ABOUT PROP PAL
Four years ago, Stephen Cheshire was running a small construction firm with his two nephews. Now he is about to start mass production of the
Prop Pal needle clamp, a product that he invented. He talks to Master Builder about his journey.
BUILDER'S FRIENDLY FIX FOR PROPPING UP WALLS
Stephen, a builder with 25 years' experience and a brickie by trade, first came up with the idea for his new product Prop Pal four years ago while mulling over an issue that he was increasingly facing on site.
He had noticed an architectural trend for forming new openings in walls, which required steel support beams to be hidden within the floor chamber creating a flush ceiling effect. Installing beams in this way means that temporary wall support must be provided above the floor chamber and under the floor joint.
"After years of putting needles through cavity walls using old pieces of steel and timber, then packing with slate followed by a prayer that it will be okay until the steel goes in". Stephen decided that there had to be a better way of doing the job.
"The most common way of working has been to put needles up through the wall above the floor and put an Acrow prop on either side, but this means making holes in the ceiling and floor and the needles can be quite easily knocked. l was thinking there had to be something better out there, had a look to see what is available and the research came back blank and I was gobsmacked that there was nothing out there that could do the job", explained Stephen.
"I must have been mulling it over in my subconscious for some time because it was a bit of a eureka moment and I woke up one morning with the idea. It just came to me. just jumped out of bed and grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and sketched it."
After making a model out of plywood, Stephen set about finding someone who could build a prototype Prop Pal for him out of steel. The first one "didn't cut the mustard" so he went to somebody else and the product has been developed over time.
Source: MASTER BUILDER - The Magazine of the Federation of Master Builders.
"The Prop Pal needle clamp is a genuine piece of equipment thought of and designed by myself, a builder of over 25 years experience. A brick layer by trade and Co-owner of a successful building company which focused on extensions and one off individual house builds.
As a builder I have noticed how the architectural trend often required new openings in walls to be formed and steel support beams hidden within the floor chamber thus creating a flush ceiling effect. However when beams are installed in this way the method of providing temporary support to walls and floor becomes more involved where temporary wall support has to be provided above the floor chamber and under the floor joint.
After years putting needles through cavity walls using old pieces of steel and timber, then packing with slate followed by a prayer that it will be okay until the steel goes in I thought there has to be a better and ultimately a safer way of doing this".
STEPHEN W CHESHIRE
Managing Director & Owner