An interview with Derek Pyatt of Pyatt Woodworking 

Derek Pyatt's name is synonymous with the machinery of the Coronet Tool Company from Derby.  An internet search for Coronet lathes will return his website amongst others which is often the first port of call for those new to the brand as well as those long familiar with it.  I first spoke to him by telephone approximately ten years ago when I acquired my first Coronet Major and was keen to talk to a specialist about setting up the planer blades correctly.  I was both well pleased and surprised to speak so informally with someone whose details were on the web.   It was not always so easy to do so but as I found out Derek was only too willing to talk me through the process as I stood over my machine. Later I purchased spares which were always of top quality if not as new.  I must say that his enthusiasm for the machines was no little influence on my decision to set up a website dedicated to the Coronet machines in my workshop.  I always refer people to him as a great source of parts and information.  For myself and many others the Midlands isn't a part of the country that is within my mileage for a day trip so all advice and transactions have been done either by telephone or email.  And so to satisfy my own nosiness and for the greater good of recording for posterity I decided to expose the man behind the maroon. 

.Click for Options

Having put the idea to him he kindly agreed to take part in this exercise and sent the above photo of himself for identification purposes only.  The first part of the project is to give a brief cv and the next part to be more Coronet based.  A big thanks to Derek firstly for his agreement and secondly for his input so far.

Part 1

Derek. V. Pyatt,  curriculum vitae.

Born on the 24th April 1936 and now aged 80 years Derek has been a lifelong woodworker.  As a teenager he had a 16’x6’ workshop with an 8” saw bench made by John Inns who are a long gone Nottinghamshire firm, a Myford PR11 surface planer and an old model making engineers lathe given to him by a relative that he subsequently converted for wood use.

He was educated at Alleynes Grammar School in Uttoxeter, Staffs where he did his A levels which naturally included woodwork.  After that he did three years at teacher training college where he gained the top distinction level for craftwork which in those days meant woodwork, metalwork and engineering amongst others.   What a contrast to the meaning of craftwork today which can mean anything from painting egg boxes to making stuffed animals.  Derek finished his teacher training placing in the top twelve of over one hundred students.

His career started teaching to the old ‘O’ Level standard in various High and Middle schools in Staffordshire for nearly thirty years before becoming the Works Manager at a boat building firm also in Staffs.  In the mid 70s he worked as a self employed cabinet maker specialising in long case and other clocks.  He also found time to be the owner of a woodworking machinery dealership for approx twenty-five years supplying the amateur and small business market.

In the late 60s Derek had bought the remaining stock of Derby made spare parts from Record Power who had taken over Coronet.  And now it seems he is the only person in the whole world offering a parts and information service for the Coronet brand.  In addition to that accolade he does also offer a few parts for some Tyme and Arundel machines.

Another of Derek’s interests has been to give talks to groups of woodworkers about lathes and bandsaws sharing his 60+ years of woodworking experience.

Although now in his 80s and not selling complete machines anymore he is still trading in spare parts and offering advice to Coronet machine owners from all over the world.  The advice comes free with every manual that is sold which all still sell for under £10.

Woodworking men with Derek’s training and knowledge are fast becoming a rarity and we must tap into this knowledge while we can.  

Derek is still stocking spares and giving advice in 2020.

Make a free website with Yola