The Boleyn Workshop 

One bloke, one workshop. He just wants some peace and quiet.  And three points from the Hammers or at least a decent Cup run. 

 About the Boleyn Workshop

It stands in one corner of the garden of a 1940s council house in Dorset.  There is nothing worth nicking in it.  Even the mice have left.  It measures 20ft by 10ft and is of 4"x2" timber frame construction insulated with fibreglass and cladded with  T+G planking.  The roof is insulated and cladded with box profle tin sheets nicked by my brother. Utilities include mains electric and telephone.  Freeview tv was installed for the 2010 World Cup.  It is heated by an ex British Railways Waiting Room coal burning stove from West Dean station in Wiltshire.  Even that arrived late. There are two sections of the building partitioned off by a stud wall with folding door and one window to allow the light through.  The smaller is the rest or office area while the larger is the workshop.  Although the office does have a raised workbench for comfort while standing it is mostly used for obtaining peace and quiet.  Or blasting out a bit of punk or dub.  Seating is provided by a 1930s sofa that survived  Luftwaffe attempts to destroy it and the nearby De Havillands aircraft factory in Hatfield, Herts where my maternal grandfather worked before, during and after the Second World War.  Fortunately they all survived though the airfield is now a housing estate.  The sofa is still a sofa. Update: the sofa has left the building.

The Boleyn Workshop is run by an amateur enthusiast who restores old woodworking machinery to use himself.  The oldest machine is a pre 1920s table saw while the newest is a  bandsaw made in the early 1970s.  One thing these machines all have in common is that they all needed a full mechanical and some cosmetic restoration before they could be used safely and regularly.  Stripping down your newly acquired machine and rebuilding it is the best way to learn about how it goes together.  The benefits include locating and identifying any weak components before they become a serious problem and getting the chance to clean and lubricate parts that might not have been touched for years if ever.  Sometimes new parts have to be located or fabricated and thanks to the internet a wealth of schematic drawings and patent designs are available to be viewed.  Machine tool catalogues, instructions and pamphlets for obsolete machinery have all been reproduced online for everyone to view. Previously it would have been inconceivable  to find these particularly if the information needed was buried in a boxfile in a company vault.  I found that even if some sites wanted payment for information there was another one deliberately offering it for free just to spite the elitist information hoarders.  This one for American patents is  There are enthusiast sites such as from America who are dedicated to making this information available for everyone.  And don't give up if you really want to contact someone.  I managed to track down John White, author of Care and Repair of Shop Machines published by Taunton Press and former editor of Fine Woodworking an American magazine.  I just wanted to let him know how invaluable I had found his book, I had a very amiable reply.  In England there is Derek Pyatt from Pyatt Woodworking sharing his knowledge and supplying spare parts, complete machines and literature from the sadly now defunct Coronet Tool Company from Derby. You can check him out at

For the H**lth and S***ty enthusiasts....

It has been pointed out to me that I should advise readers that machines often appear on the website with their safety guards removed.   This is only to facilitate photography as they often obstruct the view.  Of course it is.

WANTED: CORONET TOOL Co LITERATURE, MANUALS, NEWSPAPER CUTTINGS AND ADVERTISMENTS no matter how small or old.  You can send them electronically or by post.  Please contact  me at

Did you or someone you know work at the Coronet Tool Co in Derby? I would like to hear from you if have any history with or of the firm that would contribute to this site.  Any personal accounts or anecdotes would be welcome.  Please contact me at


This site is constantly being updated so please visit again.

Why the name Boleyn Workshop?

Well why not?  If you're a football fan then you'll work it out.  And no, it won't be called the London stadium Workshop in 2016 because I would never sell out my fans.  

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