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Author Topic: Canvas Streching Tools  (Read 8447 times)
abeofRD
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« on: December 16, 2012, 11:29:48 AM »
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Hello everyone,

I would like to get reviews or advice from actual users on expediting the stretching of the canvas.
When you do a few pieces there is no problem doing it with stretcher pliers but when you have more volume or bigger than with pliers it starts to take to long.

I know there are a few on the market, the most notable is the tensador, and there is from Just-Rite, canvasmaster, and from canvas-stretching-machine.com.


Thank you
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2012, 11:48:38 AM »
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A good place to start is YouTube videos.
I think you should find a video or two on each.
I use the 60" Gallery Stretcher Machine and it works great.
If I start stretching more panos over 60" I may purchase the add on 36" extension.
I just hate stretching with pliers!
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rgvsdigitalpimp
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2012, 01:05:06 PM »
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Abe, trust me when I tell you that the Pitbull Stretching tool is amazing.  I purchased it about a year ago and wondered how I did it before I had this tool.  Grips the canvas and has design to sit inside the stretcher bars.  Then you just place it down and push with 2 fingers.  With the design you can do corner stretching perfectly.  Here's the link to the tool

http://www.pitbullwrapstretcher.com/

Watch the video on it.  I've done 40x60's tight as a drum with this tool. 
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abeofRD
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2012, 09:46:56 PM »
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Abe, trust me when I tell you that the Pitbull Stretching tool is amazing.  I purchased it about a year ago and wondered how I did it before I had this tool.  Grips the canvas and has design to sit inside the stretcher bars.  Then you just place it down and push with 2 fingers.  With the design you can do corner stretching perfectly.  Here's the link to the tool

http://www.pitbullwrapstretcher.com/

Watch the video on it.  I've done 40x60's tight as a drum with this tool. 

Isn't this the same tool that Breathing color is selling? It looks like a regular wise grip with some metal welded on and asking $265.00.

Also it still takes a lot of time to stretch.
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abeofRD
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2012, 09:50:08 PM »
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A good place to start is YouTube videos.
I think you should find a video or two on each.
I use the 60" Gallery Stretcher Machine and it works great.
If I start stretching more panos over 60" I may purchase the add on 36" extension.
I just hate stretching with pliers!

Thank you Dan.
I checked the companies site it looks to be a good machine but its expensive, also I haven't seen any extension part that you can add.
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bill t.
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2012, 10:48:46 PM »
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I've tried out at the Pit Bull thing at trade shows.  IMHO it's an almost brilliant design severely compromised by the use of really clunky vice grip handles.  There are much better handles to adapt, it's a head scratcher for me why they went the route they did.

The stretching pliers below also use adapted handles.  The clamping part isn't as clever, but the mechanical advantage in the grips is just right and you don't have to fumble with them.  Whatever else, you want pliers with a forward projecting tong for easy gallery wrapping around the back of the frame.  "Classic" pliers with a bump on the side rather than the forward tong are designed for stapling to the sides of bars, rather than the back as with gallery wraps.   With gallery wrapping they require you to put a lot more hand torque into the process, which starts to be a chore when you reach your 60's.

http://www.johnannesley.com/CanvasPliers.html

I sometimes use a pal's Join Rite stretcher machine, he's got one with a 60" and 36" section joined together, which only requires an adapter sleeve you can get from the manufacturer.  I really like that is doesn't need shop air.  Maybe it takes a few seconds longer than a pneumatic machine, and maybe it's a little inconvenient to not always have both hands available...but not very.  With any of those machines you still need to do some material removal around the corners to make really flush, neat looking corners.  I notice the guys in the videos don't do that and I can assure you those canvas corners have noticeable lumps, especially with the thick canvases so common today.  As with the Canvas Stretching Machine it mounts on the side of a table.  That's kind of a good thing, but it does tend to banish you to the opposite side of the table if you want to use it for non-wrapping applications.
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2012, 05:07:41 AM »
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Thank you Dan.
I checked the companies site it looks to be a good machine but its expensive, also I haven't seen any extension part that you can add.

I purchased mine about 3 years ago. At the time they sold 36" and 60" models.
You could buy the 36" unit and with a small kit they offered assemble the two together to make a 96" unit.
Looks like it is no longer available now that they have the 96" model.
I would think you could find one of these used,Ebay?
Might save you a lot of money.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2012, 07:27:51 AM by Dan Berg » Logged

abeofRD
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2012, 10:04:05 AM »
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Hi,

Does anyone here have experience with Canvas Master? http://canvasmaster.net/index.html they have two models and they just came out with a newer model "Pneumatically Operated Studio Canvas Master"?

I contacted them last month they listed a price for the manual Operated for 1100 Euros about 1440 US Dollars.



I purchased mine about 3 years ago. At the time they sold 36" and 60" models.
You could buy the 36" unit and with a small kit they offered assemble the two together to make a 96" unit.
Looks like it is no longer available now that they have the 96" model.
I would think you could find one of these used,Ebay?
Might save you a lot of money.

Hi Dan,

Its very expensive I can't find one used even on ebay, the company sells one but its still expensive


Thank you all for your help
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enduser
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2012, 04:31:56 PM »
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I notice most of these youtube videos show people not using corner tension pegs.  If you live in a country with highly variable climate types you will definitely need to re-tension after about 5 years or so, plus or minus depending on the canvas type.   Nothing looks worse that a sagging canvas.

In the "Canvasmaster" video he uses only four staples on the first side and five on the longest side.  Too few, I think.
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philbaum
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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2012, 07:41:15 PM »
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I've been stretching canvas via the original Fredericks canvas pliars, but this thread has been an eye-opener.

I've come across a Quickmate manual canvas stretcher that looks like it has potential.  Looks like it may have been designed in the UK,, but here's a us source as well.  Only $300 to $400 depending on size.  Not an automated machine like some high volume machines i've seen discussed, but more than adequate for smaller volume - anyone have any hands on experience with this machine.

http://www.gilderspaste.com/cgi-bin/shopper.exe?preadd=action&key=QMCSQMCS-O&reference=/cgi-bin/shopper.exe%3Fsearch%3Daction%26keywords%3D%26searchstart%3D0%26template%3DPDGCommTemplates\SearchResult.html%26category%3DQMCS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=cUESyfAyObo

What do you think.  Pliars seem to work well for me on smaller sizes of canvas, but this machine looks a lot faster for canvases of large size, i.e. 20x30, 24x36in. , etc.

phil
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Don Libby
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2012, 09:27:12 PM »
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I've been using Breathing Colors "StretchRelief Pliers" for slightly more than a month now and still can't get over how easy the stretching is now.  Up until a month ago I used standard canvas stretchers which always ended up causing me a pain in my hands as well as back.  I found the other pliers caused me to add undue stretch to my back as I was stretching.  A typical 60x30 would take me close to an hour and often times I was only able to stretch no more than 2-pieces a day before having severe hand cramps, back aches and pulled groin muscles.

BC pliers do actually what they say they'll do.  No strain and I find it much faster.  I completed 4-images today one right after the other and I am not experiencing and of the after effects I used to have when I used the older pliers.

Never heard of the Pitbull but looking at the website it looks very much the same as what BC is offering.  It might seem like too much to spend until after you've used it.

I won't let a work of mine be displayed unless it has perfect corners and tight as a drum.  I wish I had found either BC or Pitbull a couple years ago.

Just my 2

Don
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philbaum
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« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2012, 02:53:05 AM »
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Don, I've neither used your stretchrelief pliers or the manual Quickmate fixture that i reported on.  They cost about the same, $250 for the pitbull type or $300 and change for the Quickmate.

On thing that seems cool about the quickmate, is that you can flip it over once the fixture has been installed, and check that the frame is correctly positioned on the stretcher bars, prior to installing any staples.  If its out of alighnment, loosen and retighten. 

I would like to buy either the pliers you recommend or the Quickmate, either would be an improvement over the simple Frederick pliers i have now.  Does anyone see a fatal flaw with the Quickmate - looks like a pretty good deal.

One thing about the quickmate, a flaw perhaps or not, one can't apply lateral pressure on the canvas width while the first pull is across the longer direction.  Yet apparently, it leaves a very tight canvas.

its a puzzle to me which might be better.
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Don Libby
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« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2012, 09:39:22 AM »
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Phil - call me old school but I'd much rather stretch my canvas with pliers which in my opinion gives me more/better control over the process.  There's an old saying that goes something like slow is fast (meaning doing it right the first time).  Pliers allow me the chance to have a better "feel" as I stretch no matter the size.  Yesterday I stretched 20x16, (2)20x24, 24x36 using the new pliers with way less strain that I ever experienced.

I looked at the video you provided and agree that the process is interesting.  What I have problems with is with a single point of contact the strap has.  Yes, I understand the bar holds the canvas however the actual stretching is being done with the strap in the middle.  This may work well on smaller images however what happens when you go beyond 36"?  A lot of my work is 40 to 60 inches and while the website says 2-of the fixtures can be used for larger images that also means 2-seperate straps used.  How can you make certain the multiple straps are the same tightness.  Again it seems better for smaller pieces.

Regarding the ability to flip to check the image - you can do that using push pins to set the image in place before the first staple in place.  In time with practice this becomes even easier.  The other thing I just thought of is the use of the double sided tape - is it acid free?  Will the tape in time bleed through?  I don't like the notion of using any sort of tape with canvas.  But that's just me.

Barring having the room and money for an actual stretching machine I'm gladly keeping with the newer pliers.

Again just my 2

Don
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Bob Smith
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2012, 08:55:57 AM »
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I've been using one of these:

http://canvasstretcher.com

Since 2005.  I have the 60" model.  Very happy with it.  Simplifies the process tremendously while not being so automated that you lose control.  It's a very simple design that's extremely well built.  I think the guy that designs/makes them has experience in the aircraft industry.  Its made from very well machined heavy aluminum components.  The mechanism is extremely simple.  It won't break anytime soon.

Bob Smith
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macguiver
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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2012, 10:56:20 AM »
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I've done hand stretching with conventional hand tools and that can get exhausting not to mention time consuming when you have a lot of pictures to stretch. I wondered how I'd ever make any money selling giclees when I factored in the time it was taking me to stretch.
In my search for a tool to speed up the production process I purchased a 36inch model of this machine from company called Join Rite.
http://www.joinrite.com/cs3660.html
Its been fantastic. I was really drawn to the machines that work with compressed air but the sticker shock scared me off. Those machines are over $3000 last I looked. This machine works on the very same principle but the force is applied by pulling a lever by hand but for 1/3 the price. The only weakness I can see is that for gallery wraps where edge precision is a must, I often end up doing some manual hand stretching since it can be tricky to get a precise alignment. Overall though its been a real time and labor saver and I'd recommend it to anyone. I guess the one other thing I should mention is that you need an air or electric stapler for this since you staple from the bottom. I'd recommend them anyway to anyone stretching with whatever tool you choose.
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philbaum
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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2012, 12:45:41 PM »
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Another weakness i think i see (one can't be sure without actually trying it - i'm sure) is that one needs a lot of extra canvas on each side for the clamp to work.  The canvas being stretched here must have 4" of canvas wrap per side, or 8" extra in each dimension.  If one doesn't have a large canvas printer, that doesn't allow the tool to be used by a guy with a smaller printer.

Since you have one, what is the minimum wrap width one has to leave on a side for assembly work???

Otherwise the machine looks pretty good.
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pwbrian
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« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2012, 02:32:32 PM »
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I have a Quickmate on the way.  I'll let you know how it works.  From the videos I had seen it looked like a great option for the cash. 
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philbaum
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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2012, 03:01:11 PM »
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Don - i appreciate your feedback - you've obviously got way more experience with canvas than i do.  (36" is the largest i've stretched to date :-))  My continuing brainstorming here is my way of trying to come to grips with the different tools available.

a. The tape they use with the quickmate machine seems to be useful for positioning purposes only.  I think one could easily stop using the tape and use pushpins instead just at the top center and bottom center to hold the canvas in position until the machine is tightened down.

b. The width of the pull plate seems to be large enough to avoid deflection along the length - no way to confirm without trying it, but i think it will be ok

c. There's nothing to prevent one from doing the majority of the work with the Quickmate and then finishing up the corners with a hand tool.

d. Quickmate looks like middle step between handtools and the larger volume tools like the Just-Rite, and doesn't seem to require as much canvas to grip with.  I may be entirely wrong, but i think its worth a try.

phil  
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philbaum
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« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2013, 01:43:48 PM »
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I'll keep this thread going to provide followup on the Quickmate stretcher machine because there is a good collection of posts on other devices.

pwbrian sent me this message about his initial use of the quickmate:

Quote
I gave the quick mate a try.  I like it.  It seems pretty easy.  Clamp, ratchet, staple.  I haven't done too many yet with it but so far so good.

Thanks,

Brian

So i sent my order in about a week later and then got a personal call saying that they were out of stock and reordered for about a 3-week delay (from England?)

I called up yesterday to this Wisconsin address, and they assured me they will ship it to me by Feb 1st with delivery in a week, which will allow me to get stretching done for a show on March 1st.  Obviously a small firm but they seem very responsive. 

This is the only company in the US that carries the Quickmate stretching machine - as far as i know:

 http://www.gilderspaste.com/cgi-bin/shopper.exe?preadd=action&key=qmcsqmcs-o&reference=/cg..

I'll update this thread once i get it.  Not a high volume piece of equipment but for a low volume guy like me - perfect i think.
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Stefan Fiedler
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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2013, 03:47:38 PM »
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For high volume stretching jobs this is the way to go:
http://www.imagingsolutions.ch/index.php?article_id=190&clang=1
http://www.imagingsolutions.ch/index.php?article_id=216&clang=1

also see video: http://www.imagingsolutions.ch/Media/easyFrame.mp4

Regards,
Stefan
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