Taylor Clamping Systems - Still ‘Gluing’ Strong

Taylor 5m capacity, 6 section pneumatic Clamp Carrier with a conveyorised PVA glue applicator

It was back in late 1970’s when James L Taylor manufacturing from Poughkeepsie, New York State, sold there first rotary clamping systems in the UK to what was then one of the largest joinery manufactures in the country, Magnet & Southern. The machines were installed by a young, fresh faced engineer from Taylor by the name of Michael Burdis. Some 38 years later Michael is still at Taylor, now in the role of Chief Executive with the other constants being their long standing cooperation with JJ Smith as UK agents and their continued success in supplying clamping equipment that has been specifically designed for solid wood edge and face laminating.

The basic principles behind the design and general operation of the machines has also remained the same, following Taylor’s philosophy that they must be well built, well engineered, simple to use and above all be reliable. Because of this there are some Clamp Carriers still working in the UK that were originally supplied 30 plus years ago.

More recently machines have been supplied to a number of well known companies producing a range of laminated components such as stair parts, joinery sections, block gluings for turning, worktops, table tops and panels. The use of engineered timber sections is increasingly becoming more common due to the cost of some timbers coupled with stability advantages laminated material gives. Room temperature PVA glues and the Taylor Clamp Carrier have long been recognised as the most versatile and reliable edge/face gluing process ever developed for the woodworking industry. While machinery in the woodworking sector, year on year becomes more sophisticated, it is in someways refreshing that Taylor machines have remained largely unchanged, in particular the construction and design of the clamp arms which Taylor say ‘can not be bettered’ for the job they are required to do. They incorporate a number of important features not found on other types of mechanical clamp that help ensure a quality glue joint is produced. However what Taylor have done is continued to design and update the method of clamp tightening / loosing to make the cycle times of the machine as fast as possible. The systems now available are standard pneumatic (entry level), semi automatic pneumatic or hydraulic (mid level), fully automated hydraulic or super automated hydraulic (top level). Each machine is spec’d up to suit customers individual production requirements with working lengths ranging from 2.5 to 6.3m and section numbers ranging from 6 to 40. As standard the clamp arm maximum opening is 1015mm but larger sizes are available on request. Material up to 150mm in thickness can be laminated when using the optional rocker plates, while the special heavy duty 402 type clamps can laminate up to 250mm in thickness. Taylor also manufacture a range of PVA glue applicators that can offer an even and metered spread of the adhesive on to the lamel prior to clamping.

Taylor Semi Automatic Hydraulic Clamp Carrier in operation producing 90mm thick joinery sections, 4.5m long.
JLT 3.6m Clamp Rack with Plate Spreader glue applicator

For lower level production of laminated components there is the popular JLT range of static Clamp Racks. They use exactly the same type of clamp arm as on the rotary system with all the same design features, the only difference is the clamps are manually tightened / loosened and are mounted on a static rack which has 5 levels. Unlike sash clamps that take up valuable bench / floor space, JLT Clamp Racks can be positioned against a wall with the facility to hang the clamps vertically when not in use. There are two frame sizes available, 2.4m with 18 clamp arms and 3.6m with 30 clamp arms. The clamps easily slide from side to side or hook in on any level. For laminating longer length material two racks can be bolted together. In addition to being able to produce laminated parts the JLT systems can be used to clamp up frames, doors etc.

JJ Smith always carry in stock the JLT range and so they are available for immediate delivery. In addition they usually have a Taylor rotary machine set up and available for demonstration / testing in their Liverpool showroom. Sales Director Guy Stanley comments “Like a lot of American manufactured machinery, the Taylor JLT equipment may not be as pleasing on the eye as the equipment coming from Europe. However it is extremely well engineered, robustly built and designed to do a job, as the saying goes it does what it says on the tin. We feel it is quite an achievement to be partnering a company for close on 40 years and this has only been possible due to the excellent working relationship we have with Taylor and the fact that the equipment they manufacturer is still the number one choice for companies who have a requirement to produce edge and face laminated components”. Michael Burdis comments “We are proud of the fact that our clamps are still as popular today as they were 40 years ago, not just in the UK but worldwide. While the method of clamping has changed little, we continue to innovate in various ways to enable our customers to maximise production output”.