stage (it ends up being a 6" raised space on the stage deck). I skipped the revolve and used rotating wagons to achieve both effects (I hid techies inside both set pieces and rotated them from within, so it looked like a revolve). In many ways, a revolve only holds 1-3 sets, whereas wagon sets can be rotated just as easily, and you can roll them on and off stage. You can build triangle wagons that can have a different set on each side, or square/rectangular wagons that have 2 sides. Simply roll them where you want them, and then swing them around when you want a scene change. Way more flexible, reusable, and gives you more scenic options. I keep about 10 wagons in stock (6 4'x8', and 4 4'x4'), and then can reuse them every year.

    Hope that helps.

    Josh Butchart
    Woodinville WA

  • 4.  RE: Turntable/Revolve stage plans

    Posted 05-25-2015 01:37

    Hi Nicole, 

    We used these instructions from Ben Teague that we found on the internet as a starting point for building an 18-foot diameter revolve. A big thank you to him for creating the instructions and sharing the design.

    This works if you can screw into your floor. If you can't screw into the floor you might attach the casters to another 15 pie sections cut from hardboard to create a base for the revolve. Having a sectioned base with casters installed would make for a quick install/strike.

    Some modifications from the instructions: 

    Deck Materials:

    We used 3 layers of 1/2" plywood with a medium density overlay(a resin paper layer that makes a smooth surface) for making the pie sections and the center section of the revolve deck.

    We bought the plywood from a full service mill-work/lumber yard that also cut the 45 pieces of plywood into triangle sections for us.  (A big time saver and their cuts were much more accurate than ours could have been. Very reasonable pricing. Check with the lumber yard they may also make the arc cuts easily.)   

    We assembled the pieces into the tongue and groove sections.  Do this on a flat surface and weigh the pieces down to keep them flat while the glue dries.  

    We cut the arcs after the turntable was assembled using a fixed router and rotated the turntable to cut the arc. 

    Use paste wax on the tongue and groove surfaces to make assembly and reassembly much easier.

    Number the pieces on the tongues and number the piece locations on the center disc.

    Center  bearing:

    We used a different setup for the center bearing that is much more accurate, and is quiet.  I'll get a picture of it for you if you are interested. It was about $140 for parts with volunteer welder labor.


    We sized the casters plus (2) 2x4 blocks to match a stack height of wood I-joists and 3/4" plywood that we planned to make the surround floor deck.  I can get pictures and sizes if you are interested.

    We used (4) #8 or #9 torx deck screws and washers to hold the casters to the blocks - lag screws seemed like overkill.

    I don't remember the number of casters that we used. It was more than the 40 he used. (maybe 65?) I tried to space them at about 2 1/2 ft centers. The whole thing is in storage now and I don't have notes with me. Keep the outer ring of casters far enough in from the edge so that fingers can't be caught between the wheel and the deck when pushing the revolve.


    One or two crew members could rotate the deck by hand from the upstage side with about 30 actors on the revolve. 


    I think we built the revolve for under $1800 dollars in 2012. We have used it for two of our shows and lent it to another school for one of their shows.  

    Let me know if you want some pictures of the hub, etc. or have any questions. 

    Best regards,

    Bob Sedoff
    Board member MN chapter EdTA
    Edina High School
    Edina, MN

  • 5.  RE: Turntable/Revolve stage plans

    Posted 04-18-2024 10:19

    That link is no longer good. Do you have a copy you could send?

    Chip Goff
    English and Theatre Instructor
    St. Paul's Episcopal School

  • 6.  RE: Turntable/Revolve stage plans

    Posted 04-19-2024 22:34
    Hi Chip

    Here is a good link to a great TT design:


    Tracy Nunnally
    Office/Fax: (888) 359-4255 
    Mobile: (815) 762-0181

  • 7.  RE: Turntable/Revolve stage plans

    Posted 05-25-2015 05:05

    Hi there,

    I have had a revolving set build for two of the schools I have worked in and it was a fantastic investment that has been used time after time in various form. I don't have plans but am happy to send photos or sketches if helpful. 

    Best wishes,


    Adrienne Ferguson
    Creative Director
    London. United Kingdom
    Making theatre easily accessible for everyone, everywhere.