Inside the Boleyn 2023

January 5th

Happy New Year to all Boleyn Workshop regulars and casual visitors.  In the first workshop session of the new year I spent an afternoon tidying one half of the workshop to the joyous sound of Prince Buster. The success of which was compounded by a 3-2 home win at cribbage.  The Atlas stove is playing an absolute blinder this winter and I can see why it would have been the choice for countless railway waiting rooms in the good old days.  Next week I shall be collecting the Imp components that my magician/engineer friend has made for me.  They were ready six months ago but you can't rush these things.  The Imp attachment project will be the priority to start with this year and the cabinet mounted model will be put up for sale to create some space.  Three Coronet bandsaws could be interpreted as excessive by the unconverted but if you put a different blade on each one then potentially you wouldn't have to change blades ever again.  Seems logical to me but one of them is going to have to go.  I have so many Minor/Minorette parts accumulated that I am going to have a sale this year.  It looks like they have been breeding under my workbench.  Parts will be listed on the for sale page at some point.  If you can't wait indefinitely then drop me an email at to see if I have what you want.  There's at least two complete Minorettes and many interchangeable parts that will fit the Minor.  In the meantime keep it Coronet. 

January 20th

I collected those Imp bits yesterday and have promised to have them fitted when my mate visits the Boleyn Workshop to inspect some classic woodworking machinery for himself.  So far he's only got my word for how good it all is.  Last week I set up the speed reduction countershaft on the Major and had a play around on a small bowl before removing it to turn a small crib trophy out of  a bit of holly that has been seasoning for about five years in my Would Store.  It was an absolute treat to turn and I made a half decent job of it though I say so myself.  I've got half a mind to remove the saw table and set up the bowl turning extension bars for a change.  I've had it set up during the restoration but not either used or photographed it yet.  I've only ever seen pictures of it in an old advert so it would make sense to have some here for reference.  
In a frenzied workshop session in Monday night RC and me drank tea and ate biscuits while cracking on with a set of shelves that are being refurbished.  There are six shelves in all and they are connected by turned columns that screw onto the one above through the shelves.  I have had to turn a copy of one of the columns and two finials to replace missing ones which were a fiddly job but ended up being a good match.  One of the shelves had split in two so we glued and cramped it.  Some of the threaded inserts are missing too but we have come up with a cunning plan to replace them so that the shelves can still be tightly assembled.   Next week we shall finish removing many years of grime and old polish from all surfaces and decide on the final finish.  (We went for Antique Pine in the end)
Does this sound familiar to anyone?  I went up the Boleyn yesterday to fetch a hammer and some panel pins for a small job in the house.  I got distracted and ended up deciding to rearrange the interior of the workshop.  It seemed a good idea at the time.  Cabinets and shelves came off the walls, machines piled up in the other end of the workshop and suddenly I could no longer see the recently discovered floor.  After about an hour and a half I came to my senses and returned to the house forgetting my glasses, the hammer and the panel pins in the process.  Just another day in the Boleyn Workshop.

January 21st

After the maroon madness of yesterday it was time to restore some order up at the Boleyn which I duly did.  The Major and all the attachments now have a dedicated area on the workshop floor and walls which narrows down the search area when I am looking for something related to it.  There was only one thing to do next and that was to get back to woodturning.  In the pic that I would have posted below I have just used a Forstner bit in a Jacobs chuck to bore out the centre of a piece of holly to take a tea light holder.  What a real joy it is to use this 70 year old machine.  I am trying to post a photo but it keeps rotating during the process. Sometimes I dislike technology intensely.

Jan 31st

Today I paid a visit to a workshop buddy in the city of Southampton to collect some electric motors and a selection of pulley wheels mostly of the Picador variety.  It's always good to catch up and talk all things Coronet and some lesser important things too.  It was also a Workshop evening and the redoubtable RC arrived to drink tea, eat biscuits and talk my ears off.  Despite that it was a productive evening and progress was made on his mum's shelves which should be returned to her next week.  RC then produced a vintage, beautifully hand painted sewing box for refurbishment as the next project.

February 20th

Not a lot of workshop time so far this month except for the Tuesday night workshop sessions.  RC's mums shelves were indeed finished and delivered and the cantilevered oak sewing box was duly repaired.  It required much gluing and cramping more than realised at first inspection which is often the case.  When it was deconstructed it became apparent that two drawers needed that as well as new bottoms which I cut from some old oak drawers in the Would Store.  Which just goes to prove that you should never throw anything away in case it comes in handy one day.  Several of the cantilevered arms were either missing their bolts or had seized nuts (sounds painful) which were very fiddly to remove or replace.  Did any of my vintage machinery get used on this job?  Well no but they were all lurking suggestively in the background, the little maroon minxes.  (Yes it did, you used the Major for turning-Pete site admin)  Tilt your head and admire the refurbished shelves below.  Lord only knows why I can't post it the right way up.  See if you can spot the replacement spindles and finials turned nay lovingly crafted on the Coronet Major.  Seeing as the shelves turned up at the Boleyn in a "bag for life" having been stored in a loft for many years I think there has been some improvement.  

There were pictures of Readers Machines sent in this week, Norman sent in some of his newly acquired and cleaned up Coronet Major while Jimmy Cole showed off his equally newly acquired Coronet Imp with it's bespoke fence.  You can see them here in Yet More Readers Machines. Thanks to you both for sending them in.  New pictures are always welcome please send them to and I will post them eventually.  Just as well be honest about it.

I must dispel a rumour that Derek Pyatt is no longer trading.  This is categorically untrue as I found out when I spoke to the man himself earlier so for replacement drive belts, some spares, machine manuals or for general Coronet queries and advice contact Derek on

Newsflash: just in are some pictures of a refurbished Coronet Imp from Edmund Hill of Blackpool. Check them out in  Yet More Readers Machines

March 21st

First things first.  If you're interested in acquiring a Coronet Consort Universal Woodworker then you could do worse than to look on the For Sale page.  This is a very decent little set up which currently resides in Northern Island.  And the best bit?  You'll have to look for yourself.

As usual I have spent a couple of weeks in the Egyptian sun but have still managed to incorporate some workshop stuff.  First of all I found another little MILF lurking on Luxor docks and then managed an engine room tour of the Nile cruiser we were staying on.  Me and my mate Mick (not RC) went below decks and met Nagi the electrical engineer who had very good English and was able to explain the workings to us.  There are four large Caterpillar engines all in all that are used consecutively to prevent overheating and one of them is used at night as it is quieter. It was a noisy but interesting experience and we learnt about the particle filtration system that takes water directly from the Nile and purifies it before passing it under two UV lights making it fit for use in the bathrooms.  We were shown the pumps that steer the boat with jets of water from both sides which explained the handbrake turn precision of the boat when berthing.  Nagi has travelled all over the globe (the wet bits) as an electrical engineer and clearly knows his stuff and is only too happy to share it with an appreciative audience.  We parted as firm friends and will be catching up again next year.  See below for a couple of engine shots.
In recent Tuesday night workshop sessions after any project work has been completed RC has been introducing me to the likes of Warhammer and other little plastic figures.  He has given me free rein with the painting and as a result Sean Bean's character from LOTR is decked out in the Sheffield United home strip (Sean is a fan though I'm not).  Another figure possibly Legolas sports the classic West Ham 70s away kit modelling a sky blue cloak with claret hoops.  His shield is also claret and blue in a rather natty mod target design.  

Two good things are happening this Friday.  Firstly I am going to see the Cockney Rejects in Swindon and secondly, on the way I am picking up a Classic 10 bandsaw.  As you do.  I was contacted through the website by the vendor and after seeing photos I made an offer which was duly accepted.  As far as I can tell it is complete though in dire need of a service and refurb due to having been stored for some years.  I have been after one of these bandsaws for years but they usually only come up in the Outer Hebrides or somewhere far away beyond my collection zone.  For this one to come up in Wiltshire was a maroon dream come true even if technically it is red.  I will post photos next week when it is safely in my possession.  Only three sleeps now.  

I am still working on two new trophies for the crib league.  Having been whitewashed before I went to Egpyt my mate took the trophy home for keeps and I started work on its replacement.  I was using a piece of holly that had  been drying out for about four years and was ripe for turning. Holly is one of my favourite woods to turn.  Or was.  All was going well on the old Major, I had decided on a goblet form for the new trophy and had shaped it without any real issues bar a few small knots opening up when exposed.  Easily rectified with some superglue and it took its final shape well.  Then I upped the speed for sanding.  Now that 1hp motor really throws it forward when it kicks in and as it did, the stem snapped at the base as if it had been cracked like a whip.  The goblet bowl whizzed past me at groin level and I gave thanks that the gods of turning spared me the ignominy of a goblet in the nut cutlets.  On inspection it became clear that there was an unseen knot in the stem causing a weak spot that snapped immediately under pressure.  So close to finishing yet so far, just one of those days.  I attempted to attach a new stem and re-centre it but the result was something that looked like it had gone through a wood chipper backwards and sideways.  Perhaps it just should have done in the first place.  However, undefeated I have ripped the remaining holly down in to strips and laminated them in sections to form a new trophy in three sections.  A Mother's Day gift of a tea light holder in spalted beech was far more successful and in fact drew a complimentary comment from my old dear who said that I had outdone myself.  Well let's face it, the bar was set pretty low but I appreciated the sentiment particularly as this bit of wood came from the last load of firewood that my brother had brought her before he passed away four years ago.  It has been sat on my workbench all that time and I just hadn't fancied doing it until this month when the time seemed right.  Well you can't rush these things can you.  Just for the record my old dear had completely forgotten about it.   The other trophy is to be awarded to whoever wins the most crib games over the year.  The first attempt also in holly went well then cracked down one side and although filled with resin and stabilised we weren't happy with the finished look so attempt number two will start soon.  I think going from a cold workshop to a warm house caused it as another piece left in the workshop after rough shaping did not crack at all.  It seems from a woodturning fb page that many others had the same problem so lesson learnt.  In the meantime, roll on Friday!

March 26th

As Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith used to say, I love it when a plan comes together.  And come together it did on Friday when despite torrential rain, no sense of direction and a general lack of concentration  I managed to both collect the Classic 10 from  Trowbridge and see the Cockney Rejects at the Victoria pub in Swindon as planned.  The bandsaw has been in storage for some time but it has been kept dry so apart from some surface rust on the guide assembly it is on very good, complete condition.  I've not had time for an in depth inspection but a full report will follow in due course.  The Rejects were superb.  Lively, energetic and irreverent they were original 1970s punk in a time capsule and make the UK Subs look like Val Doonican. They love their audience as their audience loves them and from when they walked onstage to a chorus of Irons! Irons! Irons! we were gripped.  Can't wait for the next time.
By the way there is a Coronet Consort with attachments FOR FREE in Northern Ireland near Enniskillen.  Collect only or courier at your expense.  See the FOR SALE page.  All enquiries to Pete at

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