Inside the Boleyn 2017

January 2017

Let me start by wishing you all a Happy New Year 2017 and can announce that the black dog's hairy arse has indeed disappeared round the corner.  Thanks for visiting the site again or maybe it's your first one in which case welcome to this site.  Last year ended finally on December 31st as it usually does and in came the new year and finally some inspiration.  I was sent some photos of the now fully restored and working Walker Turner  table saw that I dispatched to Kent and into the care of Julian Harrison.  He has done a magnificent job in returning this classic machine to its former glory and it will be featured on the WT table saw page.  I am having trouble getting the photos from the Whatsapp social media app to this laptop but hope to do it very soon.  I checked my inbox this evening and Julian has very kindly sent me the photos by email so that should speed things up. 

January 17th.

The faithful AC came up for workshop last night and after making tea and eating fruitcake we surveyed the interior.  With the stove lit and the lights on it didn't seem so bad after all.  AC needed to make a small blackboard for his 6th form studies so we prepared a piece of ply and he cut edging strips before applying a base coat of blackboard paint.  Turning my attention to the Metropolitan Vickers electric motor project I removed the bearing casings from the paraffin bath and applied them to the wire wheel to remove the last traces of paint and gunk.  Now they just need a wash to remove the sheen of paraffin before painting.  I need to fire up the compressor to blast the dust from the windings but that will have to wait.  As it was now getting late there was just time for a quick game of air pistol darts which bizarrely ended in a draw which meant AC retained the trophy for now.
I just remembered that I had an interesting email over the Christmas period from Peter Williams from the Isle of Mull whose woodturning club is called...wait for it...Isle of Mull Woodturners.   His email is reproduced below.

Hi Pete,
I find your website very informative, so thanks for all the trouble that you go to in order to produce it. Our club, Isle of Mull Wood Turners recently acquired a Coronet Major lathe in working order though not used for the past twenty years! It was complete with accessories, chucks etc but the belt guard was missing.  So we decided to make a simple guard but effective guard out of recycled material (here on the island we all have to be versatile users of recycled stuff).  We could not see how to fit it to the lathe until I had the idea to see if magnets would hold.  We found two scrap magnets off a pipeline filter and a couple from a scrap hard drive  and attached them to the guard so that two at the front held on to the headstock and the other two (smaller) magnets on an outrigger click on to the motor body!   Job done and members can now safely use the lathe. See the attached photograph.  Keep up the good work!  Regards Peter
I reckon that's brilliant, such resourcefulness.  Well done Peter and all involved.  

January 24th

Still smarting from the way a certain Gallic Judas left my football club recently I was very pleased to have AC affirm his loyalty to the Boleyn Workshop this evening.  There was a catch however.  Due to the completely unreasonable educational demands made on him by his 6th form teaching staff he would not be able to attend so regularly.  However AC let me know his intentions to substitute his younger brother RC for whom AC had made a tool box for last year and together we had filled with tools.  As nothing else had come up during the transfer window I accepted his offer and signed him up on the spot.   When we'd finished our tea and AC had made me promise to protect his biscuits from the supersub RC we got on with some work.  Our current project (geddit?) is the renovation of the Metropolitan Vickers 1bhp electric motor.  (See below)  We had already removed the bell housings and extracted the spindle and armature with the intent of removing the pair of bearings.  This proved quite a task as they were spectacularly unwilling to be removed and by now my already shortened patience was being stretched .   Eventually my tapping caused the bearing housing to break in two and evoke rude words as they fell to the workshop floor.  Fortunately AC's stepdad is a welder so it wasn't the disaster it could have been but it drew the session to a halt and highlighted the need to purchase a bearing puller.  AC silently went and fetched the air pistol box from beneath the office worktop and in tacit agreement we began a game of air pistol darts.  Not our finest evening and I can't even recall who won.  When I got in I went online and bought a bearing/gear puller for £8.99.  What could possibly go wrong.

January 31st 

The Boleyn supersub makes an appearance.  Please welcome the Boleyn Workshop's latest signing, RC.  He was walked up the road by the loyal AC who had made sure that he brought his toolbox.  He also warned him not to eat all his biscuits and not to talk to much.  Things got off to a good start when it turned out that RC does indeed drink tea and after brewing one up we headed off to the workshop.  I installed RC in front of the bench grinder with the wire wheel on it and gave him ear defenders, dust mask and goggles in a rash display of health and safety awareness.  And as an afterthought, an apron.  I gave him the tray of motor housing bolts and instructed him how not to get his fingers removed, some of which must have sunk in as he still had all his digits when I counted them before he went home.  Mothers don't tend to like it when their kids come home with missing fingers apparently.   It gave me the chance to get out the bearing puller which arrived in the post the previous Saturday.   Those familiar with these will know that they consist of between two and four reversible legs with tips on the end to lodge behind or inside the bearing and a centre screw which forces the bearing towards the user as you wind it down on to the spindle or similar.  What could possibly go wrong?  I set it up and started to wind.  The centre screw immediately threaded itself.  It became useless, an ex-bearing puller, it became deceased.  And it didn't even get the bearing off.  I had an ironic thought which was, that will teach me to buy cheap foreign imports as I advocate against it at every opportunity.  On close inspection the centre screw was fabricated from a form of monkey metal commonly used in another part of the world to put it politely.  Serves me right for not spending more money.  The legs were fine and adequate but the screw thread had simply bucked under the slightest pressure.  (See pic below.)  And another more substantial one is on the way but it's a shame I could not find an older example made from British steel.  In the meantime RC had finished his job and went off to find AC's biscuits.   There was time for an air pistol darts introduction before I took him home and requested a repair on the bearing housing from his stepdad.
Look at that bloody rubbish. I won't name and shame as they refunded without question.  Work on the MV 1hp motor is progressing.
On with the bearing removal saga...a more substantial set of three Toolzone bearing pullers arrived in the post courtesy of Amazon UK.  But even though the 4" puller was made of sterner stuff than it's predecessor the bearing would not budge.   There was now only one way this was going to end.  Mr Bearing meet Mr Grinder.  I carefully applied the business end of the grinder to the part in question, cutting down through the outer ring, bearing race and trying ever so hard not to nick the shaft with the blade as I went through the inner ring. (Ouch, sounds painful)  One an adequate cut was made then a cold chisel was applied to make a clean break.   The bearing finally heaved off the shaft amidst a shower of ball bearings. One nil to the Boleyn boys.  The bearing housing came back from down the road looking like new.   The cast iron consistency not proving to be have been a problem. My welding skills are nonexistent but became familiar with the gas cutting gear whilst working on the demolition gangs in my youth.  I view welders much as I view plasterers ie magicians of dark arts.   There is no way that plaster stays on ceilings without some kind of evil intervention.  Do they sell their souls for the secrets of the hawk and float?  Or the mixing of igniteable gases?  I wouldn't be surprised.  
Below you can see a Walker Turner 900 series pillar drill which is going to get the Julian Harrison treatment very soon.  Progress will be reported on the WT900 page.  At this rate Julian will be needing his own page!
I received an email last week which I have reproduced below.  I couldn't really get the gist of it.  The saying "it reads like a Chinese sick note to me" came to mind.

一些有经验的外贸业务员清楚自己要找什么。  R 0 T k l 0 0 9 U m j l
但一般都是通过类似google的搜索引擎,用关键词去搜索,或者在一些B2B平台上搜索,这都不是最好的办法。  0 N 0 8 9 0 O g k R N W 9Q Q
前者效率低,后者资料共享价格战,优质潜在的买家群体有他们的特性,在网上出现的地方不是B2B平台,他们一般也不会主动去找供应商。  8 S P 9 N O j m f R
优质潜在买家都有一个属于自己的行业,行业内也都有一下影响力的协会,商会等机构。  9 e 8 Q 9 O M j 9 i O P i g0
k V Q 0 O 9 9 0 9 Q N i g
双喜软件目前集成了全球18个通用引擎, 200个国家下700多个本地引擎,语言引擎,黄页引擎。 还有google map 引擎,google产品图片引擎。令企业快速找到所属行业内的优质潜在买家。Q i 9 9 h 9 0 S S
 演示Q Q: 1352614075 {可利用贵司常用的产品关键词,免费在线演示软件功能和效果}  i 0 k j e P 0 U 0
 ----------------------------- 若不需要此类邮件请设置拒收,抱歉打挠 

My knowledge of Chinese goes as far as no6, no57, Nos 131, 152 and some prawn crackers please.  So if anyone can tell me what they are saying I would appreciate it.  
And in October someone did!  I heard from Michael Gilligan who used a magic wand or Google Translate to reveal the message below:

"Some experienced foreign trade clerks know what they are looking for. But are generally similar to google search engine, with keywords to search, or in some B2B platform search, this is not the best way. The former is low efficiency, the latter information sharing price war, high quality potential buyers groups have their characteristics, where the Internet is not the B2B platform, they generally do not take the initiative to find suppliers of potential buyers have a potential own Of the industry, the industry also have a look at the Association of Association, Chamber of Commerce, etc. Double Happiness software currently integrates the world's 18 general engine, 200 countries under more than 700 local engine, language engine, yellow page engine. There google google engine, google product image engine. So that enterprises quickly find the industry's high-quality potential to buy demo QQ: 1352614075 how to use your company's products commonly used keywords, free online demo software features and effects} If you do not need such mail please set rejection, sorry My0 9 9"  So thanks Michael but it's still a Chinese sick note* to me! 

*For those who are wondering about the phrase "Chinese sick note", it is or at least was building trade slang for when you cannot make any sense of some plans or instructions.

Feb 22nd
As I postponed Tuesday nights workshop due to the mistaken belief that it was Shrove Tuesday (which is actually the 28th) AC turned up tonight to see what if anything, RC had left of his biscuits.  The new kettle was duly broken in and a large pot of tea made before we set to work.  The commutator was treated to a light rubdown with some 600 grit and some electrical contact cleaner by AC while I attacked the MV switch box which I had unearthed in the cupboard under the Coronet Imp.  I had forgotten two things.  One was that it had been in there in the first place but also that this was also authentic Metropolitan Vickers kit as well.  I took off the housing and removed the paint right back to bare metal ready for priming.  AC gave the bearing housings and retainer plates a coat of factory grey spray paint and set them aside to dry.  I had already primed and undercoated them.  The windings are in desperate need of a blow out with a compressed air hose but while I have a small 1.5hp compressor I am short of a coupling or two so that will have to wait.  Especially as there was a call for some air pistol darts.   AC took the trophy home this week winning by two points after a tense finish.  

April 7th 

It's been back to the usual of waiting for some NHS intervention which has lead to the delays in updating but the NHS is something that I will never knock.  I know I am extremely fortunate not to have to pay for the treatment that restores me back to mobility and the level of functioning that now is my normal.

So what, if anything has been going on in the workshop?  The compressor was inspected by AC's stepdad and myself but was found seriously wanting as a supplier of compressed air.  In fact we were tempted to sue on grounds of misrepresentation.  It would have been hard to recognize it even as a supplier of light breezes.  Some internet research found some Czeck or Polish youtube videos which weren't of much help even before talk of Brexit so perhaps Eastern Europe is striking back already by removing English text and subtitles from their online tool marketing.  So the MV motor windings remain unblown and work has ground to another halt apart from the prepping and spraying of the switch gear housing which is the size of a small rabbit hutch.

I received an email from Ray of Stoke on Trent detailing some Coronet Tool Co flyers he had found with a machine he bought and generously offered them to me to son and feature on the site.  They have now been been uploaded on to the Coronet advertising etc page and are a great addition to the site so thanks Ray.


Over the last couple of months I have been unable to update due to the family laptop being commandeered by the one doing A levels.  Seems fair enough to me.  The multi-talented AC is also doing them so he has only appeared occasionally to thrash me at air pistol darts and complain about the lack of biscuits.  Seems fair enough to me.  We have sprayed the top coat  on the switch housing for the MV motor which has come up well and is looking very industrial.  To be honest the workshop is a bit of a tip at the moment and it is hard to get anything done.  Tut tut.
I have sold the DP700 to Julian Harrison of WT restoration fame as it is guaranteed a good home.  A donor 900 machine and the 7" craft saw are also going to the same workshop.  I will be sorry to lose the 700 as we spent a lot of time on it and made a decent job of it but I really do need the space.  Eek I have just realised I have left myself without a pillar drill.  Oh no I'm going to have to buy another one!
A Minorette manual winged it's way to Finland during April. The first to that European country.
Some great photos of a post 76 Consort arrived in my inbox which are now posted up in 
Even More Readers Machines.  Click the link and have a look.  Thanks Tony.
In the absence of my kemo sabay AC, RC has been visiting and setting fire to things.  In between bursts of pyromania I have been introduced to Warhammer.  I used to think this was the weekend choice for bearded 20-somethings wearing sandals and corduroy trousers who are yet to find a bad habit.  But RC has proved me wrong.  I really enjoyed painting Orcs in pink boots and the Sp*rs home strip.  One of these freshly outed little beasts even wielded a Rainbow flag style banner which subtly declared Middle Earth to be a LGTB friendly zone.  Now that's progress for you.

News:  I have long been suspected of having an OCD.  Now I have a definitive diagnosis.  OCD or Obsessive Coronet Disorder is a rare but fortunately treatable condition that stems from a love of classic British machinery.   Experts say that this can not only the sufferer but also the close family.   Symptoms include the need to "purchase and restore" (or "keeping" in patientspeak) machines with the Coronet brand.  Note that Record Power products will not affect the patient in the same way.  The patient will usually express a desire to own anything that is coloured maroon and rust but sometimes blue after 1976.  Disappearing to the workshop for hours if not days on end and driving up to twelve hours to rescue a barn find lathe are other common symptoms.   In extreme cases a patient may set up a website to glorify or even deify Coronet machinery.  Fortunately these are rare but they do denote a hopeless case.  Treatment is known as the Maroon Medicine and involves allowing the patient to indulge his obsession to his own desire and therefore lessening the danger to society.  

After reading the above you will not be surprised to hear that I am driving down to Cullompton in Devon to collect a Coronet Capitol that Tim has kindly offered to me.  It is in need of sympathetic restoration but is 99% complete and of course a model I have been after for a long time.  


Boleyn Workshop

IN: Coronet Capitol on a free from the Sports Direct Sh*t Tip, Devon

OUT: DP700, donor DP900 and WT 7" tilt saw (subject to fee)


The Walker Turner machinery was collected by Julian earlier this month.  After a couple of years of correspondence it was great to finally meet Julian and hand over his pieces of American industrial manufacturing history.  He has already produced some fine examples of restoration on Walker Turner machines some of which is posted on here.  The DP700 was purchased for use with a rare mortising attachment which he had bought from the USA.   He brought the mortising attachment with him to show me as well as a Driver Line arbor in its green livery.  This machinery was designed at a period in world industrial history when looks were important as well as the functionality of the machine.  It was a real shame when machines began to lose their lines and become squarer and more rigid looking.  All in the name of cost cutting naturally but a real shame to the purists among us.  A good though probably overlooked example is the blade guard of the Coronet Major.  Look at the sweeping lines of the guard on the maroon models compared to the functional squared off oblong shape of the post '76 machines.  Observe the patterns on the maroon rip fences to the bleak, blue lines on the machines of the 80s.  (Note to self: stop waxing lyrical about machinery or people will start to wonder about you.)  And don't get me started on Record...  In all seriousness it was really good to meet somebody who appreciates the design of the machinery and enjoys talking about it.  We parted with a mutual regret that our workshops were so far apart.  I'm thinking I may have to create a definitive webpage to demonstrate Julian's restorations.


So what happened in October?  I had a bad spell in which I actually decided to give up on the website, sod the machines, sod the workshop.  In fact sod everything.  I'd had enough of it all, all motivation gone, no interest, nothing.  That's right, nothing.  So what was going on?  If you've read through the site it's fairly obvious that apart from the chronic back pain, CRPS in the feet, bad attitude etc, that I suffer with depression.  And after a few months break from it, it was back with a vengeance.  It can be an insidious condition that creeps up on you, sneakily getting a foot in the door before doing a full on home invasion on you. The bastard.  However I knew what I had to do although I carried that knowledge for far longer than I should have done.  I picked up the phone and made an appointment with my GP.  Fortunately it was not a long wait.  Any doubts or worries that I had that the doctor wouldn't take me seriously were dispelled and my recovery restarted from the moment I walked through the door.  What I'm trying to say is, and it has nothing to do with machinery, is that men's mental health is important and must not be neglected.  I have to mention it just on the off chance that somebody somewhere identifies with what I say and makes that call for themselves.  Or email me if you just want to identify with someone or simply just offload. (  A couple of years ago I had a very poignant email from somebody that was written in the middle of the night, he clearly needed to talk to someone.  Having recently become unemployed he was feeling lonely and unwanted.  He felt rejected and thought that no one liked him.  Although I replied immediately I never heard from him again. I sometimes wonder how that Mr Cameron is doing now.

Back to the workshop and meanwhile the Metropolitan Vickers motor is sat forlornly on the bench awaiting my gentle touch.  AC's stepdad played a blinder welding up a fan blade I snapped off while trying to remove it so the commutator is more or less ready for refitting.  I was due to get the whatchamacallits sandblasted but their name has temporarily escaped me.  Hopefully by the time I speak to Big Mick I will have remembered their name.  After they have been painted it will nearly be time for the rebuild.  There are approximately three Minorettes awaiting my attention and a large box of bits to be sold.  The state of my workshop clearly resembles the state of my mind.   Hmmmm...

I also heard from Ari in Finland who requested a manual some time ago.  He sent some pictures of a remarkably well preserved Coronet Minor which was in bits.   Having set it up with the aid of a manual he reports that it sorts out everything that is thrown at it.  He is currently cutting some large panels for a built-in wardrobe.  I will add the pictures when I can transfer them from the ipad. (groan, that will never work!)


It is definitely that time of year when men all over the country are venturing into their sheds and garages in search of a little project to see them through the dark evenings and let's face it, probably dark days as well.   It is of course nothing to do with not wanting to waste any time watching boxed sets of Downton Abbey with the other half and their nasty cat.  It is a time when having that "nice bit of kit" in the garage has never been so important.  Routine bicycle maintenance can only be used as an excuse to slope off to the workshop so many times as they have noticed that we're not in such a hurry to do it in the summer months.  Some people are so suspicious.  The Boleyn Workshop is as far from the house that it is for a reason and the stereo only needs to be turned up to level 4 for it to be "out of earshot".  
I have had several requests for the Minor/Minorette manual as well as enquiries about paint codes and spare parts.  One of the manual buyers replied on receipt of it to tell me how much he appreciated the A4 format as opposed to the original size.  Despite owning an original manual he could no longer read it due to state of his eyesight in his 80s.  I couldn't see much in the 80s either to be honest, might have had something to do with the amount of cider I was drinking in those days but anyway I was glad to hear that he was able to take an interest in his machine again.  A chap who sent in pictures of his Coronet Imp some years ago wrote to me to say he was now residing in Wiltshire so within visiting distance.  It's always good to welcome people to the Boleyn and if anyone has recently expressed an interest to visit and I have not replied then message me again.  I had a very interesting email from a Coronet Major General owner called Dave "Rubber" Coates who very kindly offered me the opportunity to visit and record for posterity this rarely found and classic example.  I will be doing this in the New Year and will of course be devoting an entire new page to this model for the first time.  He had very kindly had some photos printed and sent to me for my interest and I knew immediately that I would have to take some digital photos in order to share them on the website.  
And speaking of photos, I was sent some by a Mr.H from the West Country of an ancient Major that had lain undisturbed in a barn in Cornwall for many years.  He paid an unbelievable £40 for what looks like that rarest of beasts, a Major General.  When I have downloaded the photos I shall upload them to More Readers Machines...  Oh come on, it might happen!  It's funny how after ten years of zero Major Generals that two should come along in as many months.  

Bye for now and keep it Coronet!


Julian's WT900 restoration is finished now and the pictures are posted on the WT900 page so use the link and have a look. It looks great.

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