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Author Topic: Hand stretching a larger canvas  (Read 1689 times)
Mike Guilbault
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« on: July 05, 2013, 10:24:33 PM »
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This afternoon I tried hand stretching a 50x30" giclee canvas.  Didn't come out so well.  I have vertical ripples (up and down on the 30" height).

I usually do the long (in this case the horizontal) sides first.  I tack one side with a few staples just to set it in place, then use the Pitbull, starting from the middle and working my way to one side and the back from the middle to the other.  I'm using a hand staple-gun and put the staples about an inch apart.  I go back to the first side, remove the ''tacks" and then start again from the middle with the Pitbulls and work my way to the sides again.

I then fold my corners, cut away excess canvas and then, starting from the middle again, stretch one way and then the other, stapling as I go with a few extra staples on the corner fold.  Flip to the other end and repeat.

I've been doing others, up to 20x30 with no problem.  I use Breathing Color's "Stretch Relief" plyers, although I believe they also go by the name "Pitbull".

Any ideas on how I can improve on this?
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Kanvas Keepsakes
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2013, 12:15:39 AM »
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I've had this happen to me using almost the same method and using the Pitbull tool.  I just removed staples from corners and re-pulled extra hard to stretch out those folds. 
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mg73
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2013, 06:32:47 AM »
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Mike,
A few suggestions on stretching large gallery wraps that I discovered the hard way.  I also use the pliers from Breathing Color and the work well for me.

1.  Initially I followed the directions on the Breathing color Website which has you trim away the extra canvas before you have finished.  Then I discovered it wasn't as tight as I wanted when I was done.  Because I trimmed the excess, I didn't have enough canvas left for the pliers to bite so I couldn't restretch.  So make sure you leave enough canvas all around until you know you won't need to restretch.  You'll need to restretch that piece lengthwise.  I hope you left enough canvas for the pliers to bite.

2.  Although it won't help on this piece, and I can't tell if you did this, but on larger pieces I like to use the thickest stretcher bars I can find.  The thickness can help prevent sag.  On longer pieces, I also use an extra center bar to help prevent sag in middle of the piece.

3.  I'm also wondering if you're folding the corners too early in the process.  When you say "fold the corners" are you stapling them at that time?  Or are you waiting to staple them at the end?   I stretch lengthwise first, stapling all the way to the ends on both sides.  Then I stretch the long side, starting from the middle and stapling out but leaving about 8" unstapled on the ends of the long bars to give me room to fold the corners.  Then I do the corners and staple the remaining unstapled areas.

You may already know these, but I though I'd toss them out.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 06:39:39 AM by mg73 » Logged
Paul2660
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2013, 07:26:23 AM »
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Mike:

I also use the stretch relief pliers from Breathing Color. 

There are a couple of things I do you might want to try.

1.  I will tack down the first side to create tension, then go to the opposite side using the stretch relief pliers and staple at least 4 times.  I also staple about 1/2" apart.  Once I have this side down, I go back to the first side that was only tacked down, remove the staples and use the stretch relief pliers and reattach this side.  This IMO gives you a bit more tension.

2.  Before I continue down one of the long sides, I will add 4 staples to the top of the short sides, by the corners.  I use the pliers to do this.  I believe this will help pull out the ripples that you are talking about. 

Once done with this, I will go back and finish one long side then the other.  When stapling, I start from the middle and work out to the edges, working in both directions. 

When I get ready to start the short sides, I will again start in the middle and work to the corners.  I might have to pull out the temp. staples I added at first.

Here is a link to a review I wrote about the stretch relief pliers:

http://photosofarkansas.com/category/reviews-of-equipment/printing-framing/

In this review I describe my technique in a bit more detail.

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
Little Rock, Arkansas U.S.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2013, 11:07:01 AM »
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Thanks guys... those are tips I was looking for.  I'll check out the review too Paul.. thanks.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2013, 11:18:18 AM »
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Mike,
3.  I'm also wondering if you're folding the corners too early in the process.  When you say "fold the corners" are you stapling them at that time?  Or are you waiting to staple them at the end?   I stretch lengthwise first, stapling all the way to the ends on both sides.  Then I stretch the long side, starting from the middle and stapling out but leaving about 8" unstapled on the ends of the long bars to give me room to fold the corners.  Then I do the corners and staple the remaining unstapled areas.

I staple them at the end.  I do the folds and cut away the excess canvas.  Then I start in the middle (of the short ends) and work my way to the corners, stapling the folds and corners last.  I work one way and then the other.
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darlingm
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2013, 10:47:12 PM »
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What type of canvas?  I ask, because I have a lot more rippling problems with B.C. Crystalline.  Not sure if other people do.

You've probably heard of this trick, but get some distilled (no bacteria or fungus) water, and spray it on the back.  Canvas will shrink, and I'd be willing to bet a nickel those ripples go away.  I've resurrected a few canvases that I thought were beyond repair.  I think the recommended way to go is to go light with the water.  I'll be honest and say I'm usually short on time, and saturate the back pretty heavily, and if it drips I rub it around with my hand to other parts of the canvas.  This isn't optimum because I believe it reduces the amount it'll shrink in the future by distilled water, reducing the owner's ability to tighten an old sagging canvas.  Only had a problem with some Canon matte canvas - turned it yellow'ish.  BTW - let it dry well past when it seems dry.  I always allow it to dry overnight.  If you put it in packaging when it isn't fully dry, it will make the air humid, and may condense on the front of the print.  May wreck it.  (Glamour II gets screwed up by water if it sits long enough.)
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Mike Westland Printworks
Fine Art Printing Amazing Artwork Reproduction Photography
http://www.westlandprintworks.com (734) 255-9761
Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2013, 06:23:02 AM »
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I'm using BC Lyve and Timeless.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2013, 08:18:47 AM »
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I don't find Crystalline any worse on the rippling.  Rippling IMO comes from unbalanced pressure during stapling.  The Stretch relief pliers are an amazing tool and can prevent this, as they give you 4x the amount of canvas you are working with and a much more even tension, not to mention you can have both hands free.  I don't find that Ripples from stretching will not come out with the water/or other solutions on the back.  They can only be removed by a pull and re-stretch. As this involves a ton of extra time, I started using the technique of temp staples at the tops of the opposite corners. 

Also, if you start with the long sides, it's critical that you line up your stables opposite each other as if you don't you can induce ripples.  I also staple about every 1/2 inch. 

Ripping seemed  to happen with longer pieces for me 40 x 60 and 36 x 72.  By adding some tension to the top of the opposite sides (by the corners) with temp staples, i have found I can pretty much totally prevent ripples. 

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2013, 07:24:24 PM »
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Over a few thousand canvases in the last four years we've always used finger jointed bars that come with small wooden corner pegs for final tightening.  Carefully tapped in, they always remove the last little ripple.  For bigger canvases with a long dimension over 40 inches it's best to use a centre brace as well, otherwise you'll generate a bend along that edge as you pull to stretch.
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Light Seeker
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2013, 03:12:10 PM »
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I've run into the same rippling issue. The solution suggested to me was to use this methodology:

- align and staple the centre on one side
- stretch and staple the centre on the opposite side
- stretch and staple the centre on the left side (relative to the original staple - right would also be fine)
- stretch and staple the centre on the right side

Repeat the above process multiple times, doing one new stretch to the left and right of the original staple each time.

You are working from the centre out, incrementally, on all four sides. The tension will be even when you are finished. It works really well. I stretch everything like this now, large or small.

Terry.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2013, 03:18:40 PM »
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Terry:

The method you describe is the way I learned and stretched for years.  However with the stretch relief pliers, you can get away from this and the process becomes much less tedious.  They allow control similar to a stretching machine, of course not the entire length but still so much more control than normal pliers.  If you add the single staple at the top of each corner on the opposite ends, then you can run one long complete, the 2nd long, and no more rotation. 

Plus I have much more even tension when using the stretch relief pliers. 

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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mg73
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2013, 09:03:11 AM »
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Paul,

When you say add one staple on the top or each corner, can you elaborate a little more.  For some reason I'm having a hard time visualizing this process.  When exactly do you add these corner staples?  Do you stretch when you add these corner staples?  If so in what direction to you stretch?

Thanks,
Mark
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