Maitre ‘D Station

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Project by lew posted 07-08-2009 09:56 PM 3162 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was asked by our “adopted” son to make a Maitre ‘D station for his restaurant. He gave me a couple of requirements and rough size. Not wanting to create something that he may not like, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to expand my Sketchup abilities and create a virtual piece for their approval. At this point, I want acknowledge the invaluable help of DaveR- who spent an afternoon tutoring me. His guidance and patience helped me create the station and gain a much greater understanding of the capabilities Sketchup.

I learned a bunch of stuff making this seemly simple project (besides the Sketchup stuff). First, 45 degree angles look good on paper but are a bear to assemble- especially when dados are involved. Secondly, after reading all of the praise of wipe on Poly finishes, I don’t really care for them. The finish seemed to dry, as advertised, on the solid wood components, but left a tacky residue on all the plywood surfaces even after 12 hours. I ended up going back to a regular brush on Poly finish. Third, I tried “gilding” (no- not gelding) for the first time. The restaurant is called the “Copper Kettle” and one of the requirements for the station was to have an integral business card holder- the old one kept falling on the floor. I thought- hey, why not use a “copper kettle” for the card holder. I turned a blank into a kettle shape, used a hollow mortise chisel to cut a ½” slot in the center- for the cards, added a couple of handle holes, painted the inside black, used copper leaf over the outside and added a brass rod handle. To keep it in place, I used the magnets from an old computer hard drive. Recessed one set in the bottom of the “kettle” and the other set in the underside of the station top. These super strong magnets keep the little “kettle” securely in place.

The next to last picture is the station in place at the restaurant.

Thanks for looking and Thank You DaveR for all your help!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

12 comments so far

View LifesGood1's profile


33 posts in 4412 days

#1 posted 07-08-2009 10:49 PM

I think anyone who owns a restaurant would be thrilled to have a handmade one of these. Looks real good.

-- Jerod, Austin

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4462 days

#2 posted 07-08-2009 11:13 PM

It’s neat when the furnishings have a local story behind them. There’s a lot more warmth to the restaurant now, I’m sure, with such a prominent feature having been handmade by someone close. It looks really nice, and solid!

Now get him to let you redo that newel post, and then everything else in the restaurant ;)

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Karson's profile


35273 posts in 5481 days

#3 posted 07-08-2009 11:18 PM

Verrry Impressive. I hope that he is happy to have it there. The copper Kettle looks great.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 4772 days

#4 posted 07-08-2009 11:22 PM


A very nice peice my friend and i bet your son loved the SU before he got to see the finished stand


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5327 days

#5 posted 07-09-2009 01:55 AM

Great job Lew. That kettle looks real enough. Your son should be proud of you and your skills that you learned. Dave is a great and giving person, he has helped a lot of people learn SU. KUDOS to you both.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View lew's profile


13353 posts in 4836 days

#6 posted 07-09-2009 02:02 AM

Thanks for the kind words, everyone!!

Gary, I think I have worked on every aspect of that building! Plumbing, electrical, carpentry. The building is about 100 years old so things tend to break and restaurant people are really hard on things! We were discussing the painting but are concerned about possible environmental problems.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4658 days

#7 posted 07-09-2009 02:33 AM

Looks good well done Lew


View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4754 days

#8 posted 07-09-2009 03:22 AM

Nice work, Lew.

View lew's profile


13353 posts in 4836 days

#9 posted 07-09-2009 03:57 PM

Thanks, CJ.

I really appreciate it!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5158 days

#10 posted 07-12-2009 08:26 PM

this is wonderful…i am sure he is very happy…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View doms's profile


41 posts in 4434 days

#11 posted 07-13-2009 01:11 AM

Very Impressive and well excecuted! Great job!

-- Dominique Barbier - Dallas, TX

View mtnwild's profile


4047 posts in 4608 days

#12 posted 08-01-2009 07:09 PM

Great job. Looks good and serves its purpose. Best advertising out there. A job well done.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

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