David Clark visits a used tool shop in Colyton, Devon
Whether you arrive at The Toolbox from the east or the west you will be struck by the peaceful atmosphere of the village of Colyton. The Tool Box is on the bank of the river Coly next to a single span bridge.
There are usually a couple of patio chairs outside the shop so your wife can sit down and watch the ducks while you spend an hour or so browsing in the shop itself. Ample off road parking is available.
Gerry Dawson established the Tool Box in the early 1980’s. David Fouracre, the current owner took over in 1992.
Entering the door you see a display cabinet with various tools in it. Moving into the shop you will probably pass a lathe or band saw on your left. In front of you are large cabinets with drawers of taps and dies, reamers and various other small tools. On top of this cabinet you will find the accessories that are so vital to model engineering. There is usually a Myford vertical slide here, several different chucks, both three jaw and four jaw types, parallels, squares, steel rules and vee blocks.
Turning right there are more cabinets containing imperial and metric milling cutters. To the left is the main counter that is glass fronted and it is always worth a look inside. Straight on and you are in the woodworking section and also see more cabinets filled with High Speed Steel tool bits. If you turn to the right again there are shelves of books to your left and a display cabinet filled with measuring instruments to your right.
The Main Display
Going through the middle of the shop you come to the main display of second hand machine tools. It is potluck what is in stock at any particular time but usually there are a couple of lathes, a milling machine, a small compressor or possibly a circular saw. At various times I have seen shapers, a Clarkson tool and cutter grinder, both Unimat 3 and Unimat SL lathes and an engraving machine in this section.
Go up the stairs and you will see the magazine section. Model Engineers go back to the forties, both individual issues and also quite a few bound volumes. There is a good selection of Engineering in Miniature as well. There are usually 2 or 3 magazine files with Model Engineers Workshop in them although the earlier issues are rare.
A Worldwide Service
David offers a worldwide postal service on all the magazines and tools and recently exported a very large Emco Super 11 CD lathe to Australia.
The shop also stocks a wide range of model engineering tools and measuring equipment, various sizes of silver steel bar, and a large selection of woodworking tools.
Whether you want to buy a copy of Model Engineer from 1957 or a Myford ML7 lathe The Toolbox should be your first port of call. If you are selling your workshop, David will collect from all over the South of England and will also travel as far as Wales.
The Tool Box