Mark Davis

Mark Davis is one of those people who will turn his hand to anything, and make a success of it. He worked for a museum in Somerset until retiring to spend more time in his workshops. As he says, the ambition of most is to retire to a bungalow at the seaside. Mark’s idea was to move to a Somerset long house where the main workshop is housed in the old barn. There are other workshops for his many and varied interests.

MEWS first visited Mark to pick up a set of bound magazines - he had bound them himself, of course. And we published an article on a delightful model of a Pittler lathe. It was a fascinating visit.

As well as a model engineer. Mark has also successfully tried needlework, leatherwork, woodwork and ornamental turning. In the process he has also re-created some fine tools. As he says, “I couldn’t afford them so I made them!”

Let’s take a look at some of them.

Two-inch C-Clamp, roughly milled then filed to shape, finished with emery paper and Scotchbright.
A 19th century surgical saw and the lower one a 19th century French piercing saw.
Also based on 19th century surgical saw.
Mark uses a lot of needle files and got fed up with odd bits of wood for handles so decided to make a few proper holders. The handles are mostly African Blackwood with one in Rosewood, decorated by using a dividing head and a small cutter in the milling machine.

Geometric chuck made from scrap material, the gear blanks being cut from 5/16" brass baffle sheets from a paper mill. Machinery used: Myford S7, Boley milling machine, shaper said to have come from a 1st World War battleship  and pillar drill.

An interesting project “but a considerable time waster, with over 2 million possible designs there is a tendency to keep making slight adjustments to the gear trains and/or slides to see what kind of pattern will be generated.”

Neat pair of dividers or draughting compasses.
Latest saw, a deep throat piercing saw, mild steel with an ebony handle.
Mark copied these from a design posted on the web but admits he may have got the dimensions wrong!
Neat little centre hole divider.
Mini router.
Engraver's Vice.
Copy of the Surface Gauge Mfd. by A.A. Vose to Mr. Carl G. Osterman's patent of 1889.
Small hand vice. Height 2.25" (top to swivel base by large butterfly nut). It is made from O1 tool steel. Apart from roughing out on the milling machine, it is all hand filed.
A little watchmaker's hammer, bamboo stem, blackwood handle with carved hollow spiral.
A few awls and buttonhole chisels. Steel, brass, horn, ivory. Some with Rose Engine Turning.
Double crease for leatherwork
Copies of Victorian tailor's buttonhole chisels. Top: Boxwood handle. Bottom: Horn and Ivory handle. Carbon steel blades made from recycled files.
Fancy steel, brass and ivory plumbob with a rosewood & evergreen oak reel.
A few braid making Lucettes. Bone, horn and tortoiseshell.
Stitch marker with a hollow brass ball for spare wheels; the handle is Amazon Rosewood showing the contrasting heart and sapwood.

Mark has a website which covers all of his interests