Going With the Grain
Tradgard can create all of your wildest dreams … out of wood!
Whether it’s custom kitchen cabinets, extravagant bookshelves, desks, coffee tables, or even a secret door, Tradgard LLC has seen it all. Founder and sole carpenter of Tradgard, David Strenke, is new to the area, but not new to the business.
Strenke got started in the construction business twenty years ago when he started working for his father’s business in high school. He grew up west of Rice Lake, but came to the area when he finished his degree at UW-Eau Claire and his wife got a job locally in the medical field.
Though Strenke loved working with his father building things, eight years ago he realized he wanted to start a business in which he could better showcase not only his craftsmanship but also his creativity. Thus, Tradgard LLC. was born.
“I try to work really closely with each of my clients and what I’m particularly interested in are projects that sort of require that artistic, human element and you can’t really get that from a production shop,” Strenke said. “So that’s kind of my focus. I’m not necessarily interested in growing into a big production facility where I do a high volume of work every year. I’m more interested in what I can contribute personally and artistically to each one of my projects.”
Not only does hand-crafted, locally-made cabinetry look amazing, it also allows for more customization and less limitations when it comes to your vision. Completely on his own, Strenke designs, builds, sands, stains, and installs all of his projects, creating more of a connection between his clients and himself.
“I have very significant investment both in personal time and creativity and also in labor with each one of these projects,” Strenke said. “The end result really matters to me, so my interest in somebody’s project doesn’t end when I design it and send the design to production or when I build a piece and then send it over to sanding or painting or staining because I do all of those things myself. So I’m involved in the project at each step and they mean a lot to me.”
Maybe his biggest achievement, though, is his very own house in Fall Creek. Designed and built by him, he also designed and built all of his cabinetry and a large wall with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a ladder and rail to top it all off. All of his production for Tradgard is completed in his workshop in front of his house.
“I’ve always enjoyed designing my own work and then it’s the challenge of building it and if I can come up with an idea that is unique and that I haven’t necessarily seen before, part of the challenge that I enjoy the most is sort of figuring out how I can make that a reality,” Strenke explained.
Tradgard is your place to get locally-crafted, completely unique wood projects that comes with a high-level investment of human labor and creativity. As Strenke says, the more unique the project, the better. Whether you’re a homeowner looking for your next eye-catching wooden feature or a local small business in need of display cabinets or tables, Tradgard, LLC is passionate about helping you make it a reality.
Artisan Cabinetry & Wood Products