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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-01-2005, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Default Artist Needs Help

Hello - I am a novice woodworker and would like to make my own canvas stretcher bars. I have a router, compound miter saw, table saw and more tools. Can anyone give simple advise or a quick how to on how to make these. Of course they can be purchased but I want to make large paintings about 5' X 5'. Sets of these bars = $$$. I was thinking a tongue & groove router bit. Hope someone here can help. Thank you.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-02-2005, 04:51 AM
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Are you just looking to make a wood frame to stretch canvas onto? If that's all it is there are several ways to build a sturdy frame but I have a feeling you're looking for something more than a simple frame. I've never seen "Canvas Stretcher Bars." Can you be more detailed on what it is you need or provide a picture of what it is? I looked on the web and found this site that had stretcher bars. The price shown on this site doesn't look bad if this is what you are looking for.

If that is what you are looking to make I'd suggest making it very simple and just use pocket hole joinery which is extremely strong and easy to do. (provided you don't have to purchase the pocket hole jig).

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-02-2005, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Default Stretcher Bars

Thanks for your ideas. I went to the cite you gave and that is a pic of exactly what I want to make. I also looked up the pocket hole joint. It would work but I would end up with a fixed frame. The frame I want to make should allow for additional tension to be added into the frame (as the canvas ages and sags) with small keys in the corners.

If all else fails I can use a fixed frame. I will be purchasing a jig or bit, whatever I come up with.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-02-2005, 09:47 PM
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Lezza, You can easily make your frame the way you want it by cutting tenons on the side pieces and matching slots on the top & bottom pieces. The easiest way to do this is to have your router mounted on a table. I am going to build a simple table that mounts in a vice and stores away easily. There will be step by step photo's posted on the site soon. You can also build a tenoning jig for your table saw. Check out for ideas.

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