Offbeat: Welding Wonder

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT)--70 year old Gallie Charles spent 20 years in the Marines and 30 years at Peerless in Paragould with a welding wand in his hand.  When Charles left work everyday he came home and fired up his hobby, a welding wand.  Yes, Gallie Charles just can't seem to get enough of arc welding.

Over the years he's built dozens of things, including a massive quonsot hut style shop in his backyard.  It took 703 days to build and after the first three days, he built it all by himself, one weld at a time.  Inside that shop he's built tractors, cannons, trailers, and even a locomotive.

Charles always wanted to build a working train locomotive, so he did.  It's 27 feet long and weighs 11,000 pounds.  At one time he had some track and drove it around his house, but his wife persuaded him to plant it in front of the house and it hasn't been cranked in years.

Charles also built a 7 foot tall metal fence around his property that's 3,600 feet long and took him 6 1/2 years to complete.  Plus, all the bridges that span the creek on his property were all welded together by Charles.  He says the biggest bridge can stand up to 100 tons.

How long will Charles keep welding?  He says he'll keep firing his welder until the good Lord punches his ticket.