The reliable accuracy of machine tools prompted Samuel Bentham to classify their potential functions and in 1793 to patent the different methods of working in wood, metal and stone. In May 1795, in his proposals for improving the dockyards, he included descriptions of wood-working operations that echoed this patent. Bentham also began building machine tools and he used some of this machinery when building his experimental vessels for the navy. All of it was subsequently shipped to Portsmouth yard where in 1800 he proposed building a Wood Mill alongside the steam engine houses on top of the reservoir. In the event, in 1802 the engines were subsumed within the Wood Mill. Initially, this housed just Bentham’s wood-working machines, but in 1802 he was approached by Marc Isambard Brunel with drawings for the construction of block-making machines. With Admiralty approval, these machines were made by Maudsley and installed by stages under the eye of Bentham, Goodrich and Brunel. Forty-five machines were installed, gradually making the navy almost self-sufficient in the production of blocks. Complementary were the acquisition of suitable materials, the manufacture of metal parts, the recruitment of workers and the establishment of a ‘systematic plan of management’. However, neither existing contractors for blocks nor the Navy Board found these developments easy. The former were given notice, yet hitches forced the board to return repeatedly to ask them to resume their contracts. The Mill soon became a ‘tourist attraction’ but the Navy Board declined to manage it until 1814.