Assembling stretcher bars seems a little mysterious the first time you do it. The bars don’t seem to be able to meet at the corners, because at first they don’t look cut at an angle. But as soon as you know the process, it is really very simple to put them together.
Stretching your own canvas allows you to control the quality of materials and customise the size of your stretched canvas. You begin the process by assembling your stretcher bars into a frame on which to stretch your canvas. Jackson’s stock three sizes of wooden professional stretcher bars (the profile is measured by depth from the wall): 43mm, 21mm, 18mm. The profile you choose will depend on what you want it to look like, how you want to frame it, and also the strength you need because larger canvases may warp from the pulling of the canvas if the bars are not heavy enough.
What they look like
Fitting them together
Here is a video that Lisa did earlier that may help and in which she shows a method of using a CD case to check the square of the assembled bars instead of a measuring tape.
After you have assembled your bars the next step would be to stretch your canvas over the stretcher bar frame you have just assembled.
Click on the underlined link to go to the current offer on Stretcher Bars on the Jackson’s Art Supplies website.
Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39.
Hi, I’m trying to assemble the stretcher bars
I bought on order 3729520 and the centre
bars seem much too short. Have I ordered
the wrong thing or have you sent the wrong
thing? Thank you very much.
The first time you assemble them can be confusing.
Centre bars are smaller than the stretcher bars because they fit inside the rectangle, whereas the stretcher bars are sized based on the outside of the rectangle they produce. They should be the same length at the bar they are parallel to minus the width of the two bars they are attaching to. If you go ahead and assemble your stretcher then what I am saying will be clearer.
You could also take a look at this comprehensive article Everything You Need to Know About Stretcher Bars