Month: November 2017

New Tools

 

We always love when we get a new shipment of tools here at Proops, it’s like Christmas has come early and we have just had a delivery arrive this week.  Here’s a sneak peak at some of the things we will be photographing and listing this week.  Keep checking our New Product section to see what we have, you never know you might find a great Christmas present for someone, or even a treat for yourself!

Thanks for stopping by.

Isobel

Macrame

One of our most popular lines is the Macrame rings we manufacture here on site at Linic Plastics.  I have already done a blog post on macrame last year for Halloween but I was having a look on Pinterest the other day and found lots of lovely Christmas decorations and jewellery made using macrame and it sparked my interest in how trends change in crafting over the years.

Believe it or not, macrame has been around since the 13th century and was used by Arabic weavers to make decorative fringes for their horses and camels to keep the flies away.

The craft spread to Spain with the Moors and then though the rest of Europe arriving in England in the 17th century.  It gained most popularity in this country in Victorian times and was used to make shawls, table covers, bedspreads and curtains until tastes changed again and it wasn’t until the 1970s that it regained some of its popularity.  I’m sure most of you will remember seeing the macrame plant holders which hung in bathrooms particularly.  It was usually a double act with the crochet toilet roll cover with the doll inside it.

 

 

 

 

 

(Photos courtesy of Pinterest, click photo for link)

 

Much like the current trend for 70s fashion, macrame has also become popular again.  Have a look on Pinterest for some fabulous ideas, or if you have some made some things yourself, send us a photo, we’d love to see.   We also often wonder what people use macrame rings for if for anything other than macrame.  Again, we’d love to hear from you if you have found another use for these rings.

Later this week we are hosting the Old Clock Club from Earl Shilton here at Proops. If you are coming along, we are looking foward to meeting you.  A blog post on the evening will follow next week.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

Isobel.

 

 

All I want for Christmas ……….

Have you started Christmas shopping yet?  I know, I know its still only November but it seems to get foisted on us earlier and earlier each year by the supermarkets and department stores.  I have already seen the eagerly anticipated Christmas adverts for most of the big stores and negotiated my way passed the miles (okay slight exaggeration here) of aisles of wrapping paper, cards and decorations in the local Co-op just to pick up some bread or milk.  Is it any wonder we get a little jaded and fed up by the time the day itself arrives.

I know I am sounding more than a little like the Grinch who stole Christmas and I’m truly not, I absolutely love Christmas…. the decorations, the food, the atmosphere, the presents. What I don’t enjoy is the crush of frantic people loading their trolleys with every loaf of bread in the shop just in case they run out in the one day that the shop actually closes or practically body slamming me out of the way to grab that jumper or scarf they just have to have for their loved ones. I also don’t enjoy having to perform a striptease in every shop I go into because otherwise I’m likely to pass out from heat exhaustion in my layers of thermals and woollies before I make it through the cosmetic counters, since I’ve dressed for the freezing temperatures outside and not the tropical temperatures inside.  It’s the one time of year that online shopping is truly a blessing and once I have all the big or difficult to carry presents nailed and delivered to the door, I can enjoy wandering around the Christmas markets with a cup of mulled wine picking up little extras for everyone without any pressure and then I stop feeling like the Grinch and start feeling like Mrs Santa Claus (I even have the outfit!!).

If you are looking for tools for gifts, we will be processing orders right up until the Friday before Christmas with deliveries until Saturday 23rd (though we are in the hands of Royal Mail and the courier here) and our standard no quibble returns applies to anything you buy so if it turns out it’s not the perfect present for them or they already have one, it can be returned to us for a full refund or exchange.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

Isobel

 

 

 

Northhampton Society of Model Engineers Club Visit

 

Last night we attended the Northampton Society of Model Engineers club meeting to give a little talk about the history of Proops and to take along some of our tools.  We were met by Andrew with a welcoming cup of tea and after unloading the car and setting up we spent some time chatting with the members before the presentation got underway.

              

The club has over 100 members and is situated in Delapre Park, which is around 800 acres of beautiful parkland in Northampton. The park has a miniature railway which is owned and maintained by the Northampton Model Engineers Society. A regular group of around 20 members meet on a Tuesday evening and a Sunday morning although the clubhouse is used most days.  A lot of the club activities are centred around railways of 7¼”, 5″ and 3½” gauge plus 32 mm and 45 mm gauge railways, however, the society embraces all branches of model engineering, including model traction engines, boats, stationary engines and clocks. No area of model engineering is excluded including the tools and equipment used in model engineering.

Public running days for the steam train start on May Bank Holiday Monday each year and continue monthly on the first Sunday of the month until October and is open from 14.00 – 1700. The trains are pulled by steam, petrol or battery powered model locomotives. Most of the model locomotives are based on modern and historic full size locomotives. Entry to the park itself is free and there is a small charge for rides on the train.

      

We had a lovely evening finding out a little more about the Model Engineers and discussing the tools they use. As we don’t attend many Model Engineering shows now, it was nice to reconnect with some of the people we had seen in past years at these events. Some of them have been buying from Proops since it’s days in Tottenham Court Road… now that’s loyal customers – we must be doing something right!

Our thanks to the Northampton Society of Model Engineers for inviting us along.

If you live near to Northampton do pop along to the park in the spring and check out the miniature railway, it’s well worth a visit.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

 

Isobel

Story of a Candle Mould

I think most of you know by now that we design and manufacture all our candle moulds on site here at our parent company Linic Plastics but I thought you might like a little insight into the process, so today’s post is the story of our latest candle mould from design through production to the warehouse shelves ready for dispatch.  Our latest design is for a 12 pattern, Christmas theme wax melt mould.

Richard, our designer, has worked with the company for 22 years. He designs all the moulds that we make.  Richard takes the idea for the new candle and begins with a series of pencil sketches of the mould.  He transfers these 2-D sketches onto CAD to make a 3-D image.

 

Richard working on the candle mould design.

 

The finished designs go to Gary, our Toolroom Manager who uses them to make the tooling for the mould.  This involves milling and shaping aluminium on a CNC machine.

                        

Gary at the milling machine                                  The finished aluminium mould.  

 

The next step is the manufacturing process where the aluminium mould is used to form the polypropelene moulds.

The polypropelene moulds being made.

 

And the final stage in the process, the finished moulds are passed along to our warehouse ready for dispatch.

The wax melt mould is now available to buy on our Website.

I hope you found this little look behind the scenes interesting.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

 

Isobel

Shining a Light on our Product of the Week – Magnification Lamps


                                                

V5100                                               V5200

A magnification lamp is an essential piece of equipment for anyone doing precision work.  These lamps illuminate and magnify to allow you to view smaller details and help reduce eye strain.  The lamps have a daylight bulb so no harsh light or distorted colours on your work either. The lamps we sell here at Proops are available in two different magnifications, 3 diopter and 5 diopter.  You can purchase the lamps either with or without a stand and you can also buy the stand and spare bulbs separately.  The lamps are priced at just £36 and £42 respectively.

These are an invaluable piece of equipment for so many different tasks for everyone from jewellers, modellers, beauticians, seamstress, dentists, or even  for small repair jobs or doing the crossword!  Don’t just take our word for it, take a look at some of our reviews. Lamps are available on all of our selling sites.  Follow the link below the photographs to take you directly to the page on our Website.

REVIEWS

Bargain

Great lamp / magnifier. cheapest and best of all the lamps I looked at available on Amazon at the time. Very sturdy perfect balance and flexibility. Absolute bargain at around £42 compared to similar ones.

Great Lamp

Very pleased with this lamp. I’m a mobile beauty therapist and I use it mainly for lashes as the light in people’s houses can be shocking. It clamps on to my couch, it’s lightweight and because it has a daylight bulb I can place it directly over my clients face without causing them any discomfort. Would recommend this product.

Five Stars

Excellent product for what I need. Scale modelling and electronics.

 So much better than I expected!

This is a hefty piece of kit but once clamped to the table, unlike so many anglepoise-type lamps, it can be extended, swung, raised and their reverse to every mm in between. And the light needs its own praise, bright white, takes a second to come on, but it’s excellent
Which brings me onto the magnifying element: No more screwing the eyes (how does that help anyhow????) just pull down in front of you, flip the lid and the dust free lens instantly illuminates that hard to find splinter, and the removal operation is so much easier too, with the full cooperation of the patient… providing they are allowed a glimpse now and then.
Since then it’s been used for mending clothes, a watch, glasses, as well as tying good knots for fishing, reading the small print and a bit of soldering.
We have this permanently assembled, wouldn’t want to keep fixing it up for a special task, and there’s a good firm base for the clamp – a flimsy side table wouldn’t be enough.
It is just fit for purpose, and an excellent price too
And it arrived VERY quickly

 

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

Isobel

Proops through the decades

I thought I might share a little of the background of Proops with you on the blog this week.

Way back in 1946 members of the Proops family opened a shop on Tottenham Court Road, close to the major London shopping district.  They traded in War Surplus items as well as many other clearance or job lot lines.  The principal products were medical equipment and ‘technical’ items from aircraft such as instrumentation and electrical components.  The shop also traded in radio spares, surplus engineering and woodworking tools.  In the late 1980s Proops was bought by the current owner, Nic Burdett who has built it into a thriving company of ‘everything useful’ for hobby and modelling enthusiasts.  Buying a vast array of tools and equipment, sourcing redundant lines of quality tools and designing and manufacturing craft and hobby products under the name of the sister company Linic Products, Nic has been at the heart of this family business in Fleckney, Leicestershire for over 25 years.

Nic in the late 1980s

For many years I sold Proops products in Australia where I lived until 2007 when I moved back to the UK to join the family business and help bring Proops into the 21st Century.  Adapting to changing market requirements and opportunities has been reflected in the growing product range of jewellery making tools and a greater online presence originally through our Website and Ebay and now also on Etsy and Amazon.

                                     

I’m sure some of you will remember our product catalogue but does anyone remember the Proops 1965 Science Catalogue?

We have survived a fire which destroyed part of the Linic factory and resulted in the street being evacuated!  This area was rebuilt and for a few years housed Proops until two years ago when we moved again into our own warehouse providing a much larger shop for our ever growing range of tools and where you can browse at your leisure.

Throughout the years we have always endeavoured to offer outstanding value for money and a great service.  We aim for most orders to go out the same day we receive them and we still offer free UK postage and a no quibble returns.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little more about us here at Proops.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

 

Isobel