Vacation - Shop Class Style


My son's ranch in southern New Mexico is remote, or as he puts it,"45 minutes from nowhere." The 1905 ranch house sits 3.5 miles south of US-70 between Alamogordo, NM and Las Cruces, NM. It's quiet except for the sonic booms from F16's stationed at nearby Holloman AFB.


It's pretty much old-style ranching with a few modern enhancements. Ranch life includes stretches of minimal activity and a lonely lifestyle, to rather intense social work periods.


When extra hands are needed for roundups, ranchers have a labor sharing arrangement in southern New Mexico. Good food, a comfortable bed, and beer are enhancements to ensure return labor. A pool table in the living room also can't hurt..


As built drawing.

After some back and forth design, measuring, and ordering we were ready to go.


Our goal for my two week vacation (including travel time) was to replace the counter tops with edge laminated maple and fill the area on either side of the stove with pullouts.


I loaded up the trusty van with a few tools pilfered from the shop and headed west (for a three day drive).


Like with most jobs, demolition was the first step.


One challenge was working around the cast iron sink we wanted to retain. This monster is 6' long with the two drainboards and about 350 lbs. by our estimates. Extra support in the cabinets and three bottle jacks solved the problem.


After over a 100 years and 1,000's of sonic booms, we figured that nothing was square. So we templated all of the slaps we needed to cut.