The Incredible Homemade Workshop

by Mickey Hudspeth
Duluth, GA

Mickey Hudspeth is the instructor for a chip carving class offered at Highland Woodworking in November.

I am a retired Electrical Engineer (Mississippi State - 1956). My entire working career was in the satellite communications earth station industry. In the early years, I was involved in the engineering design, manufacture, and the installation of tracking antenna systems for satellites and other space vehicles. During the later years, I was involved in the transmission of data, audio, and video via satellite for the major radio and television networks.

Woodworking has been my hobby for over 30 years with golf running a close second. I am a member of the Woodworkers Guild of Georgia and a past president of the Guild. I became interested in carving in 1985 and spent a week studying chip carving under Mr. Wayne Barton at his Alpine School of Woodcarving in Park Ridge, Illinois. After having learned the basics of chip carving and completing many practice boards, plaques and plates, I started applying the chip carving to other wood objects such as bowls, tables, chest, boxes and other miscellaneous pieces. These pieces have been very well received and several have been Best of Show winners in various shows in the Southeast. Several of my pieces have been published in Chip Chats magazine and Woodwork magazine (May 1992).

My shop occupies a full basement in my home and as you will see from the photos below, it is well equipped for just about any type of wood working and metal working. While it has a lot of Delta machines, such as dust collection, joiner, planer, table saw, most of the other tools are homemade versions that I made over the past 25 to 30 years. As you view the photos, you will notice a lot of red machines. These are the homemade machines, except for the South bend metal lathe which I purchased.

I made most of the machines from scrap metal materials back when I was working. One of the first machines I purchased was the South Bend metal lathe, and I used that machine to make all the other ones you can see painted red in the pictures. Some of the machines are approaching 30 years old and they are still being used. I did a lot of the design work for the machines using AutoCad, and kind of adapted the design to the various scrap metal that I found in the company scrap barrels where I worked.

Most of my wood working is making the pieces to be chip carved. This includes boxes, bowls, chest, tables some of which have been on display at Highland Woodworking.

For some examples of my work, check out my website at

Sign up here for the November chip carving class at Highland.

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View of shop showing router table, clamp storage
and drum sander.
Delta Joiner, dust Vacuum system, and planer.
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North view of the shop. North west view of the shop.
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Another view of the shop. Metal working wall, showing electric welder, gas welder, power hacksaw and drill press.
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Another view of the shop. The Wood Lathe.
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This is an adjacent room to the shop. This is the knife sharpening wall and carving table on the right. South view of the shop.
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SouthBend 9 inch metal lathe with 4 foot bed and
tread cutting feature.
End view of the SouthBend
showing the thread cutting gears.
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Knife Sharpening wheels - Uses paper wheels and
grinding compounds.
Homemade knife leather stropping machine.
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Homemade 1 inch belt sander with tilt table. Homemade 10 inch disc sander with tilt table.
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Homemade 3 wheel bandsaw. Uses 11 foot blade, has variable speed and tilting table. Bandsaw controls: bottom wheels are speed and
tilt controls. Top smaller wheels are for the height adjustment which is about 14 inches.
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Bottom inside view of bandsaw, shows the speed control
and the tilting mechanism.
Inside view of bandsaw. Uses 8 inch wheels, throat depth
is about 22 inches.
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Homemade wet grinding machine. Homemade jigsaw. Uses pinned saw blades.
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Homemade wheel grinders, wire wheel and flap sanding. Homemade wood shaper. Handle in front raises and
lowers the cutter.
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Homemade power Hacksaw. Homemade Scroll Saw.
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Homemade Radial Arm Drill Press.

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Highland Woodworking | 1045 N. Highland Avenue, NE | Atlanta | GA | 30306 | 404.872.4466