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.