Boys ranch resident turns to welding

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The Trading Post, at Carr Lane, features grills, trellises and yard art created by young men staying at the Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch. Joseph, a two year ranch resident who has spent five months in the welding class, is proud of the charcoal grill he created that includes a wok fashioned from a tractor disc. Anna Mathews / Carroll County News

CARR LANE, MO. -- Sixteen-year-old Joseph, who hails from the Rogers area, is proud of the grills he has crafted as a resident of the Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch (LUC) near Lampe.

His work, and that of other ranch residents, can be purchased at the Trading Post, the LUC thrift store located at the Carr Lane Junction north of Berryville. (See related story, Page 3.)

Joseph's latest creation is a charcoal grill with a swing-aside wok that he fashioned from a tractor disc. The grill body, he said, was crafted from a truck tire rim.

Joseph said he has "been through" all the vo-tech classes offered at the ranch since he arrived two years ago.

Those have included animal care, carpentry, cooking and housekeeping, lawn care and landscaping, plus computers, auto mechanics, and his favorite -- welding.

In addition, the ranch has horses and a tree farm they maintain, he said.

When explaining the procedure he used to create the wok, Joseph said he sanded and ground down a tractor disc, welded a piece of metal over the center hole, ground the surface smooth again, built the attachment by creating a straight bar to fit inside the circle hole he fashioned, "then welded, ground it down again, smoothed it out, and oiled it with vegetable oil and baked it."

The grill itself, he said, was fashioned from a truck tire rim, with a welded industrial grade metal bottom, a side shelf crafted from sheet metal, and legs made of bent round bar. All grills come with reinforced grates and some come with a Dutch oven hook.

While Joseph prides himself on the grills he crafts, other ranch residents focus their efforts on yard art, trellises, wood crafts and more.

The Trading Post is an expansive facility, encompassing several interconnected warehouses to showcase all that is offered. It is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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