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How Does Plano Work?

How exactly does PLANO work?

PLANO is a clamping system that surrounds a panel on four sides. Its unique, patented design applies pressure both on the edges and the faces of a panel to completely prevent any possibility of a buckled panel.

Because its mechanism grasps the panel identically on and from both sides, each PLANO clamp also applies pressure evenly across the glue joint itself, unlike the graduated pressure which common clamps apply. As a result, each individual PLANO clamp produces joints that are far superior to joints produced by an individual common clamp.

PLANO Systems consist of two or more PLANO clamps hung on one or more PLANO mounting rails. Mounting rails are installed horizontally, usually on a fixed wall. However, PLANO can also be set up on a movable “gluing cart,” allowing total portability of the system. PLANO is simple to install, requiring only a spacer (double 2x4’s will do, but a more attractive solution is preferred by many owners) to create some separation between the wall and the PLANO System. This separation allows the clamps to be operated comfortably, and to be easily set into an “open” position for loading.

PLANO mounting rails are 39.37” (1000mm) long, and can easily be installed end-to-end for extra length, or cut to suit any specific length requirement you may have.

PLANO clamps consist of two long aluminum extrusions which install vertically and are connected by two uniquely designed steel linking arm assemblies, one each at the top and bottom of the clamps, between which the panel to be glued will ultimately be loaded. The lower linking arm assembly may be positioned at various heights from job to job, to adapt to various panel widths, from near the floor for maximum panel width, then up in 50mm (appr. 2”) increments. The upper linking arm assembly is always set at the very top of the clamp for easy operation. The upper linking arm assembly includes a pressure bar, which is easily adjustable using a comfortable handwheel. This adjustment is for panel width within the 2” range established by the position of the lower assembly, and also to set the clamping pressure.

As the pressure is applied by the handwheel, it is distributed automatically by the patented PLANO system to all four sides of the panel to ensure optimum results.

PLANO clamps can readily be slid to the left or right on the rail to adjust to panel length. Clamps may be spaced at the user's discretion to suit each project: the general guideline is to set the clamps 12" apart on center, beginning approximately 4” from either end. For difficult jobs, the clamps may be spaced more closely, or regular bar clamps ay also be added between PLANO clamps for additional clamping force. When not in use, all PLANO clamps can be clustered together anywhere on the mounting rails to free up wall space. Click here to read about how to use PLANO.

PLANO clamps are now available in three "heights", which determine the panel width capacity of the system. 43” (1100mm) and 49” (1250mm) lengths are usually available from stock, and 55” (1400mm) clamps are sometimes available and can always be special ordered. Please note that shorter clamps are the easiest to load and use, so taller clamps should only be selected if they are in fact required. Clamps of varying height cannot be mixed within a system, so you first need to choose which clamp height is most suitable for you. Additional rails, and clamps of similar size, may be added to a PLANO system at any time to increase length capacity.

Maximum thickness capacity is 5" on all PLANO systems: more signficantly, PLANO's patented system also lets you properly align and edge glue even very thin boards, a task not readily possible with traditional clamping methods.

How many PLANO clamps should your system include? That depends on the length capacity you want. Start with the basic system of three clamps and one rail to give yourself a 39" length capacity. Then add one clamp for every foot (or fraction of one) of additional length capacity you wish to add, plus one mounting rail for every three feet or fraction thereof.

Example: To handle panels up to 66", add three clamps (66-39 = 27 inches of additional length, divided by 12 = 2.25, so you need 3. You'll also need one additional rail (for 27" of additional capacity, which is within the 39+" capacity of the additional rail). If your mounting area cannot handle the full 78" length of the two rails combined, the aluminum rail can easily be cut to fit using virtually any type of saw.

Using the available packages lets you order any number of clamps you need, with sufficient rails to match. Individual clamps and rails are also available.

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