Stretcher or Strainer

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+Rafe+
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Stretcher or Strainer

Post by +Rafe+ » Mon 05 Oct, 2020 4:14 pm

Happy Monday all!

Need some education please ...

I have a job with me that is a printed canvas (685mm x 475mm) with a 40mm margin. However within that margin is a signature and editor number that the clients wants to keep visible. That now gives an image size of 625mm x 415mm. Other than custom stretcher bars the other option would be a strainer and cut these to the size I require. Job done...

I know the difference between the two but not sure when its 'acceptable' to use a strainer over a stretcher bar. Does it make a difference that this is a print and not an acrylic or oil on canvas? Is there less of an issue of this sagging and needing re-tensioning over time?

Cheers

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prospero
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Re: Stretcher or Strainer

Post by prospero » Tue 06 Oct, 2020 1:15 am

It's perfectly acceptable, but depending on the canvas and the place where it is to 'live' it may lose tension
and flop about a bit. On stretchers, it can be tightened. With a fixed strainer frame it means taking it of the bars
and re-doing. You takes your choice. :D

A compromise is to use the system where you use plywood triangles in the corners. You can cut any length, but the
corners are still expandable. Not quite as much control as proper stretcher bas and wedges.
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Re: Stretcher or Strainer

Post by Steve N » Tue 06 Oct, 2020 7:39 am

Printed canvases seem to be made of man made fibers, so seem not to suffer too much from expansion / contraction problems, so really don't need to be adjustable as natural fiber canvases, well that's my theory anyway :sweating:
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+Rafe+
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Re: Stretcher or Strainer

Post by +Rafe+ » Tue 06 Oct, 2020 9:13 am

Thanks chaps!

Prospero do you mean as per the Wessex products - product code STM / Stretcher Moulding.

Thanks again both have a good week.

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prospero
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Re: Stretcher or Strainer

Post by prospero » Tue 06 Oct, 2020 12:13 pm

Yes that's the one. Stm0 works great for small medium sizes. I find the double-slotted one a bit of a pain though. :|

*I cut my own wedges from 5.5mm ply from Wickes. Easy if you have a table saw and chop saw. :D
Some ply is a bit too tight. You have to try a few to find the brand that works.
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Re: Stretcher or Strainer

Post by +Rafe+ » Tue 06 Oct, 2020 12:20 pm

Thanks again :D

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Re: Stretcher or Strainer

Post by Not your average framer » Tue 06 Oct, 2020 12:54 pm

I often have to cut replacement wedge to replace one's that have gone missing, when cleaning, or restoring paintings of canvas. In the earlier days< I thought it was a bit douunting, but as you get into it, you find that it's fairly easy and straightforward. Making you own corner wedges should not be intimidatinh to anyone and you doun't need any special equipment to do it. Different people will have a variety of different ways of doining it and there is not right, or wrong way of doing it. All that matters is the end result and any sight imperfections, will not matter. Who's going to be inspecting the workmanship on the wedges in the corners of the canvas? I don't think that it will be anyone at all.

As Prospero suggests, wedges can be made out of 5.5mm plywood, but other woods can be used as well. Pine of course is very common for making wedges, but I would not rule out hardwoods such as oak, or ash, if you have some suitably wide enough off cuts in the scrap bin. Wedges are really easy to make using plenty of different hand tools, or otherwise. These days I like to use a band saw, but it's not at all necessary, even cutting them with a hand head hack saw, will be quite adequate and it only takes minutes to do it.
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Re: Stretcher or Strainer

Post by JFeig » Tue 06 Oct, 2020 2:11 pm

The simple answer is that one is a rigid, non-adjustable structure and the other is an adjustable structure.

In picture framing a strainer has two functions
  • An internal skeleton for a frame for extra strength
  • A support structure for an inexpensive stretched object
It is made from basic dimensional lumber (timber)

In picture framing a stretcher made with stretcher bars also has two functions
  • It has corner adjustment features that allow for the tension to be increased or decreased as the art expands or contracts
  • It has a raised "outer lip" that is used to keep the art off of the base surface of the bars. This raised lip reduces the propensity of any damage to the art by a flat surface
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