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Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

I still do not really like these things as I describe in my Frances Survival post, but I have learned a few things about putting up large plywood shutters using Plylox clips.  (See all my hurricane entries here.)

Since I have not had time to implement my barrel bolt plan, I had to refine my installation technique.

  1. Putting up a large shutter is cumbersome.  I have four that are large.  Installation is greatly eased if you add a handle to the outside of the shutter.  My simple handles consist of a length of polypropylene rope, knotted at the ends, and fastened to the supporting 2x4s with galvanized poultry wire staples. They were easy to install and worked great.
  2. Before you attach the Plylox clip to the wood, hold the long toothed side and press the shorter smooth-edge side of the clip against a firm surface to bend it closed a bit. I found the best position to be such that you cannot completely force the clip onto the shutter with your hand. I tapped the clip fully onto the shutter with a hammer where it fit snugly. This made it much easier to keep the clips in place as I moved the shutter around and into position.
  3. Lay the bottom edge of the shutter into the proper position and alignment inside the window frame. Ignore the fact that your lower clip may be bending too much. It will survive. When you are happy with the alignment, pivot the upper part of the shutter into position. Basically, you just slam it into place.
  4. If you have to use multiple pieces of wood to build your window shutter due to the size of your window, it is better if you fasten the two pieces of wood together. (I used 2x4 boards that ran the height of the window and fastened the shutter pieces to them from the inside of the shutter using galvanized deck screws and stainless steel washers.)  This allows you to do only one shutter installation per window.  This will reduce the number of Plylox clips you will need.
  5. If you have multiple pieces of wood that make up your shutter, place a clip at the joint between the pieces to support both pieces.
  6. Update 1: One removal tip.  Use gloves.  The clips will be rusty and you will be prying against their sharp edges with your fingers - avoid tetnus.  You will also be handling the plywood shutters - avoid splinters.  You will also be grinding your fingers against concrete - avoid scrapes.

Update 2:  I am not using these clips in 2005.  I have gone with an aluminum storm panel and track system.  I plan on trying to sell my plywood shutters to people with the same model house (Engle Northampton) as ours.  I'll sell my spare clips at work.


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# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Thanks for the plylox tips Mark.

I survived Hurricane Andrew in Homestead which blew me up to Panama City in 1992... although my house was a total write-off. (Thank you GEICO)

Here in Panama City, I had flush mounted plywood on my 1st house here and it worked fine thru Hurricane Opal in 1995.

Just moved to a new place and was unprepared for Hurricane Ivan... escaped with nothing more than a leaky kitchen vent but resolved to get the window thing ready for the next one.

Different construction in this house (inset windows) and I was searching on how to secure a plywood insert for these new windows.

Your blog answered all my questions. I'm off to Home Depot after work for my plyloks...

Thanks again,

Gene Hilsheimer
Panama City, FL 9/29/2004 11:30 AM | Gene Hilsheimer

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar After sitting through three Hurricanes here in Orlando last year, I have just now had my new roof installed and the house exterior patched and painted. I heard about Plylox, and finally found some, and your web site gave me all those practical tips I was looking for. Thanks for all the help. I am really looking forward to using these babies as opposed to drilling hole after hole in my house again. 3/14/2005 10:20 AM | Jan Mason

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Are the new commercial type Plylox that accomodate 3/4 inch plywood best for condo windows that are inset stucco? This is compared to regular Plylox that use only 1/2 inch plywood. 4/3/2005 6:04 PM | Jim- Ft Lauderdale, FL

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Overall, 3/4-inch plywood is better than 1/2-inch plywood, but metal hurricane shutters are the best. Plywood will absorb limited impacts from high-velocity projectiles. If the plywood is close to the glass, the impact may flex it enough to contact and break the window glass.

With all that, the new Plylox sound like a better purchase. 4/3/2005 8:17 PM | Mark

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Anyone know a cheaper place to buy them than from the manufacturer for $29.95/20 clips?

Thanks for the blog Mark! 6/2/2005 4:57 PM | Bernie

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Not that I have seen so far. The big box home stores are also selling them for $30 a bag. They know people will pay the $$$ when they need them. There is no equivalent available other than maybe the barrel bolt method, and that takes time to do right. 6/3/2005 11:32 AM | Mark

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Mark, saw your barrel comment and thought I write, I have the barrel bolt system (1963 Tampa builder suggestion) on my house and it works very well. 1/2" ply theroy is it is designed to alow penitration but seal with the projectile. I have never had to test that theory and hope I never do. 3/4 is suppose to stop penetration. Backside of my 1/2 ply shutters, are framed with 1x4, glued with LQD nails and screwed. Barrel bolts ar typically 4 each on the left and right frame. Barrel holes are drilled (a pain) into the brick and lined with copper tube which is drilled for the bolt size. 1x4 also keeps your ply off the glass. 45 minutes to shutter the house. My dad has a pulley system to lift his which are very large.
I have lived 1990 to date in Ft Walton Beach (I can't even remember all the storms) and the system is worth the trouble. It works. Drill a 2 hole in the bottom as a hand hold to put them up helps.
But I am going to try the Plylox because the barrel bolts are very expensive now and hard to find in the correct size. I am going to frame the back side leaving a gap or indentation for the clip. I will let you know after the build how it works. Its on a 6ftW by 9ftT all glass front door area and will require 2ea 4x6, 1ea 1x6 sheets, five clips, and some type of face brace which I will design after I put this up.
Thanks for your tips. 6/8/2005 12:16 PM | robert

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Has anyone used Plylox clips for sliding glass door? Also I have a leak that I think was caused from wind in contact with kitchen vent...is this a job for a plumber or roofing expert? THanks 7/12/2005 2:42 AM | Jan

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar I found that it was easy to remove the large shutters with many plylox clips by using small pieces of thin sheet metal, like roof flashing. Pry each clip up with a screwdriver and slide the metal under each clip. Then just pull the whole shutter out. The clips will not bite into the house wall with the metal under them. 8/3/2005 9:50 AM | Bill

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar I recently used Plylox for boarding up my windows for Hurricane Rita in Houston. Unfortunately the hardware store only had 3/4" plywood left.

I ended up hammering the edge of the Plylox clip in between the layers of the plywood. Sometimes it didn't want to go in, but it ended up working pretty well. 10/3/2005 12:54 PM | Matt

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar I had purchased 3/4" plywood last year & had planned to use the barrel system. I saw something on plylox clips & decided to not use the barrels. I used a router where the clips are required. The clips are recessed on the outside of the 3/4 plywood. Seem to work ok. I see when Wilma hits.
Smiles, Kent 10/22/2005 7:58 PM | Kent

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Mcfeelys.com has plylox in 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", and they are presently (10-31-05) priced under $26.00 per bag of 20. They also have 1/2" STAINLESS STEEL priced at $30.00.
I ordered 5/8" to try out on a new 5/8" thick corrugated plastic that is 50-60% lighter than plywood 10/31/2005 8:05 AM | steve

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Rick in Pensacola, FL agrees..the plywood is not the way to go. We sell the polypropylene, corrugated, panels and use the ply-loxs. Perfection when you have the depth to install them into your window. Our panels weight 70%less than the plywood. Best way to protect as it takes the impact..and..allows light into your home. Very cost effective. 3/1/2006 11:12 AM | Rick M.

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar I personally do not endorse any form of corrugated plastic for serious protection of windows from breakage by wind blown projectiles. "Lighter" just means more convenience for the installer -- not protection for your house which is the purpose of putting up shutters. 3/3/2006 6:12 PM | Mark

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar The brick on my house is not perfectly square. How much slop can I have when installing Plylox clips. I saw somewhere 1/8" but I was wondering if I could use something like 1/4"? 6/9/2006 11:46 AM | Lucandoit

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Yes, you can install them with more than 1/8-inch gap. 6/9/2006 1:25 PM | Mark

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Having checked Ebay for a 'deal' on these expensive clips (c'mon...they're nothing but a modified 'cricket clicker' that we all had as kids for about 2 cents apiece) I have learned that you have to buy several bags at a time to save any bucks.

This will be my first year using the things so I appreciate all of the suggestions left on this site. Hurricane Charlie tore the Fort Myers area up after 44 years of complete, hurricane-free peace. Never a thought about real protection until that one hit. Now we all sweat jelly beans during the season.

Well, off to Home Depot to spend thirty <choke> dollars for a few cents worth of 'cricket clickers'. 6/17/2006 1:11 PM | Lee

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Do these clips meet the Florida Building code for winds under 130 miles per hour?
4/26/2007 2:36 PM | Ralph Moon

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Can the Plylox clips be installed facing the inside door openings -In case we are stupid enough to stay put and wait out the storm ? 8/18/2007 12:06 PM | Debbie in Louisiana

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar I bought plylox clips fot 1/2 inch plywood but they don't fit the plywood snug. Is this normal? 8/3/2008 2:22 PM | Bill

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar SOme what since the plywood that is sold , is not a true half inch . also if you put the clip on a hard surface (so the h part is down and )press on it with the palm of your hand so that the palm is on the bottom of the h (away from the points) it will tighten the clip up . For fitting on plywood that is thicker than 1/2" you can either pound it in to the spline (the different layers) of the plywood or router it out to a 1/2" 8/5/2008 10:16 AM | Joel

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar I have the glazed block window frames. Will plylox clips grip well enough to those? 8/9/2008 3:26 PM | Jim

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar @Jim: Plylox require a rough surface to dig into to hold the plywood in place. The work well against wood, brick, or stucco. I would think the glass block would not provide adequate grip. Since we have a lull in the season, I would recommend a more permanently mounted system than Plylox. 8/9/2008 3:52 PM | Mark

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar @Joel: Squeeze the Plylox closed until it seats on the wood firmly. It is likely a little sprung. 8/9/2008 3:56 PM | Mark

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar I have a house with vinyl siding on 3 sides where the windows are flush mounted. The front is stucco which has the decorative foam outline that is stucco'd on the surface. Any ideas on how to best approach my situation. IF the answer is to drill holes so that screws or bolts can be installed on the wood framing around the windows, does any one know a good source for plugs to cover the holes when not in use? Thanks. 8/10/2008 1:04 PM | Tom T

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar @Tom T: The foam behind the stucco makes it difficult to get to the structural framing behind it. Your best bet may be panelmates of the proper length. They will remain and stick out of the stucco. You can seal around them with caulk. 8/10/2008 4:24 PM | Mark

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar I made my own "Plylox" by using steel banding waste I picked up at a big box store where they cut it off the bunks of plywood. Cut the banding material into pieces about 3" long, sculpt one end to look like the grabber end of a plylox and drill a hole in the other end to screw to the outside of your plywood panel. Obviously, the free end of the banding material must overhang the edge of the plywood enough to arch and jam into place on the structural jamb similar to how the plylox works. 8/11/2008 3:04 PM | jsrlnd

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Greetings,

Do I need to put Plylox clips around the entire perimeter of the window, or just on the vertical sides? The picture on the brochure shows the lady putting them only on the sides, but the instructions say they should be about every twenty-four inches or so.

Thanks,

Haskell (Yikes, here comes Ike!)
9/11/2008 6:58 AM | Haskell Moore

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Has any one looked the quick shutter clamp at homedepot.com? It is another way to board the windows.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?jspStoreDir=hdus&catalogId=10053&productId=100653794&navFlow=3&keyword=quick+shutter&langId=-1&searchRedirect=quick+shutter&storeId=10051&endecaDataBean=com.homedepot.sa.el.wc.catalog.beans.EndecaDataBean%4018018d48&ddkey=Search
12/10/2008 6:37 PM | EZ

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar Hey guys, I found a better mousetrap. www.quickshutterclampingsystem.com. This product is the anwser for an affordable, fast & easy way to board-up windows before a storm hits. Check it out. 1/2/2009 4:52 PM | jack

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar How far apart are thepylox supposed to be placed ?
Marcia 7/4/2009 1:25 PM | MarciaAbrams

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar @Marcia: For my big shutters, I used two on each side and one on top and bottom. For small shutters, i used four. Space them evenly alond the edge. There is no min/max distance. Removing a shutter with many clips will be difficult. 7/4/2009 2:31 PM | Mark

# re: Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips

Gravatar My windows are recessed in a brick home. I have plastic side shutters. When I try to install the plywood with the plyloks attached, the plyloks catch between the shutters and the brick. How can I get the plylok past the shutters to grip the brick? 9/5/2011 4:48 PM | Jerry

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