Skip to content

Michael Humphrey (Kabuto Kustoms)


Welcome to this week's #benchmarkspotlight (formerly the #weldershowcase) - we had the opportunity to sit down with Michael from Kabuto Kustoms and talk a little shop.
If you would like to be featured in our weekly spotlight (100% FREE) and have a chance at winning one of our Grinder Hoods please send us an email to to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. These spotlights are intended to highlight your skill, your business, and your tips and tricks.  Most of all it's to have a little fun!
Enjoy and Grind On!
Name:  Michael Humphrey
Business Name:  Kabuto Kustoms
Location: Greenville, NC
Specialties:  As one of my friends once summed it up…Fabrication, Customization, Devastation (accidently set one car on fire and you are labeled for life, sheesh!)
Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I’ve always tinkered around with older cars and trucks, they just have a personality. I guess with my Dad working on fixing up old cars for me while in high school kind of inspired me to take up the trade of customizing, been doing it for a couple of decades. I pretty much work on the fly, going from spot to spot….do my thing then move on, customers seem to appreciate my coming to them.
My family inspires and encourages me to keep on going.
  What is your favorite shop tool and why?
May sound a bit weird, but I love my body hammers, something about using them to straighten, shape metal is just super satisfying.
What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
That’s really hard to narrow down, but in school I got to assist in chopping the top and stretching the cab on a 41 Ford pick-up cab. I had the fun job of making lower cab corners, at the time repops weren’t available, so with my BA cut offs, got rid of the old, cut out some new stuff and then used my favorite tool, the shrinker/stretcher to give them their shape (mind you that is a simplified explanation….definitely more to it than that).
  If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
It’s pretty simple, my own little gig that I’ve got happening. It’s not big, not fancy, not even a public operation…just private work, but it makes me happy and provides for the family.
What BA product is your favorite and why?
3" A/O QUICK CHANGE DISCS, they make short work of dressing up welds, and removing dross on plasma cuts. Sorry, no pics of me using them…too often I get wrapped up in my work and I want to document, but I forget to do it!
They have a great quality about them, for me anyway, they lasted much longer than other brands do. The only real tip I have is I will take them and cut the edges up, kind of like a star, so that there are pointed edges sticking out. I find it works great at getting into tiny little crevices when sanding off old finishes and touching up a part of a visible weld that’s in a tight spot.  
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Kind of a hard choice… but first choice would be Gene Winfield…why? BECAUSE HE IS GENE WINFIELD! A close second would be Ian Roussel. He isn’t afraid to think outside the box when it comes to fabrication and/or design…he really is an artist in steel.
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
To quote Fritz Schenck…”get out there and build something”, don’t be afraid to try something, and more important when learning, don’t be afraid or ashamed of mistakes….you learn more from mistakes than you realize! Another great quote is by Gene Winfield…”every day’s a school day”…you never stop learning! So don’t ever believe for one second you know it all.
Future: Maybe one day go bigger, start a more public shop. Right now word of mouth has been good….but there is always better!


A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Michael! You definitely need to get yourself online and create a presence for yourself so we can all get to you a little bit better.
Previous article Shala Shepherd (@focuswelds)
Next article Edward Siegel (Edward's Automotive)

Compare products

{"one"=>"Select 2 or 3 items to compare", "other"=>"{{ count }} of 3 items selected"}

Select first item to compare

Select second item to compare

Select third item to compare