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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.