Inside the Boleyn 2019
January 2019

What can I say but a Happy belated New Year.  It has been a frustrating start to the new year as I have been unable to restore my workshop email address  So instead I am offering as a temporary (probably permanent) solution.  Please use this one for the usual kind comments, enquiries and rudeness.  Thanks.
The first Reader's Machine to be posted in 2019 comes from Gin and is a Coronet Minor.  It is posted in Even More Readers Machines and is currently a work in progress.  So far it's looking really good and has been achieved without the use of power tools.  Thanks Gin, a great contribution to the site and hopefully more to come.


All in all a quiet month in the workshop but one in which a need for major alteration was identified.  Last year with the help of my mate Lenny the Lift, I picked up a total of three metal cabinets to address the lack of organization in the Boleyn Workshop.  One of these ended up being six inches too tall but more importantly of 1940 government issue heritage, more of that later.  They are going to be situated in the inner section of the workshop to make enough space in the other part to be able to actually complete a job without tripping over and breaking your neck.  In order to fit them in a section of workbench and some wall mounted shelves have been removed to make some room.  In my haste I failed to realize that the stereo system and two of it's four speakers would also have to come down and so for the first time in the history of the Boleyn Workshop there is a lack of quality dub and punk.  Re-installing it is of course a priority.

Readers Machines update:  further to Gin's Coronet Minor I heard from Alec who has a collection of Coronet machines that he uses regularly to make bird houses amongst other things.  For the full text and photos from both use the link here Even More Readers Machines
Pictures of any Coronet machines no matter what size or condition are always welcome and will be posted.


Important news.  The workshop stereo is back and running.  Now situated in one of the metal cabinets that also houses approx three and a half Minorettes in bits, it has enabled the return of the UK Subs and Lee 'Scratch' Perry.  March has been the catalyst of that rarest of events in Boleyn Workshop history, a complete tidy up and reorganization.  With the aid of or should that be under the organization of my mate Lenny the Lift, we now have visual of the entire floor and workbenches.  It's unprecendedented stuff.  The office area has been remodelled to allow the installation of two 6x4 metal cabinets which now house the aforementioned stereo and Minorettes plus the usual workshop clutter known as vital bits and pieces.  I lost count of how many times I muttered "that might come in handy one day" to myself.  It's amazing just what might.  But under the guidance of Loveable Len I still managed fill up three or four sacks with unkeepable crap.  I was a little disappointed that RC failed to notice any difference when he came up for Workshop on Tuesday night but as they say, it's tough at the top.  RC has been working on restoring a handmade wooden chest of unreliable antiquity when he visits in between starting fires and making vile smells in old paint tins.  It's best not to ask.
How could I forget to mention the Great Workshop Chimney Fire of 2019.   For the last couple of years the stove has been getting harder and harder to light and keep going.  In fact the last few times it had just produced copious amounts of smoke causing the workshop to be evacuated.  You might say that was a warning sign.  The evening of the fire started out like any other.  The kettle was out on, classic dub carefully chosen for the stereo and the lid came of the biscuit tin.  More or less in that  order.  I tried to light the stove without success.  I added some WD40 (don't try this at home) with minor success until I closed the door whereupon the flames died.  More WD40 (a bad idea).  A minor explosion then blew a large cloud of smoke out into the room whereupon I instigated the Workshop fire drill which just means that I ran outside coughing.   There was no smoke coming out of the chimney but the workshop was filling up with it rapidly.  RC chose this moment to show up.  His only comment was along the lines of couldn't I be trusted to light a fire properly.  I reminded him that in the last century small boys were still being sent up chimneys to clean them.  He then reminded me that in fact he wasn't born until this century so that couldn't be used against him.  I never had this trouble with AC.  But to be fair RC climbed a ladder and helped to remove the flue stack to check for blockages.  To cut a long story short we discovered an old birds nest was responsible.  This had eventually fallen down to the base of the flue behind the stove and had gathered into a charred mess along with a bunch of soot and rust flakes from the inside of the metal flue.  There was about half a bucket full in the end when Lenny removed the stove and stuck his hand inside.  The stove was reinstalled and now burns as it was intended.  Tuesday night workshop was smoke free for the first time in a while.

More Readers Machines update. I have received and posted some more pictures from Gin of the latest progress on her Minor restoration.  The mitre fence and saw table are now restored and looking really good.  Thanks Gin.

Some sad news

I first met Derek Burton (Readers Machines May 2011) when he purchased his first Coronet machine and contacted me for a manual.  As it turned out he lived less than ten miles away so came to collect it in person from the Boleyn Workshop.  A butcher by trade he had taken up woodwork and woodturning in retirement and loved it.  We had several mutual workshop visits over the years and at one point he took a box of Minorette bits including a planer and put them together for me, constructing a mobile workbench for it in the process.  He used this setup to make a garden bench (see Readers Machines May2011) from old mahogany door frames, sawing and planing the timber on the Minorette.  After returning the Minorette he bought himself a Coronet Major which he used for a while before ending up with a Jubilee as his woodturning had now taken off with pieces being sold locally regularly.  Some of his bowls featuring handtied fishing flies are on this site somewhere.  When I spoke to him last year in the Autumn we agreed that I must visit his new workshop and inspect the Jubilee in the New Year.  When I texted him to arrange this in February I had the sad news given to me by his son Paul that Derek had passed away at the end of January.  I was unable to make his funeral due to an MRI scan appointment but I met with Paul and his partner last week and we had coffee and spoke about Derek and the meaning of life in general.  Paul kindly offered me the chance to go and see the workshop and the Jubilee lathe at some point in the future which I gladly accepted.   RIP Derek.

March 15th.

A productive and smokefree week in the Boleyn Workshop saw AC put a first coat of cherry red gloss on his vintage chest Tuesday night, Wednesday saw the construction of an island workbench and Friday saw significant improvements inside and outside the workshop.  Many weeks ago I acccepted two redundant kitchen units from my son in law on the basis that they "would come in handy one day" and now they have.  For some time I have needed a mobile workbench that could be moved around as necessary but more importantly, worked around.  Firstly I bolted the two units minus their doors (to reduce the weight) together back to back and turned them upside down.  Next I attached four castors to a 20" x 20" piece of ply and placed this on the underneath of the units, fixing it down securely to the unit's plinth with 2" screws.  Once this was returned to the upright again a piece of 3/4" plywood was attached to the top to act as a worktop before the doors were rehung.  I now have a mobile workbench with two storage units underneath that tucks away neatly under the raised worktop by the stove.
Friday morning saw the return of my magical helper Lenny the Lift and a large dose of organization.  Witht the encouragement of his coffee machine we reinstated two windows that had been refusing to close properly for approx five years (that's how the robins got in and nested), boarded up the one with broken glass (mouse entrance) and emptied a storage chest of drawers.  We made one pile of tools to keep, one to be donated and a pile of scrap metal.  In one of the drawers we found some of my dad's old jazz records and it turns out we both share a casual like for it.  The outcome of all this was that in a week or two I could back hitting into that pile of Minorettes with a vengeance. And in an airtight workshop again.  Happy days.

April 5th

It's a couple of weeks later and I still haven't hit into that pile of Minorettes.  Sorting out the workshop, storage shed and wood store though going well, still isn't finished.  But on the bright side it is a living, breathing workshop again.  Minor or Minorette manual requests have tailed off again but the last two in my current stock went out to Gloucestershire and Scotland.  I was saddened to be informed today that my printer, Bill of TBC print services has closed down his business and therefore will not be supplying me with copies any more.  Bill always produced excellent quality manuals for me and was constantly reliable and always a pleasure to drop in to for collection.  All the best to you Bill.

I had another batch of photos from Edmund of Blackpool showing off his latest refurbishments which can be seen in Yet More Readers Machines from now on.  Thanks Ed, a great contribution as ever.

October 30th 2019

I had a phone call the other day from Mike who swapped me a Walker Turner pillar drill and he was asking amongst other things why there had been no updates on the Boleyn Workshop website since April.  One word.  Grandchildren.  Or is that two words?

November 23rd 2019

This week brought a very interesting email and teasing picture from a Coronet International owner in a secret location in the UK. And while the machine was not for sale the current owner is going to send lots of pictures in the new year after it has been moved into a new position. I had been hoping for some good news after the Hammers predictable dip in form and this is definitely it.  So thanks Paul and look forward to seeing the pictures in the future.  In the meantime please view this tantalizing glimpse below..
I have finally got around to answering some emails from October and November and posted up some photos of Stephen Thompson's Coronet Homemaker project in Yet More Readers Machines which could be the rustiest machine I have ever seen and that's saying something.  Thanks Stephen.  If you have sent in photos and not seen them posted please resend and jog my sieve-like memory.

Good news for Coronet Imp owners.  Derek Pyatt has had a batch of thrust bearings made and is selling them for £19.5o.  Contact him at

Good riddance to 2019.  See you in the Boleyn in 2020!

Make a free website with Yola