Visitors to the Pub in recent months have probably noticed the addition of two new high-top tables designed for both work and play—ready to serve members whether they’re grabbing breakfast and complimentary coffee, charging their laptops or mingling with friends over beers. If the new additions seem uniquely suited to the space, it’s because they are: The tables were handmade by Minneapolis Club engineers Dirk Gunder and Chad Stone.
When the idea of adding bar tables to the Pub first came up, it didn’t take long to determine the best way to get them. Dirk and Chad, both graduates of the wood finishing program at Dakota County Technical College, have demonstrated their carpentry expertise in countless ways around the Club. Most applicable for this project, they built the chef’s table in the kitchen in collaboration with Chef Håkan.
For the pub, Dirk and Chad envisioned similar live-edge wood tables. Their first challenge was finding suitable lumber, but Paul Scott, director of purchasing, soon located a solution in Webster, Wisconsin. Following a thunderstorm that downed multiple trees on his property, an enterprising farmer there had purchased a sawmill and begun his own milling operation. Dirk made the two-hour drive and hand selected four oak slabs from the same tree.
Once the lumber was in their workshop in the Club basement, Dirk and Chad determined the best configuration for the slabs, then cut them to length, power planed and sanded them. After filling knots and ensuring the surfaces were level and smooth, the next step was staining the oak to match the existing tables in the Pub.
To equip the tables to stand up to decades of use in the Pub, Dirk and Chad then applied seven coats of a specialty varnish for wooden boats. Each coat required at least 24 hours of curing time (and up to four days in the humid conditions of the basement workshop), followed by fine sanding.
With the wood finishing complete, the only steps remaining were to attach the metal legs and power outlets, and finally install the tables in the Pub along with the new bar stools (which were a project themselves, requiring reupholstering by Paul Scott to match the Pub’s existing chairs).
The final result is worth celebrating. If you don’t visit the Pub regularly, stop in soon to see and appreciate Dirk and Chad’s craftsmanship. It’s yet another thing that makes our Clubhouse so special, and so well suited as the backdrop for your extraordinary experiences.