Tool Maintenance

Where do you keep your tools? Do you go for practicality with different compartments for different tools or do you have something a little more unusual.  I store my tools in this old wooden display box, it’s something I’ve had for a long time.  I’m not sure how old it is but it was squirreled away at the bottom of our warehouse on an old pallet from years ago . While it may not be as practical as some of the new metal or plastic tool boxes, I love the wood of the box and the age/history behind it.  If you don’t have separate compartments in your tool box to keep everything neat, the tools may need a little more maintenance to keep them nice and shiny so, if they are all bumping along together in one box, I have put together a little guide for tool cleaning and maintenance.

The biggest problem for most metal tools if they are in contact with any moisture is rust.  If they are very rusty you can soak them in some white distilled vinegar to loosen the rust then use a wire brush, Garryflex block or some steel wool to remove the rest.  Tools you don’t use very often can be stored in a zip lock bag with a silica gel pack.  You get these little gel packs in the packaging of lots of products that you buy and they are great to throw into your tool box to keep your tools moisture free.

Hammers

If the head of your hammer has become dull and dirty, use a piece of unused sandpaper or use a small sanding block or a Garryflex block 120/240 for a few seconds to buff off any dirt and re-shine the head. If the handle is wooden, use a damp cloth to remove any dirt of dust then dry with a clean cloth.

Pliers

Try to keep your pliers clean and dry.  Every so often, use a little oil/WD40 on the pivot point to keep the opening/closing movement smooth.

Mandrels

Clean your mandrel with a soft dry cloth before storing each time you use it and this should prevent any rust occurring however if you do find your mandrel has got some rust on it, you can again use a fine Garryflex to sand it off.  Some people lightly oil their mandrels to keep them free from rust, however, this can get messy and means cleaning the oil off each time before you use it.

Scissors

Don’t put your scissors in the dishwasher or leave the blades wet after cleaning. A great tip for keeping your scissors sharp is to cut some aluminium foil with them.  Wipe the blade clean with a dry cloth, stack about 6 or 7 pieces of foil together and cut through with the scissors.

 

These are just a few tips to help prolong the life of your tools which means you can use your hard earned pennies to buy something different rather than having to continually replace the tools you have already bought.  Do you have any other tips for storing or cleaning your tools, we’d love to pass them on to our community of tool users.  We’d also love to see any unusual toolboxes you may use.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week.

Isobel

 

The Beast from the East ……

 

 

We are gearing up for some bad weather in the area over the next few days. This is the view from my office window this morning, not quite  the prediced 15cm of snow they are forecasting yet but we are expecting a lot more later this week.  One of the advantages of being based in a village which supplies more than 90% of our workforce is that most of our staff walk to work and can still get here in bad weather. We may be a little chilly and snow-covered when we arrive but we are a dedicated bunch here at Proops and it takes more than a little snow to stop us processing your orders.  Now all we need is the post van to make it through the blizzards!  We will keep you informed if we are notified by our couriers or Royal Mail if there are any delays to deliveries.

If you are in the path of the ‘Beast from the East’ stay safe and warm.  Thanks for stopping by.

Isobel

Egg-Shaped Candles

 

There’s an old saying about not putting all your eggs in one basket, but we think these colourful egg shaped candles all look lovely together in this basket and would make a pretty centre piece or table decoration for Easter.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a lovely week.

Isobel

   

 

PS  The candles in the basket are being used for decoration only.  Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire.

 

A lovely welcome back

 

We have the loveliest customers!!  We always receive such positive feedback and support from the community of crafters, modellers and jewellery makers, etc who buy our products and as well as all the many get well messages I have received, this morning these ‘welcome back to the office’ flowers arrived from two lovely ladies who have supported Proops Brothers for a long time.  They are always generous with their words about our service and products and I have been able to meet both of them at events and they are just as lovely in person!

I am very touched ladies for the flowers and your continued support.  Looking forward to seeing you both at our next event.

Just a little reminder, we have been asked quite a lot recently about postage costs, all standard delivery costs to UK addresses are included in the price, there is no extra VAT or postage costs added at the checkout, the price you see is what you pay.  Delivery charges only apply to next day deliveries on orders placed before 11am and some of the larger items going outwith the UK.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you all have a great week.

Isobel

From my desk ……..

Thank you for all of your kind messages following my recent hip operation.  I am well on the road to recovery and  am easing myself back into work gradually.

I am excited to be back in the office. With another new shipment of tools due to arrive and ideas for new products, there is lots to do.  I have been spending some of my recovery time looking at trends for the year ahead.  Whilst the fashion for clothing and footwear has gone more feminine and delicate with pencil skirts and kitten heels, the latest trends in jewellery are statement pieces, worn stacked and layered.  Think chunky rings, chain link bracelets of different thickness, pendant necklaces, layered together and big earrings.

We think the best statement you can make is being individual, creating and designing unique pieces which no-one else has.  We’d love to hear about what is currently inspiring you and see some of your designs. You can get in touch by emailing us at proopsbrothers@gmail.com, commenting on the blog or hashtag us on Instagram at #proopsbrothersltd.

We sell lots of jewellery making tools, from mandrels for necklaces, rings and bracelets to stone setting tools, shaping and forming tools and rolling machines.  There’s something for every budget and design idea and with another shipment arriving there will be lots more new products listed soon.  Why not pop over to our website and have a look.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week and happy creating.

Isobel

Happy Valentines Day ……

“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” George Sand

 

Happy Valentines Day!  I thought Valentines Day was a bit of a made up ‘Hallmark’ holiday, however, it seems people have been giving flowers and chocolates (or keys in Europe, as a symbolic gesture of unlocking their hearts) to celebrate Valentines Day since the 14th century and although it has been hijacked a little by the card companies, isn’t it nice to have a day which celebrates love.

Thanks for stopping by.

Isobel

 

Heart Shaped Candle Mould

….. and relax

 

Some of you may know that I have just had my hip operation and am recovering at home for a little while.  I’m taking it easy with a few magazines and some tea and muffins and enjoying the aroma of Blueberry Muffin from the wax melts we made using our new wax melt tray.  This tray makes 12 wax melts, two of each design: swirl, flower, heart, two different patterns and one plain.  We made some in pinks, purples and yellow.  How pretty would these look in a little box as a gift for someone?

 

  

I’m going to get back to my tea and magazines now.  And don’t worry, the girls in the office have got your orders covered while I’m off so it is business as usual.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you have a great week.

Isobel

Candle Making

We often get questions from people starting out making candles for some tips on how best to use our candle moulds so I have put together a little tutorial.

 

 

Cut a piece of wick long enough to go through the mould and allowing extra at both the top and bottom.  Put the wick through the hole in the base of the mould and secure with a piece of blutac, this will hold the wick in place and prevent the wax from leaking out.

 

 

 

 

Turn the mould upright and spray the inside with mould release spray or coat with a little olive oil.

 

 

 

 

Place a wick holder across the top of the mould and secure the wick.

 

 

 

Heat the wax and then add the colour.

 

Turn the temperature down and add the fragrance if you are using it.

Allow the wax to cool a little before pouring into the mould.

 

Allow the wax to cool and set fully before removing from mould.

And there you have your finished candle.  This is by no means a comprehensive tutorial on candle making but hopefully it will get you started without too many problems.  Any of our readers who have more experience in candle making, if you have any tips you could share, we’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you have a great week.

Isobel