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Author Topic: StretchRelief – Breathing Color  (Read 3168 times)
Photopro888
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« on: July 30, 2013, 05:02:59 PM »
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Anyone using this pair of pliers to stretch canvas… does it really help with speed and less strain on your hand, also is it worth the cost?

Link:  http://breathingcolor.com/action/bc_shop/226/

Thanks for any info!

-Darren
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namartinnz
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 06:18:54 PM »
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I've been using Holbien stretcher pliers for years - have rubber grips - really great. Likely not as expensive either. http://www.amazon.com/Holbein-Pro-Stretching-Pliers/dp/B005GKZ39M
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Paul2660
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 06:41:12 PM »
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Well worth the cost.  I wrote a review about these pliers a while back whic you can find here.

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

They are a great design and will assist in making a great stretch.

Paul Caldwell
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 06:44:54 PM by Paul2660 » Logged

Paul Caldwell
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Jason DiMichele
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 07:02:10 PM »
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Definitely +1 for the stretch relief!

Cheers!
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Jason DiMichele
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2013, 07:11:29 PM »
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I can back everything that Paul says about the StretchRelief pliers as well. Strain on the hand is eliminated (at least it was for me). The only thing is that you need 1/2" to 1" more canvas than with regular pliers to 'get a grip'.. but once you do, it's perfect.
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Bullfrog
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 01:58:59 PM »
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I can back everything that Paul says about the StretchRelief pliers as well. Strain on the hand is eliminated (at least it was for me). The only thing is that you need 1/2" to 1" more canvas than with regular pliers to 'get a grip'.. but once you do, it's perfect.

I use smaller bars (about 7/8" deep) - and 2" borders.  Is this enough to use those pliers?  How much is enough?
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jferrari
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 06:33:59 PM »
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Ok, so I guess I've got the opposing view. The StretchRelief pliers are modified visegrips which require two hands to operate (watch the video.) At $200 bucks a piece I can buy TEN of these which only require one hand to operate. I can hold the pliers in one hand and the stapler in the other to complete the stretching faster than if using the StretchRelief product. If you are experiencing hand fatigue from your stretching pliers you should examine your technique. I ALLOW the canvas to slip in the pliers' jaws in order to control proper tension.     - Jim
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2013, 07:37:53 PM »
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I have only ever used one hand - usually two fingers, when using the StretchRelief.  I have tried those other pliers and it's because they slip that causes the hand fatigue.  You have to hold them tighter.  The SR may only be a glorified vice-grips... but they do work beautifully, with only two fingers.  Maybe if I was younger it wouldn't matter as much, but I'm afraid I'm not.  I agree, the $200 seems like a lot, but I will never go back to the other style. For me, the $200 was worth it.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2013, 07:40:43 PM »
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I use smaller bars (about 7/8" deep) - and 2" borders.  Is this enough to use those pliers?  How much is enough?
Hard to tell without actually trying them on the stretcher bar.  If I'm stretching a 20x30, I will print it about 26x36 so have 3" of canvas to work with. If it's a particularly deep stretcher, I'll add another 1/2" to the 3, so 3-1/2" all around.
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Bullfrog
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 08:31:15 PM »
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Hard to tell without actually trying them on the stretcher bar.  If I'm stretching a 20x30, I will print it about 26x36 so have 3" of canvas to work with. If it's a particularly deep stretcher, I'll add another 1/2" to the 3, so 3-1/2" all around.
Thanks. I only have a 24" printer - so 6 inches reduces my canvas size to 18 - and I like to print 20x30.

So, I'm limited to 2" for that size which means I print 24x34.  I need 1" to manage the depth of the bar - which only leaves 1" to wrap.  I find it minimal and wonder if those vice grip pliers will grab it.  If they weren't $200 - I wouldn't hesitate.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2013, 08:59:54 PM »
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Actually once you set the stretchrelief pliers you don't need any hands.  It's obviously a personal preference.  But I have used all the other standard types of pliers (fletcher style) and find I get a much better finished product. 

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2013, 09:15:26 PM »
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The SR Instructions that came with the pliers state:  "The amount of canvas that you need extending beyond the inside of the stretcher bar is 3/4". For example: if you are stretching on a standard 3/4" thick stretcher bar, you add 3/4" plus the width of the bar which is typically 1.5". To this amount you would add 3/4" which would give you a total of 3". Using this formula for gallery wrapping an 18x24" frame, you would need a canvas size of 24x30 inches."

So, in your instance, it's going to be tight and they may not work for you.  A shame because they really are nice to work with.  I've adjusted all my sizes to accommodate the extra canvas needed.  I find my clients are not too concerned about the 'inches' and purchase what they see hanging on the walls - as in - I'd like it THAT size".  18x27 or 20x30 - close enough, unless you're selling square inches of canvas rather than an "image". Wink
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jferrari
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2013, 10:41:41 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).
[Snip]  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?
Mike, based on this quote from another thread it seeed that those pliers weren't doing you any favors. The reason is lack of control. With the other pliers you can coax the "ripples" from the center to the corners whereas using the StretchRelief pliers you lose out on that type of control due to the length of the jaw and the unforgiving teeth. I won't even mention speed...

Bottom line: If your customers/clients are satisfied with your product and you are happy with your pliers/technique, you've achieved success!      - Jim
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 10:56:09 PM »
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However, it wasn't the fault of the pliers at all. There wasn't any bracing on the stretcher so when I was stretching the middle of the 'frame' was flexing and causing the ripples.  As soon as I added a brace to the stretcher frame, it worked flawlessly.

But you are correct... if it ain't broke, don't fix it! A lot of it has to do with how you've been trained too.  I know someone that hand-stretches 'without' pliers - and their canvases are perfect. I just finished a small 16x24 with the SR's and it's also perfect.  C'est la vie!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 10:59:03 PM by Mike Guilbault » Logged

Bullfrog
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2013, 07:10:11 AM »
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Sorry I should have read the FAQ before posting.  I already have stock of 20x30 bars so throwing out the bars to spend $200 for pliers isn't something I can justify and while it is nice to have a range of sizes - 20" is the widest I can print on canvas with this printer - and not something I want to give up. I do have regular pliers and actually found them difficult to work with and was hand stretching - but my canvases are not "drum tight" - hence the inquiry.
Thanks

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mg73
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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2013, 07:55:12 AM »
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Interesting thread.  I had a 24" printer and ultimately found the size constraints too limiting when gallery wrapping my pieces, especially when using the thicker bars.  When printing on paper I could get pretty large finished pieces with the 24 in printer but that included the mounting and framing in the overall final size.  When I tried gallery wrapping, I wasn't satisfied with the final size of the pieces.  Because of the extra trim needed to grip with pliers and the amount wrapped around the edges, the pieces all just ended up too small for me.  So I took the plunge and bought a 44 inch printer.  Can't be happier.  Even with the extra trim and edge wrap limitations, the gallery wraps are "satisfyingly" large.  BTW, I do use the stretch relief and find them wonderful to work with.  I agree with Mike and Paul.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2013, 08:16:54 AM »
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I hear ya Bullfrog.  Of course I'd rather get a full 20x30 out of a 24 inch roll, but as noted above, that's one reason I went with the 44 inch as well. You could still print the 20x30 and use the SR's on the long ends to get that extra grip/pull to tighten up the canvas I suppose.  If only they had made these printers one inch wider eh!! Wink
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Bullfrog
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2013, 09:40:02 AM »
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Yes, its a conspiracy I'm sure.  Anyway, I'm not above taking charity so if anyone wants to donate a new 44" printer - pm me
 Wink

Otherwise, buying a giant printer ONLY because I need it to use special pliers that (lets be honest here) are clearly overpriced vice grips so that I can increase my borders which results in my throwing away MORE ink and paper during production seems...well - (searching brain for politically correct term)

Never mind.

Cheers
 Cool

PS:  I think if it comes to that, I will outsource.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 09:51:15 AM by Bullfrog » Logged
Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2013, 07:47:55 PM »
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That thought crossed my mind as well... but I'm just too stubborn to give in. Smiley
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Jason DiMichele
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« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2013, 05:39:01 AM »
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Hi bullfrog,

I think you mentioned that you used the same stretcher bars as I do (from upper canada stretchers). If that's the case, you should have absolutely no problem getting the canvases drum tight using the keys. I've even hand tightened some large canvases by hand and then used the keys to get the canvas drum tight.

The StretchRelief pliers are definitely expensive. However, considering the time it would take to build something similar (enhancing a standard set of vice grips) would cost me more (in time and close enough to the cost) to make them. In my opinion these really are much better than vice grips. The surface area of the plate, the grid of spike grips, etc make stretching canvas very efficient and consistent.

Cheers!
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Jason DiMichele
Fine Art Photographer and Printer
www.jasondimichele.com
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