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Old 03-29-2008, 08:10 PM
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rschloss rschloss is offline
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Cool How to make your own canvas - even large ones!

All -

Just added a section to my website on how to make a large canvas step-by-step The method would work for smaller sizes as well.

Hope it's helpful if you've ever considered doing it.

Also - this procedure provides a great way to not have to cut 45 degree angles.



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Old 03-31-2008, 03:36 AM
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mooz49 mooz49 is offline
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Re: How to make your own canvas - even large ones!

Excellent thread Ray for anyone who is handy enough to make their own frames .....unfortunately I am not one of them!
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:48 PM
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Einion Einion is offline
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I have a question Ray: how do you adjust tension with a frame of this construction?

Do you know if your colour is off in hue, value, chroma... or all three?

Colour Theory & Mixing forum WetCanvas Glossary Search Tips Advanced Search Acrylics forum Acrylics - Information Kiosk
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:00 PM
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Re: How to make your own canvas - even large ones!

One way is to unpick staples and pull, re-staple - sore fingers and valuable time used.

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Old 04-15-2008, 09:59 AM
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loft artist loft artist is offline
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Re: How to make your own canvas - even large ones!

Hi Guys I'm new to this forum
I have made similar large frames to Ray's you have to careful when apply gesso to an unprimed canvass , the paint penitrates the canvass and sticks everything to the wood and also shows the centre supports when it has dried , its best to put sheet polythene under the canvass when you staple , it can easily be trimmed and you don't have any problems if you need to take it off the sretcher also use a thinner wood on the centre supports so it stands away from the canvass .... Ihope this helps someone
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:46 PM
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gunzorro gunzorro is offline
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Re: How to make your own canvas - even large ones!

Sorry Ray, I don't see any way to pull canvas tight enough on those flimsy 1x2 sections. Even you mention they will crack and warp. And no raised lip to keep the fabric from touching the frame.

Also -- when making strainers, I set the corners in angle braces and use long ratcheting tie-downs to make secure tension along the whole perimeter, using professional wood glue to bond. No metal or screws.

I can see the point for economy, but I find it hard to believe these canvases could be sold as serious art supports to knowledgable buyers.

I use 2x2 and add a 3/4" quarter-round moulding to keep the fabric raised. I use 1/2s for the cross braces only. The piece shown is around 42x84.

Last edited by gunzorro : 04-17-2008 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:38 AM
carmasue00 carmasue00 is offline
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Re: How to make your own canvas - even large ones!

I have a question about size and warping in larger canvas frames...

If I am trying to make a canvas of this size, 48x72", would the spacers you use be enough to prevent this from happening.

And for any size, where should I place them if I want to ensure no warping. I have made frames before but they always seem to go bad and I can't figure out why....

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Old 04-05-2009, 11:18 PM
Courtney Dark Courtney Dark is offline
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Re: How to make your own canvas - even large ones!

I like your idea of using the quarter round molding. I will have to try that on my larger canvases that I stretch.

I find if you are making a smaller canvas that 1 X 2 molding works good. I make the frame with the 2 inches on the side, so when you have it stretched, you still have a good, deep, side to your canvas. I use L brackets and wood glue to connect all four sides together instead of just nails or screws alone. I have found that by doing that it keeps the boards from warping. Although, the only true way is to keep your frame hanging on the wall or laying flat, never lean it!
Courtney Dark | Artist

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Old 12-02-2009, 03:52 PM
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Foxyheart2002 Foxyheart2002 is offline
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Re: How to make your own canvas - even large ones!

Anyone know a good way to hang these large canvases when there are the center braces as shown above?
Sue Kroll, SSA, IEA, associate member WAOW and AWA........ Sue's Art .....Musings of a Scratchboard Newbie
I always welcome C & C. Even if I have finished it and applied fixative, I can always apply your thoughts to the next one.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:55 AM
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Re: How to make your own canvas - even large ones!

Several comments:

You must have a raised edge on the outer lip of the stretcher or their will be lines where the wood touches the canvas. Quarter rounds are not a bad approach to getting this edge, but I would lightly sand the quarter rounds so that you don't have too sharp of an edge. This would be particularly important if you are stretching a canvas giclee print but also for any canvas substrate.

As a framer, I cannot tell you how many canvases come in with the canvas stretched on the wrong side of the stretchers. Eventually these canvases will have lines visible on the paintings.

You might also consider putting a barrier layer of polyurethane varnish wherever the canvas contacts the wood to prevent migration of lignins or other damaging substances from the wood to the canvas.

The center supports will help prevent warping but will not eliminate the problem. They are primarily intended to keep the stretchers from bowing during the stretching process. Only two approaches to eliminate warping: #1 ~ use a heavy enough stretcher #2 ~ Frame the piece with a heavy enough moulding to prevent the problem.

After stretching it is a good idea to attach a polyflute or foam core board to the back of the stretcher for two reasons. It will help to eliminate any physical damage to the painting during handling from the back side. It also will keep dirt, bugs, etc. from getting behind the canvas. This is common practice when custom framing canvas by quality frame shops. If you are not framing the piece (gallery wrap) this should be another step taken to protect the art.

If hanging the canvas without framing I would suggest either using WallBuddies http://www.wallbuddies.com/ up to about 60 lbs. or BeeHive Hangers up to 30 lbs. http://www.beehivehangers.com/ . They will hold the canvas flush against the wall and level. I would consider using Z-Bars if heavier http://www.zbarhanger.com/ .

Strainer stock is available in 10' length from framing distributors in various weights. This is lumber milled with the raised lip. Also, custom stretchers are available on line which will allow for tensioning the corners.


Prior to stretching any canvas on stretchers be sure to measure corner to corner on the diagonal in both directions to make sure the stretcher frame is square. Otherwise it will be difficult and costly to frame in the future.

Last edited by DaveMak : 12-15-2009 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:01 PM
old_hobbyist old_hobbyist is offline
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Re: How to make your own canvas - even large ones!

gunzorro, I would not use mitered corners. The smallest amount of canvas shrinkage will split and open the corners. I would use open mortise-and-tenon joints instead. The glue surface is considerably greater than that for a miter joint and any canvas shrinkage will not open the corners. Instead of the cross bracing configuration, I suggest corner gusset bracing, with the braces at 45 degrees from the stretcher. Altho they can be M&T'd into the stretcher, simple mitering should be sufficient. If the canvas shrinks, the stetchers press hard against the braces, thus minimizing miter opening. If you do find those miters opening, I suggest you drill perpendicularly to the stretcher and insert and glue in wooden dowels. As recommended earlier, the braces should always stand away from the canvas.
BTW, if you do find a stretcher out of alignment, use "grandma's screen door" fix - a diagonal wire, corner to corner, with a small turnbuckle - to pull it back into alignment.
Every painting is just practice for the next one - Richard Robinson, NZ painter
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Last edited by old_hobbyist : 01-07-2010 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:05 AM
wwwrybakowcom wwwrybakowcom is offline
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Re: How to make your own canvas - even large ones!

How to make a professional canvas? Easy! Read my article:
How to make a professional canvas!

Palette knife painting - www.Rybakow.com - artist Valery Rybakow - Art in Russian

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