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Mounting the Plano system

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RogerS

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I've bought a secondhand set of Plano clamps. I have 5 clamps and two 1m rails. My problem is that I have no readily available wall on which to mount the rails. So I'm thinking of some sort of frame (dismountable). I'd quite like to have the option of mounting the two rails but just how critical is it going to be aligning them? Thinking about possible wind etc but then also thinking that the weight of the clamps plus whatever it is being clamped will pull the system into alignment due to gravity and so I don't need to worry unduly?

Any user experience/advice very welcome.
 

Henning

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Maybe not much help, but due to the same lack of wall i used mine laying flat on top a makeshift "bench" or worktable, and that really didn't work out all that well. I just decided that it was because they were not anchored to a (straight) wall they didn't perform. I was thinking of a frame of some sort as well, but decided against at the time.
I'd be interested in hearing others thoughts about these as well, as i was rather underwhelmed at the time.
 

Alf

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I have only one rail - and it's permanently on the wall - so not much help. But I'd have thought that no amount of gravity is going to help if you don't have the rails lined up.

I like 'em personally, but then I am a sucker for a gizmo. The most I've ever seen were a line up of about three rails and 8 or so clamps in a joinery/turnery workshop down here in Cornwall. This outfit would turn their hands to all sorts of work (just sent out a batch of rosewood four-poster dog beds for Harrods when I was there, f'rinstance) so perhaps not be adverse to a bit of a challenge helps in liking them? ;)
 

Lord Kitchener

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I had a double set of Plano cramps in the past, back when I had a use for them, and would buy another set without hesitation should I find I need them again.

The mounting is crucial. The have to be mounted on a wall, for best results, anything else is going to be tricky. The easiest way to do it is to make a piece of box section wood wide enough to mount the rail/s on, and then mount that against the wall. Next you need to screw a batten to the floor which is in line with the box section face (the face the rail is mounted to. This batten controls the foot position of the cramps, and thrying to mangae without it is quite tricky.

Once you've got everything mounted, you then need to get the knack of changing the lower block position of the cramps to suit different widths, and the knack of loading it. When I used to glue up solid guitar bodies I used to wet one mating face and put glue on the other, this was to slow down the grabbing time and give me time to get everything lined up.
 

scholar

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What Lord Kitchener said, particularly re the bottom rail.

Here is my set up - the table saw normally sits in front of it.



I like the system, but in truth do not use it very often; it's good when it's just what you need eg to glue up some smaller to mid-size panels.

One thing that annoyed me was that the wheel part would not stay in position when the clamps are stored; I fitted some blocks in the inner channel just below the top but one detent (you can perhaps see the little buttons on the front to which the blocks are screwed) this was fiddly but means that the wheel part cannot slip down to lower positions.

Cheers
 

RogerS

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Finally getting round to fixing these to the wall. One question.

I have two sets of rails. Since the bottom link is the reference point (as far as I can see) on which the bottom of the panel is going to sit then aligning the two rails has to be to within +/- 1mm at the most I would have thought. Otherwise as you wind down the top knob, you'll end up putting a bend in the panel if they aren't in line.
 

Lord Kitchener

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RogerS":2fmd7juk said:
Finally getting round to fixing these to the wall. One question.

I have two sets of rails. Since the bottom link is the reference point (as far as I can see) on which the bottom of the panel is going to sit then aligning the two rails has to be to within +/- 1mm at the most I would have thought. Otherwise as you wind down the top knob, you'll end up putting a bend in the panel if they aren't in line.

Get them as close as you can, obviously, but IIRC the low rails will lift their bases off the floor to take up any discrepancy. It's not a problem, anyway.
 

RogerS

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Lord Kitchener":181c8uo2 said:
RogerS":181c8uo2 said:
Finally getting round to fixing these to the wall. One question.

I have two sets of rails. Since the bottom link is the reference point (as far as I can see) on which the bottom of the panel is going to sit then aligning the two rails has to be to within +/- 1mm at the most I would have thought. Otherwise as you wind down the top knob, you'll end up putting a bend in the panel if they aren't in line.

Get them as close as you can, obviously, but IIRC the low rails will lift their bases off the floor to take up any discrepancy. It's not a problem, anyway.
Low rail? Can you explain a bit more, please? I've currently got them so that the front rail (with the plastic foot) is resting on the floor and its top is level with the rear rail (fixed to the metal horizontal rail)

Thabnks
 

Lord Kitchener

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RogerS":q58tvisi said:
Low rail? Can you explain a bit more, please?

Sorry, I meant the low clamp, if there are any. What I am getting at is that they basically self align up to a point.
 

Giff

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Roger did you set up your Plano clamps and how did you get on with them? There seem to be mixed opinions mostly good but a couple of negative ones.
I am thinking of getting some. Thanks Geoff
 
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