Once upon a time in upstate New York, there lived a little boy named Mark Davis who had a grandfather. This grandfather had a scroll saw that he allowed his little grandson to operate, making every shape Mark's childlike mind could imagine. One day however, when Mark was 12 years old, Mark's grandfather passed away and Mark's fascination with wood lay dormant until he was 20 years old, when he moved from New York to Southern California and met a friend who would change his life. This friend was in the process of building a record cabinet out of African Paducah wood (circa 1976).
Mark: "When I saw this cabinet, it was like a light went on inside my head. I knew I wanted to build something too."
From 1976 to 1994, Mark, ". . . toiled in relative 'squareness', as Joe's worker by day and his own woodworker by night. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) the conventional boxy woodworking created with run-of-the-mill woodworking instruments was just not enough to satisfy Mark's imagination.
Mark: "I have always been a student of shapes. I am always thinking of ways to create shapes - to figure out how the masters did it."
About 1994, two events took place that changed Mark's life forever. He met a charming young lady who was also interested in woodworking, who latter became his wife, and he discovered at a woodworking show held in the Long Beach Convention Center the Woodchuck Ornamental Milling Machine - the predecessor to the Legacy Ornamental Mill.
Mark: "When I saw the Woodchuck, it was like another light went on. All of the shapes that I had stored in my head but couldn't create - even though I had a lathe and various other fancy tools - were all of the sudden within my grasp. I thought, 'This tool will do it'!"
Mark firmly believes that his Ornamental Mill enables him to now create many of the shapes and designs that began to form in his head when he was a child.
Mark: "Fluting, Reeding, Banding . . . designs that couldn't be done on the lathe. It's just a different animal! When I discovered the Woodchuck, I moved into the next realm of woodworking. Before I had the machine, I wouldn't have considered myself a Master Woodworker, but with this machine, I became one."
One of Legacy's favorite Mark Davis originals is the kaleidoscope, an idea that Mark gleaned from a magazine he had read.
Mark: "My wife loves wood and I love woodworking. It's one of the things that attracted us to each other. We saw an advertisement for a kit that could be purchased. The advertisement claimed that it could be easily accomplished by any novice woodworker."
Mark and his wife were so impressed he promised his wife that he would build one for her for her birthday. The 'easily accomplished' claim turned out to be false. However, Mark was able to accomplish the feat by modifying some of the plans and with the aid of his Woodchuck. Because Mark was in the middle of building a new home and shop, however, the project took 4 years to complete.
Mark: "It took a lot of discipline. It was hard not to lose parts and to remember your train of thought after a few months or even a few weeks."