More Readers Machines

Crikey mate, due to some freak of a technological nature the site is allowing me to post up photos again. And what better way to salute this then put up some photos of that king of the lathes, the Coronet Major.   This one now resides in France at a top secret location known only to Gary who sent in the photos.   Gary produces some quality items which can be seen if you follow the link below...

What a beautifully maintained model and mounted on an attractive worktop too. 

From this angle you can really admire the finish on this machine. Top notch.  Not sure about the pointing on the wall behind though.  Definitely a vendredi afternoon job.

 Every square inch of metal appears to be devoid of rust.

 The badge of respectability proudly worn by this faithful servant.

 Ah, the polyvee pulley system.   A truly useful upgrade which saves all that loosening of bolts on the motor platform.   If I had another daughter (four isn't enough) I would name her Polly Veronica so that her initials would be Polly.V. and therefore become my favourite child.

 Get in the groove.

 And finally the tailstock.  Just look at the way it sweeps in and up from the base towards the barrel and appreciate the thought that went into the design of this component.  It is actually very pleasing on the eye. 

Gary bought the machine from a seller on 'Preloved' from Buckinghamshire in early 2013.  It was a  real struggle to bring the machine and cabinet down the angled stairway of his house from his first floor workroom.  With the machine came a brown envelope containing photocopies of the operating manual.  The envelope was addressed to Peter Child, FAO Mr.R.Child at the same address that the Childs still operate from.  When Gary spoke to Roy Child to order a chuck for the machine he mentioned the envelope and Roy was pleasantly surprised.  He said that the machine had probably been through their hands at some point but they were never agents for Coronet.  The serial number on the machine is SER. NO. MA. 63. 

Thanks Gary for sending in the pics and the link to your work.

 Let's hope we can get some more machines up here from now on but don't hold your breath. Mark Burns exceptional Coronet Minor should be next except it deserves its own page.  I'm working on it.

In the meantime here's a Coronet Major from 2012 I found by chance when searching my emails.  These photos were sent in by Martin Jenkins.  Sorry for the delay!

An oldish Major standing proudly on the workbench.

 It's clearly getting plenty of use which is great to see.

A cheeky glance at the underneath of the saw table and the rise and fall mechanism.   The shape of that foot helps to identify the age of this machine.  

The vee belt pulleys.    Perhaps not as sexy as the polyvee but it does the job. 

Good old Gryphon.  Makes you proud to have been British in the 1960s and 70s.

 The rise and fall wheel with saw blade height markings.

Many thanks for the pictures Martin and pardon me for the delay!   I have a book of excuses some of which are feasible but mostly are downright ridiculous.

Below:  Another Minorette and a very tidy one too.  The owner will be identified. It turns out that this machine features in Readers Machines and belongs to Ian Epps from Fareham.

Thank you Ian.   Decent photos.   Not many Coronet owners can say that they've been featured twice in the Boleyn Workshop and even less would care a hoot.

And now a Coronet Minor from a source I have to identify.   Bear with me. Bear with, bear with.  Ok I have traced the owner to be Neil Brew of Cambridge.  Looking through our correspondence I see that I was delayed posting his Minor manual because my neighbours sheep had escaped.

Whoever owns this machine also has a decent bit of turf. 

Nice trailer in the background. 

Crikey mate, that chuck nearly took my eye out! And such large pulleys, interesting.  I'm wondering whether this affects the machines speeds?   Thanks Neil and sorry for the delay in posting up your photos.  I seem to be doing a lot of apologizing lately.

What's next? It's time for a Majorette.  

This one is owned and used by Richard Colbran.    He took up woodwork in 1955 as a potentially useful hobby for future married life.  Workshop space was limited but after creating a further basement room he finally had space for a machine.  In 1967 he advertised in Exchange and Mart for a Coronet and got a single reply from a guy near Blackpool.  It turned out to be a Majorette, with mortiser, planer, disc sander etc.  He paid £70 for it at a time when the catalogue price was about £250 so a real bargain even then!  He subsequently fitted the step-down gearbox and acquired the front tool-rest and as you can see the machine is still doing yeoman service.  He has just dismantled and cleaned the rise-fall mechanism for the table saw which now works as new.  He made a bench unit and mounted this on a set of wheels from an industrial sewing machine carriage which means that he can swing the machine round to suit the work in hand, then tuck it back out of the way after use.

He has the beautifully illustrated machine brochure and also the manual for the Minorette machine.  The machine has paid for itself many times over, in easing the production of furniture items, built-ins, etc but his main interest nowadays is wood-carving.  So he now mainly uses the saw and the disc-sander in preparing pieces from stock, in conjunction with his trusty Elektra Beckum BAS315 band-saw.
A forthcoming house-move will present some problems, but although he is now 84, he cannot contemplate being without his  workshop so unfortunately, there will be no garage-space for the car at the new address!  

Well done Richard, I'm sure your words will ring true with many of the Boleyn regulars!

This is no show machine, it gets plenty of working. 

Richards Majorette has the speed reduction unit fitted.

A close-up of the ingenious trolley device. Vital for moving this solid machinery around.

Alright chuck?! 

A beautiful bowl, the plan for Richard was kind enough to share with me for anyone who is interested. 

  The underneath of said bowl.   

An update from Richard...his move has been completed and the workshop is up and running.

A great view of his new workshop with an impressive though non-Coronet bandsaw in the right hand foreground. Looking at the depth of throat makes me concede its a good choice.

Those impact absorbing  mats are a great choice.  The other grey stuff is apparently the floor.

Here is Old Faithful, as Roger refers to her, after the move.  Looking good. 

This illegal immigrant posing as a Coronet Major mortising attachment would have got away with it if he hadn't left his knob sticking out of the box. 

More Readers Machines coming soon...especially if YOU send me some pics!

What we have next is obviously not a Coronet machine but like my brothers tractor it deserves to be here. It looks like the winner of Robot Wars Inter Galactic League but is in fact a 1940s Dominion Super Elliott Combination Woodworking Machine picked up by Rob Bennett and his mate just outside Luton last year for £250.

It has a 20" rip saw, 16" x 9" planer/thicknesser, crosscut saw, stair trencher and much more

These photos were taken half way through the restoration and the reason they are included here is because Rob found a Coronet Major being turfed into a skip, (my god what is wrong with some people?) rescued it and intends to restore it and send the pictures in to More Readers Machines. Oh and also because it is an AWESOME piece of kit.  If you were in a battlezone you wouldn't want to see it trundling over the hill towards you.  Looking forward to seeing the Major, Rob.

In the meantime here's a Minorette recently purchased and sent in by Martyn of Portsmouth. This is the auction site photo and he is doing a nut and bolt restoration on it.

You can see that this a decent little machine here with all the attachments and even one of those special tailstocks that I have been after for ages.  He has the planer/thicknesser, combination table and mortising attachment.  The only thing missing at purchase was the motor and these twin spindled jobs are rarer that rocking horse poop.   However after searching for a long time Martyn eventually found one on an auction site and snapped it up so the moral is keep looking.  Keep watching here for photo updates on the restoration.

Ashleys Minorette

Although this is also posted on the Minorette page too, here is another gem from Ashleys Coronet themed workshop.  His Minorette during restoration.

And here is the finished machine(s).   Thanks Ashley, a great contribution as always. 

Steves Coronet Elf.   The first Elf to appear in Readers Machines and also on the Elf page funnily enough. 

 Thanks Steve, a great addition to the site.

Next up is an Imp that was rescued from ebay and carefully restored by David who sent these photos in.  The maroon paint he has used is Morocco Maroon from Craftmaster Paints and is a very good match.  He picked out the logo in Metallic Gold signwriting enamel from the same supplier.

David also has a Coronet Major to be restored for personal use so I am looking forward to seeing some progress there too.  Thanks for the pics.

Next up is a pre 1963 Coronet sent in by Pete.   This is probably a 1950s Home Cabinetmaker being very similar in appearance to this one.

There are substantial difference between this and the next model of Minor which I hope to be able to show when I have contacted Pete to arrange some more photos.   Thanks for the photos Pete and I will be in touch.  Regular readers need not worry that I am talking to myself again. 

I'm not.  Honest. 

 I had an email from Alan from who advocates fag packet engineering amongst other skills on his website.  He will now be aided in his future projects by this little beauty below.  A Coronet Consort with what looks like a 36" bed bar that will add to its versatility.  Thanks Alan.

 Next up is a cracking little Minorette unit sent in by David Wells.   Thank you David.

Now this is interesting...

John Hendrie has sent some photos of his Coronet machine for identification.  He had been looking at circular saw for a while but remained unimpressed by the quality of the modern batch. But when he saw photos of this machine on *bay he was moved to take an immediate punt on the buy it now price of £100.  And I would say that he got a great deal and not just because of the Coronet branding.   It's a well built and designed machine.  Looking at these photos I would guess that the machine was sold if not made approximately the time when Record had taken over the company in the mid eighties ( I am open to correction contact  Looking at the spindle below the saw table in pic no4 does this make it an 80s Consort on a factory cabinet with a Capitol planer?  John has no plans for the machine restoration apart for checking the wiring which is always a good idea.  It looks in useable condition and with some tlc and careful fetling will make a decent machine for the workshop and also a good investment.  Since receiving these photos and about six weeks of website issues he has started the machine and it runs well steadily chewing through some seasoned 3x2 oak.

 Next up is a Coronet Majorette sent in by Geoff Little.  Thanks Geoff, a great set of pictures.

These two machines below are from Colin of Northampton.   An excellent blue Major and a lathe whose name must not be mentioned. For some classic workshop ingenuity check out that cheeky wooden spotlight stand that clamps around the blue Major bed.  Absolute quality.

And not content with the two beauties above he has acquired a Coronet Minor and intends to sell it having completed a quality restoration and uprating.  This Minor is date stamped 1967.  As you can see the original vee pulleys have made way for the polyvee 4 speed ones.  Colin also changed the way of adjusting the tool rests so now instead of using a spanner there are domed coach bolts so it can all be done with a turn of the handle.  He would have preferred to have kept the original handles but doesn't think that the next owner is going to mind.   And I think I agree with him despite being a Coronet purist at heart.  For those with limited digit mobility or even lack of digits they are going to find it easier to use.  He has also had a couple of round section tool rests made up though the originals are still available to go with the lathe.  Now that is something I approve of as those rectangular rests are surprisingly poor by Coronet standards. They offer little in the way of support for woodturning chisels.  Even a quadrant profile would be preferable as demonstrated in several turning guide books from the late 1960s. (I have one and will give the name when I find it again)  The motor mounting has been modified by attaching a large hinge to allow easy belt changes and finally a new NVR switch has been added.  The lathe itself is mounted on a 1 1/2" thick board at 4' long.   All in all a great restoration with some quality uprating which even the purists couldn't disapprove of. Thanks Colin for sharing it with the Boleyn Workshops Readers Machines. 

 Now we have an excellent example of a post 1976 Coronet Minor sent in by Rob from Northampton.  This machine used to belong to Bob his father and had been stored under a blanket in the garage for approx 21 years.  He recently got it out, cleaned it up and made it ready for work. It looks great and again goes to show how the quality of these machines is still apparent after a lengthy layoff.  Having done all the prep Rob is now looking forward to getting to know his fathers machine.  Thanks to Rob and Bob.

 It's been a while since a Coronet Imp so here's one belonging to Sam the canoe builder. Featuring the blade guard.

Another machine from Sam's workshop is this Coronet Minor set up as a simple table saw which demonstrates the flexibility of the Coronet range.  You can see a short extension bar on which the foot is mounted. Also visible is a pair of 8 hole ox blood Dr Martens which could be mistaken for an attachment they blend in so well.  Thanks again Sam.

 Just as well throw in a snap of Sam's  Coronet Capitol to complete the workshop picture.  Plane it again Sam.

Now it's the turn of a Coronet Major in the process of being rescued from the ravages of time..  This machine was acquired by Tony from Welshpool who sent in these pictures at the start of his project.  It was purchased by his father approx 20 years ago but has now retired from his woodworking hobby and has duly passed it down to Tony who used to own a Boxford screw turning lathe for tool making.  I do like to see machines being handed down in the family.   Have a look at the pictures below to see the size of the task facing him but bear in mind how superbly these old beauties scrub up.  A lot better than me to be honest.

Ok there's a fair bit of rust but the chances are it will be surface only.   Everything still looks solid. 

It's looking like a very complete machine and that's without inspecting the ubiquitous box of bits. 

Best of luck Tony, you'll get there in the end.  The end result will be worth every minute spent on this project.  I look forward to updates when possible.

Blimey that was quick. It was only last week it seems that I was adding the photos above and already  Tony has sent me pictures of the Major up and about to run.

Just in from Holland is Gary's blue Coronet Major.  A tidy looking machine with an interesting selection of chucks.   Any Coronet owners in Holland looking to connect with another enthusiast can email me and I'll pass your details on.  Thanks Gary, some great quality photos of a newer machine.

Next up is a real treat from Edmund Hill Woodworking in Blackpool.  I first met Edmund when he accompanied a friend Mario on a journey down south to collect a Coronet Major he had bought from me.   Ed is a bench joiner by trade (68yo and still going)and has been collecting and restoring Coronet machines (and one Myford) for many years.  These machines have been rescued and restored from all over the country.  They all appear as if they are in showroom condition and beg the question why is he not open to the public!  A wonderful collection of machinery that he must be very proud of and thank you so much for sharing them with the Boleyn Workshop.  More text to follow...

 I think it's time to go to Even More Readers Machines...

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