Reviews from Lamont Clampings previous Customers
SILVAN FLOORS produces high quality hardwood floors at its mill in rural Leicestershire, personally selecting the raw materials from the forests of Northern France and supplying the finished products to prestigious projects around the world. Always on the look out for the latest in machinery & equipment, Silvan Floors recently acquired a “monster” press to laminate flooring from Alan Lamont of Lamont.
“It was a case of expanding our business,” partner, James Iliffe, told PW&SS. “We needed more pressing capabilities for several large orders we had picked up, as well as needing to produce more meters per month.
“Through our research, we found Alan’s company. He came and sat with us, went through the options we had.
"We explained what we did and what we required, and he informed us of a press he had provided for one of our competitors: we wanted something similar but on a larger scale. He came to see us two or three times before an order was placed to make sure we were happy with everything he was proposing and ensure that we got a machine that was exactly what we needed.
“What we do is quite unique: we are one of the few companies in the world that can produce flooring up to 15 m long, and we needed a second press that could cope with at least 7.5 m lengths.
“We do always try to purchase UK goods, as in this way we can do our bit to help the economy: and if we encourage our customers to buy British, well, we feel we should do the same. Alan’s pricing was not too far away from what we wanted to spend; and the fact that he had produced not one, but four or five, presses for our competitor was also an advantage.
“The other company must have been happy with what they were purchasing as they kept ordering more!
“We use it to press 6 mm oak veneers onto a 15 mm birchwood plywood: this is the main component of an engineered timber floor.
“The new press can handle components up to 7.5 m long and 350 mm wide: and we still have the other press if required for longer components.
“As a side loading press, the new machine is quick to load and unload: certainly quicker than the longer press, which is daylight loading. The time and labour saving is a huge advantage to us.
“Another advantage is the ability to move the rams around, so if we are pressing components at different lengths we can almost build a pyramid on the press and move the rams to suit each level.”
James added that another advantage is that the press runs off compressed air. “We have a power limit within the building, which we are very close to.
“With this press, the electricity runs the compressor but that is all: which also means the cost of running the machine is lower than it would otherwise be.”
When asked if he would recommend it, James replied, “I most certainly would, yes!:
Panel, Wood & Solid Surface
LAMINATES Ltd is one of the UK’s leading specialists in the manufacture and distribution of bespoke kitchen worktops and ancillary products. Operating from three premises within the UK, Laminates supplies a wide range of laminate worktops, splashbacks, gables and windowsills, supplying to customers throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
Recently, the company invested in a massive 5.3 m x 2.2 m matrix table, purchased from Lamont.
“We have been in business for 30 years,” Laminates’ Andrew Ruddiforth told PW&SS, “and for the past 20 years we have gone down the CNC route of getting machinery to do a lot of the work.
"However, there are still a lot of things the machines don’t do, especially on the bespoke side of things, and for the handmade product, the matrix table from Lamont allows us to apply pressure to edging before the glue sets, for example: we had been using hand held clamps which is quite time consuming so, by using this system, we are able to maintain the highest quality standards with our handmade products but in a more efficient way.”
Andrew had spoken to Alan Lamont of Lamont, as well as consulting the Lamont website, and was impressed with what he saw and heard.
“Alan understood what we wanted. We did not really feel the need to look elsewhere: alternative quotes were obtained, but were not as relevant to our needs as that from Lamont. What Alan provided was exactly what we were looking for.”
The new super-size matrix table has allowed Laminates to maintain the hand made aspect of its product, alongside the CNC automation.
“The main advantage of the matrix table is the speed in which we can manufacture our product without any loss of quality,” said Andrew.
The matrix table is used for a wide range of bespoke products: exhibition stands, worktables, framing panels and more.
When asked if he would recommend it, Andrew responded enthusiastically: “Yes, absolutely!”
He continued, “The service has been excellent. Alan has always kept us up to date and answered any questions we had; he made recommendations that would best suit our needs and visited us to understand our requirements. We were very pleased with the service we received.”
Panel, Wood & Solid Surface
ANDORAS LTD, in Southern Ireland, is a leading bespoke furniture manufacturer, whose recently launched Aisling Furniture range exemplifies the company’s high standards: the website, aislingfurniture.com, says that the company’s quest “is to satisfy each and every customer’s individual needs and desires, resulting in furniture that is unparalleled in terms of design, construction and finish.”
To meet these high standards, the company recently purchased a bespoke matrix clamp from Lamont.
“All our kitchens are high end, solid timber at the highest quality, the majority is hand built in-frame construction,” technical manager Anthony Douglas told PW&SS.
“Usually the solid frame is 37 mm in size and implants directly onto the edge of the carcass. Our production is increasing: we are expanding and there is definitely an upward trend on how many pieces we are creating per week. The clamps we had previously were not efficient enough to be able to clamp the 600 frames we needed clamped per week.
“I had always had in my head that a peg board system is the way to go: a matrix of holes where clamps can be fitted would be very versatile in all the sizes we do. We do not manufacture stock or set sizes: a customer can have any height, any width of frame or door that they wish. We needed as versatile a clamp as possible for these sizes.
“As I went through looking for peg boards, I found Alan Lamont. Where other manufacturers produced boards of set sizes, Alan was able to cater for everything I wanted on size. Although the table is reconditioned, there is no sign of this: it is practically brand new.
“I also needed an oversized machine: Alan had one that fitted the bill for me. Originally, it had only operated as a left hand side machine: I needed to have both sides operational. By talking with Alan and him understanding what I needed, he was able to manufacture for me exactly the shape and size of clamp we required. He was very helpful and the service was very good, he really stepped up for the mark.
“We have only had the table a few weeks and it is definitely paying dividends and increasing production. It has brought speed and efficiency. I used to have a clamp that only one operator at a time could use. Now you can have two operators working at the same time, an advantage of the left and right hand operation. Anyone can use it without much training: it is also a safe machine. It came very easy to install: it has four wheels on the bottom to manoeuvre into position, as well as a facility to easily take it off the lorry with the forklift very safely. Alan has thought of everything!
“We are using the matrix table to assemble frames and doors: it also has the versatility to glue up solid laminate boards. In its simplistic design (in the best sense) there is very, very little that can go wrong with it: it is very maintenance free! It only uses seven bar air pressure, which is not difficult for any workshop to achieve.”
When asked if he would recommend it, Anthony replied, “Definitely! It was a very pleasant buying experience. It was a bespoke machine Alan made for me, anything I asked for he did without any issue at all. I would definitely go back to him!”
Panel, Wood & Solid Surface
Gibson's Cabinet Makers offers quality handmade kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and freestanding furniture. Based on the southern fringe of Whitby, the company serves a wide area including Durham, Cheshire, Lincolnshire as well as Teesside and all of Yorkshire. With four or more major commissions on the go at any one time, Gibson's Cabinet Makers has seen its workforce double in recent years.
Part of this success is due to the Woodwelder and clamp system purchased from Lamont.
“We were getting busier and busier as the popularity of our furniture increased,” partner Roy Gibson told PW&SS. “To cope with the demand we were having to look at alternative ways of gluing up doors and drawers. Traditionally we were doing it with sash clamps, which is quite time consuming; and you also have to check that the workpiece is square a lot as well. Then there is the gluing up time, which could be hours. And once you had used all your clamps you would have to wait for one batch to dry before going on to the next. So we could only do 20 drawers or doors in one batch.
“With the Lamont system, it has a square corner and glue resistant plastic sheath to it, so glue does not stick to it. You put your drawer or door in and clamp it down: it pushes it into the square corner so everything is absolutely square.
“You also get the (Woodwelder) glue gun which heats up the RF glue in about 15 seconds, so you can do a corner with one zap, which speeds you up tremendously. Indeed, with the glue and the gun working together you can do a door in a minute.
“The Lamont system has become part of a production line, which allows us to have door components coming out of the machines, go straight to the Lamont system, after which the doors get sanded then go to be hinged and fitted. It is incredible to think back how we were working with sash clamps before we got the Lamont system. It is massively beneficial to us.
“We had seen one of Alan Lamont's displays at a JMJ woodworking exhibition, which we visited when we were looking into ways of increasing production. He was on the stand. We spoke with him and saw demonstrations and said we were very interested, went away to think about it, decided the amount of time it was going to save us would be very cost effective and purchased one.
“Before the show we were aware there were things of this nature, but really needed to see one and have it explained to us to understand the benefits, so the exhibtiion helped.
“We primarily use the Lamont system for doors, and also for drawers. It can also be used for frames. These are all our main components that we use to manufacture hand made kitchens and made to order furniture.
“As well as savings in time and in ensuring the work is square, it allows us to use staff effectively. Instead of having two people using the sash clamps, we now can have one guy putting units together while his colleague is gluing up. This means we can meet deadlines more quickly and increase turnover.
“It also saves space. With sash clamps, you end up with a great area of your floor covered in clamps and doors, all piled up on top of one another. The Lamont system is vertical, so it does not take up a lot of space; and as the doors come off dry they can be stacked vertically.
“One of the other nice bits about it is that you get different shapes and different sized face plates for the gun, which allows you to zap a drawer from inside, for example a 45° corner, as well as flat plates for a flat surface. You can utilise the machine in all sorts of gluing up procedures to solve a great many problems.”
Asked if he would recommend the system, Roy said, “I would absolutely recommend it to other people. I can't believe we coped so long without one, to be honest.”
Panel, Wood & Solid Surface
CRISPIN and Gemma Furniture Design, of Marlborough, Wiltshire, is a specialist cabinet
makers and specialist kitchen manufacturer established 25 years ago. The team of four specialises in “things you can’t get anywhere else”, Crispin Forster told Panel, Wood & Solid Surface: “one off and unusual designs, from super modern to extremely traditional.” The company benefits significantly from repeat business with clients with whom it has a good relationship.
In the Summer of 2017, Crispin needed to upscale his production. To do this, he purchased a Woodwelder and a clamping system from Alan Lamont of Lamont Clamping.
“A long standing commercial customer contacted us with a big contract, which involved a lot of hardwood frame and door construction for bars and commercial kitchens, in sapele, ash and beech. We already had a full order book, so we needed to completely change our methods of manufacture for this contract. The CNC work was outsourced, but all the frames were made in house. They had to be separately constructed and we had to know they would fit together perfectly. The Lamont system was really helpful as it keeps everything square. It was very important it was really, really accurate and that the guys in the workshop could use it with minimal training.
“I chose Lamont because of the clamping system he sold, and because of his phone manner. Alan has a big variety of different clamping systems and you could see he had really thought about applications. He knew the industry and knew what was required, and I was impressed with the quality. It was obvious he was a specialist, as soon as you start talking to him you know he knows what he is talking about and offers very good guarantees.
“We use the clamping system and Woodwelder a lot for panel door manufacturing and also for worktop manufacturing and, while the Woodwelder cannot be used for all worktops, for example oilier woods such as Iroko, it is very good for tulipwood, for example. However, really heavy worktops can be left in the clamp overnight: and the clamping system really is a panacea!
“The Woodwelder, which was very well priced, is very, very good for panel door and frame construction, as well as for dovetail drawers. We try and do as much as we can on it, to be honest, as it is easy to use. And with the Woodwelder, glue dries in minutes rather than hours. This is a significant time saver.
“Everyone in the workshop is an accomplished cabinet maker and can think for themselves, so we are continually improving our methods of working. One great advantage of the new system is that, if you are careful, you can clean the glue off the reverse side before it is completely dry. With traditional clamping methods, this is not possible.”
When asked if he would recommend the clamping system, the Woodwelder and the company, Crispin replied: “I would highly recommend it! I am very happy with the purchase and should have done it 15 years ago: that is my only regret.”
Panel, Wood & Solid Surface
GEORGE Nicholson of Braewick Partnership set up business in 2009 on the island of Shetland. His main business is the manufacture of 'polycrubs', a particular Shetland form of polytunnels (http://www.nortenergy.co.uk/), which can be manufactured at the rate of one a week with one completed approximately every three weeks, with weather being an important factor. He can also turn his hand to the manufacture of anything, such as gates and house refurbishments, as the need requires.
George recently purchased a Lamont matrix table for its advantages in speeding up his production and in ensuring a perfectly square product.
“I had six gates to make and not enough sash clamps to do it,” George told PW&SS.“By the time I would have bought enough I would have spent a quarter of what the Lamont matrix table was. I felt it was best to buy the matrix table and have it for evermore than continually buy clamps, of which you would never have enough.
“I had a corner in the workshop where I could set up the machine without any problems: it is very space saving. It does not limit anything you do, and it is easy and quick to use. Most of the work I do on my own: when you have glue and lots of gates and need to glue them up and clamp quickly before the glue goes off, it is much easier to do it with the push of a button with the Lamont matrix table.”
George chose Lamont as his supplier as “It was about the easiest one to find on the internet. I did speak to some one else who had a second hand one coming which I could have had in three weeks, or I could buy one from Lamont immediately. I chose to go for Lamont.
“I could not find any bad reports on the internet; he is in Scotland; and the price was right.
“I spoke to Alan [Lamont] on the phone and he is a very genuine fellow: that is important when buying tools. I know if I phone him I will get an answer from him quickly and it will be the right answer. He will always see you right.”
As well as the gates for which the matrix table was originally purchased, George used the clamp to make a toy box for his six month old nephew as a Christmas present: the clamp held the box while it was glued up.
George sums up the advantages of the Lamont matrix table as “It saves space, it is easy to operate
single handed and is guaranteed to be square. That is a very big thing as the gates are not complicated, but there is a lot in them and everything is very tight, so once you have got them all cramped up to move them would take a bit of effort. By having Alan's machine I know it is square in two directions, down and across: it has to be square as his machine is square. It is a very good piece of machinery for that type of operation.”
When asked if he would recommend it, George replied, “Yes, no problem. It has a lot of power to do the job. With sash clamps you feel you are getting a bargain but you can't get any pressure. This machine has a good amount of power behind it.
“The company is very swift and easy to deal with: it was a pleasure to deal with Alan. If he said it was going to be delivered on Thursday, it was ready to be delivered on Thursday. That was Alan's way of saying thank you very much for the business. It was a great help as here in Shetland you know it has to be in Aberdeen at a certain time or it is not going to get on the boat that night and it might spend the next few days in Aberdeen at the back of a shed: machinery and equipment can get stuck in Aberdeen for a week if there are other things in the shed in front of it. Knowing it is on its way when it says it will be is very much appreciated.
“We have not had any problems yet, but I am sure that anything that does arise can be sorted over the phone. Alan would send up to anything required with no hassle. He always seemed to be very keen that you got the right machine you needed. He was very genuine, and went out of his way to explain the differences between each machine he had. It is his name that is on the machine, so he has to be good!”
Panel, Wood & Solid Surface
SHAKER 2 GO is a specialist manufacturer of Shaker doors, specialising in doors for wardrobes and kitchens. Based in a medium sized workshop in Kent and working with Medite moisture-resistant MDF, the company offers Shaker doors in any size up to a maximum of 2,430 mm x 800 mm and has, through liaising with the client, been able to manufacture doors up to 10 ft high.
Managing director, Phil Temple, recently invested in a matrix table and Woodwelder from Lamont, to speed up production and to further improve the quality of the product.
“We manufacture doors in batches, and we used to use 30 minute polyurethane glue with sash clamps, stacking them while they dried. We were running out of space and clamps, and the process was a bit long,” Phil told Panel, Wood & Solid Surface.
When asked “Why Lamont?” Phil replied, “There wasn't really any other choice for us. Lamont kept popping up on the second hand market so I thought I would take a look. I didn't want a second hand machine and there was also the question of the Woodwelder, which all came as part of one solution for us.
“Now, we have no need to stack clamps and there is no need to tidy up clamps after use. It has sped up our production probably I would say 10-15 fold and, in combination with the Woodwelder, has made us a more professional workshop. We can turn orders around much more quickly and the quality of the work is much better. We know the doors are straight when they are clamped, equal pressure is applied to all sides and every single joint is solid. We use the matrix table and Woodwelder on every single door that we do: it is a tremendous time saver.”
Asked if he would recommend the matrix table and Woodwelder, Phil replied, “Yes, I would definitely recommend it. When we first took it on I was a little sceptical as I looked at the machine and thought about how much we had spent on it, but within a week I knew it was a right choice. We had never used a Woodwelder before, but it worked perfectly.
“Alan [Lamont] has been really good from start to finish, guiding how things work without being a salesman, giving us a very honest insight into it. We knew we needed it, and he was happy we had done our research. It has been a great help to us in moving forward and has enabled us to move into other areas. If we were to expand further, perhaps take on contract work, we would probably take on another matrix table and Woodwelder as if you have two joiners doing the work, you need two machines.
Panel, Wood & Solid Surface
STEPHEN Anthony Design Ltd was established in May 2002 with a view to making the finest handmade furniture and providing the highest level of service whilst delivering value for money. To this end, the company has recently purchased a pneumatic matrix table assembly clamp from Alan Lamont of Lamont Clamping.
“For the past 15 years we had been using a manual cramping system. It had its problems in ensuring items we were cramping were flat and was also labour intensive in setting up,” the company’s Ian Moore told PW&SS.
“I do go every two years to the woodworking shows in Birmingham looking out for new innovations, new ideas, different ways of doing things. This year I specifically went with the knowledge we would have the capacity to re-invest and had pin-pointed cramping as being one of the areas we wanted to improve on. I had done my homework before I went and wanted to see the goods in the flesh. There was nothing else like Alan’s at the show.
“Lamont is pretty much the only company out there that will bespokely make what you want. We had some fairly unique requirements. The clamp is positioned underneath a fairly low mezzanine floor: a lot of other off-the-shelf versions on the market were too tall. With Alan’s product he makes them to order so they can be made to measure.
“We made allowances for the height it had to fit under. We had it built to the length we wanted, and there were other specific specifications. For example, although clamps can be built for a specific purpose and a lot of what we do is door and frame assembly, he also made clamps that press dovetail drawer boxes together. Also, as the press is 4 m in length, we can clamp up in 4 m plank worktops together. We have combined all the uses we would need and built in the flexibility to achieve all of these in one machine, saving space and money.”
Ian continues, “It is a great deal more accurate than our previous cramp. We are able to press up our doors, etc, and we can ensure they are flat with no twist in them when they are taken out. It is easier and quicker to use than our old system. It is a time saving, money saving device.”
When asked if he would recommend it, Ian replied, “Yeah, all of it, the whole thing. Alan is very good, a nice chap, who understands all of our requirements. We worked together on designing it and he included some design features to complement and achieve what we needed. The quality of the clamp, its robustness, is possibly over-engineered but therefore it is extremely good value for money. I would highly recommend Alan and what he makes, it is very good.”
Panel, Wood & Solid Surface
KNIGHTS Country Kitchens, founded forty years ago by managing director, Michael Wimpress, has many years’ experience designing bespoke kitchens that have exceeded customers’ expectations time and time again. All of the kitchens and interior furniture are handcrafted in Suffolk by highly skilled craftsmen, and are built using only the finest materials and traditional methods that will stand the test of time.
Shortly after the company moved into its present premises 31 years ago, Michael invested in a matrix table from Lamont, for kitchen frames and door assembly. It is only recently that Michael has needed to replace the matrix table, it has functioned so well over the years.
“It was really good, definitely, it has made me thousands of doors,” Michael told PW&SS. “It could do with having its rams refurbished, but otherwise it is still in working condition.”
Michael contacted Alan Lamont to discuss the way forward, should the existing machine be refurbished, or would it be more worthwhile to purchase a new table in order to double capacity? “Alan is a straight sort of guy and it is nice to work with him. He was willing to do the refurbishment, but it was more worth our while to double capacity with a new machine.
“What I liked about it is, I probably hadn’t spoken to Alan for 20 plus years but he was still the same: he explained what I wanted to know, we reminisced a bit and he said he would drop in. He came along, had a look, and sent some drawings, which arrived promptly. Once it all came through, I said I would book it: and it was ready in the three weeks that he said it would be. The whole experience was as good as it had been thirty years ago. The after-service was really good too.
“We are bespoke kitchen manufacturers, and Alan is a bespoke cramp manufacturer. He listens to what you say and designs a matrix table to match. We know the specific dimensions of our ranges, where we want the controls, etc. Alan will say if something is or is not possible, or if there is a better way of working, but in essence Alan will design a table exactly as you want him to. We would give Alan ten out of ten!
“I would definitely recommend him, maybe not to our competitors, but what he made up for us is definitely beneficial for our production. We can double up on everything, which gives us an advantage over others around here. If you have a kitchen with 22 doors, you don’t want to find out after they have been clamped that four are out of square. The matrix table saves a lot of time and money.
“Within an hour you can show people how to clamp a door up and you can’t get it wrong. Everybody loves it!”
Panel, Wood & Solid Surface
TIMBERTONE Design Ltd has 25 years’ experience in the kitchen and bedroom industry. The factory, which is modern and purpose built, is based on a two acre site, near Moneymore in Northern Ireland. It is equipped with the latest production machinery and is constantly investing in new technology. As part of this program, Timbertone Design Ltd recently purchased a drawer clamp from Lamont, which has helped enhance the quality of the company’s dovetail drawers.
Director, David Anderson, explained that the company had previously used a wooden mallet to tap the drawers together: when working manually, there is the risk of the drawer not being square, which would mean that it would not run properly in the runner. With the drawer clamp from Lamont, this simply doesn’t happen: “This clamping system squeezes the drawer without putting pressure on the joints: the pressure is evenly spread across the drawer. The drawer is never off square now. This gives enormous peace of mind. I don’t know how I have done without it for so long, actually!”
One reason why David turned to Alan Lamont of Lamont is that 10 years ago he purchased a matrix table from Alan for use with solid timber doors, a table which continues to give excellent service and is used on a daily basis. David speaks highly of the personal service he received from Alan. “I phoned Alan and described to him the machine I wanted, I told him what I needed, supplied him with three samples of different sizes of drawers, including curved drawers, and when the machine arrived it did exactly what I wanted. It was made to my requirements, to suit what I am doing, not something off the shelf,” says David.
“Alan is a gentleman and took time to go through the order with me. Any information I requested he forwarded to me. I got all the time and attention needed to ensure that the product was made to suit my requirements.
“The machine was delivered sooner than I thought it would be: that was a bonus. Alan gave me the option of picking the machine up myself or having it delivered, and we chose to have it delivered. When the machine arrived we took the wrapping off and set it in place: everything was self-explanatory. We have had no hassles with it whatsoever, and everything is as it should be.”
When asked if he would recommend it, David replied, “Certainly, yes. I would recommend the company and the product, we received excellent service.”
Panel, Wood & Solid Surface