SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Ralph "Pie" Sonnier stays busy in his Sulphur workshop, putting together his latest creation, a water well drilling rig. It's just one of several wooden models he has assembled from hand over the years.
"I just worked with iron work and I decided I wanted to do something different on my own time. So, I bought a few tools. I bought a wood lathe. Actually, I got a big one and I didn't really need it. A small one was all I needed," Sonnier said.
Pie's collection doesn't come from kits. Each is meticulously made by hand from his collection of various woods.
"This is a cooling system for the water well rig that I'm building. That's the fan. It'll have some lines hooked to it to go on the back of the truck drilling the water well," he said.
Pie's latest additions include this 18 wheeler and crane along with a road grader and drag line. Each have working gears and levers.
"This piece here, I'll build it by itself. Then glue it in. I'll use little pliers to keep them in there. You've got to work from the inside out. It's just like building a car. If you've got to put dash boards in it, you've got to start on the inside. And that's what's hard to do if you don't have plans," he said.
Many of Pie's pieces will be on display at a Man Show exhibit in July at the Henning House in Sulphur.